News / Videos / Photos

Pyro Favored in Future Wager Pool 2

| Churchill Downs Communications | 03/21/2008 #

Louisville, KY (March 9, 2008) -- Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Pyro has failed to defeat reigning 2-year-old champion War Pass in three meetings, but racing fans across North America appear to believe a showdown in the 134th Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on May 3 could have a different result and they established the son of Pulpit as the 4-1 favorite over the unbeaten champion in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

An impressive victory by Pyro over a star-studded field in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds came on the heels of a dazzling win in the Risen Star (GIII) and provided the Steve Asmussen-trained colt with momentum that resulted in his status as the favorite among the pool’s 24 betting interests. Robert LaPenta’s War Pass, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), had been favored through the first three days of the pool, but was the 9-2 second choice when Pool 2 wagering concluded Sunday evening at 6 p.m. (all times EDT). The mutuel field – which included all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 2 – was the third choice at 6-1.

Racing fans across North America wagered $325,306 during the pool that opened at noon on Thursday – and $54,450 of that total was wagered on Pyro. Winning payouts are based on the odds in place at the end of the pool’s wagering. The last of Churchill Downs’ three 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools is set for April 3-6.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a minimum $2 wager and a win bet only. The bet offers fans an opportunity to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Derby at odds that could be greater than those they would receive on the day of the race. There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The biggest move in odds during the pool’s four-day run was reflected in support for Team Valor and Vision Racing LLC’s Visionaire. His odds stood at 96-1 after Friday’s wagering, but tumbled quickly after the Michael Matz-trained Grand Slam colt rallied to win Saturday’s Gotham (GIII) at Aqueduct. Visionaire stood at 36-1 after Saturday’s betting and was only a 19-1 shot when wagering drew to a close on Sunday.

Other horses that enjoyed strong support included Denis of Cork (12-1), El Gato Malo (15-1), Court Vision (16-1), Colonel John (17-1) and Elysium Fields (17-1).

More information on the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available on the official event Web site at www.kentuckyderby.com.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet begins on April 26. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.