Holiday Betting Bargains Abound in Earliest Kentucky Derby Future Wager, But 'All Others' Heavily Favored

Nov 25, 2013 John Asher

Thanksgiving Weekend racing fans looking for great deals on contenders for the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) have  opportunities this week to do their earliest shopping ever as Churchill DownsKentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) opens a four-day run on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The first Thanksgiving weekend KDFW pool will close Saturday, Nov. 30, just before the renewals of a pair of major early prep races for the big event on the first Saturday in May.

Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia has installed the “All Others” wagering interest (#24) as the odds-on 2-to-5 favorite at this early stage on the journey to the 2014 Derby at the historic Louisville, Ky. track. But the support for the anticipated overwhelming favorite should provide Derby fans with opportunities to secure attractive odds on the remaining 23 individual stars included among the pool’s 24 betting interests.

The special four-day Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool – the first ever offered before Derby contenders enter their 3-year-old seasons on New Year’s Day – will open Wednesday at noon (all times Eastern) and closes Saturday, Nov. 30 prior to post time of either the $400,000 Remsen (Grade II) at Aqueduct or Churchill Downs’ $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) – which ever race comes first.

Both events for 2-year-olds are part of the “Kentucky Derby Prep Season” that offer points – 10 to first, 4 to second, 2 to third and 1 to fourth – that will ultimately determine the 20 participants for “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 3, 2014. With the close of betting coming prior to the running of those important early Kentucky Derby preps, the pool offers what will truly be a “future wager” that assures the best possible odds on horses competing in those races.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, launched by Churchill Downs in 1999, is an innovative pari-mutuel wager that allows racing fans the opportunity to wager on potential Derby contenders well in advance of the race at odds that could be significantly more attractive than those available on the day the classic race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds is run.

For example, Orb paid $12.80 to win on race day of the 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, but returned $26.20 in Pool 2 and $29.60 for a $2 bet in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

With the mutuel field, or “All Others,” expected to attract overwhelming fan support in this week’s four-day betting pool, very attractive odds could be available on highly-regarded young stars that include:

  • Honor Code (#10 and 15-1 in Battaglia’s morning line), the anticipated favorite in Saturday’s Remsen for trainer Shug McGaughey, who won the 2013 Derby with Orb;
  • New Year’s Day (#15, 20-1), winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), and Tap It Rich (#23, 30-1), a pair of colts trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert;
  • Trainer Pat Byrne’s probable Kentucky Jockey Club favorite Almost Famous (#1, 20-1);
  •  Strong Mandate (#21, 30-1), the top hope to provide legendary Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas with his fifth-Kentucky Derby victory;
  • Unbeaten Cairo Prince (#4, 30-1), the exciting winner of the Nashua Stakes (GII) for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin;
  • Shared Belief (#20, 30-1) and Tamarando (#22, 50-1), a pair of young stars with potential to provide Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer with his first Kentucky Derby triumph;
  • And trainer Todd Pletcher’s trio of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Havana (#9, 30-1), Commissioner (#6, 50-1) and Misconnect (#14, 50-1), any of which could earn a second Derby win for their champion conditioner.

 The Kentucky Derby Future Wager – the first pari-mutuel wager of its kind when launched in 1999 – enters its 16th consecutive year with the opening of its first Thanksgiving Weekend pool. Each of its four pools will feature 24 wagering interests that include 23 individual horses and a mutuel field, known by many fans as the “All Others” bet. The mutuel field features all foals of 2011 other than the 23 individual Thoroughbreds in the pool, regardless of whether those horses have been nominated to the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown.

Both wagers offer $2-minimum win betting and exacta wagering, which is available in the form of $2 minimum straight exacta bets or $1-minimum exacta boxes and part-wheels. No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in either wager, but wagering on a Derby or Oaks Future Wager horse will be suspended immediately if Churchill Downs determines that injury, illness or other circumstance revealed during a pool would prevent a horse from competing in their respective race.

All winning payouts are determined by the odds in place at the end of each respective betting pool.

More than $1.4 million was wagered on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager in 2012 and 2013, respectively – the highest totals since 2006 when the wager was offered in a three-pool, four-day format.

“The job of setting the morning line odds for Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools has always been challenging, but there’s never been a wilder, more fascinating or challenging pool than this one,” said Battaglia, who celebrated his 40th anniversary of setting morning line odds for the Kentucky Derby and other Churchill Downs races earlier this year. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch the odds fluctuate over four days as fans throughout North America compete for ultimate bragging rights when it comes to picking the Derby winner. And the opportunity to watch the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Remsen seconds, which should provide early evidence of our betting judgment, should add some sizzle to this Derby Futures pool and those races.”

KDFW Pool 2, Pool 3 and Pool 4 – along with a single Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) pool which will coincide with KDFW Pool 3 – will be three-day pools that open at noon on Thursday. But in a change this year, each pool will close on Saturday afternoon prior to post time of a designated race on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” or “Road to the Kentucky Oaks.” Previously, the KDFW pools opened on a Friday and closed on Sunday at 6 p.m.

The dates for the four Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools leading up to Derby 140 are:

  • KDFW Pool 1: Wednesday, Nov. 27-Saturday, Nov. 30 (4 days)
  • KDFW Pool 2: Thursday, Feb. 6-Saturday, Feb. 8 (3 days)
  • KDFW Pool 3: Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1 (3 days)
  • KDFW Pool 4: Thursday, March 27-Saturday, March 29 (3 days)

The date for the only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool is:

  • KOFW Pool 1: Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1 (3 days)

Wagering on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Future Wager will be offered at Churchill Downs and racetracks throughout North America; via, the official online wagering site of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Incorporated; other advance deposit wagering sites; and simulcast centers and off-track wagering sites.

Wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool were selected by a panel consisting of veteran turf writer Gary West; Daily Racing Form West Coast Correspondent and HRTV analyst Brad Free, Brisnet Director of Marketing Ed DeRosa, and Churchill Downs’ John Asher.

Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW are available at the official event Web site at, and information on the KOFW is available at

The $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) will be run for the 140th consecutive year at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 3. The $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, will be run in its traditional calendar location on Friday, May 2 – the eve of the “Run for the Roses.”


    Morning Line odds by Mike Battaglia

       #    Wagering Interest         ML odds

  1. 1.       Almost Famous                20-1
  2. 2.      Bobby’s Kitten                   50-1
  3. 3.      Bond Holder                      50-1
  4. 4.      Cairo Prince                       30-1
  5. 5.      Cleburne                             50-1
  6. 6.      Commissioner                   50-1
  7. 7.      Coup de Grace                   50-1
  8. 8.      Financial Mogul                50-1
  9. 9.      Havana                               30-1
  10. 10.    Honor Code                       15-1
  11. 11.    In Trouble                          50-1
  12. 12.    Kobe’s Back                       50-1
  13. 13.    Mexikoma                          50-1
  14. 14.    Misconnect                        50-1
  15. 15.    New Year’s Day                 20-1
  16. 16.    Noble Moon                      50-1
  17. 17.    Pablo Del Monte               50-1
  18. 18.    Ride On Curlin                  50-1
  19. 19.    Rise Up                              50-1
  20. 20.    Shared Belief                   30-1
  21. 21.    Strong Mandate                30-1
  22. 22.    Tamarando                         50-1
  23. 23.    Tap It Rich                          30-1
  24. 24.    ALL OTHER 3YOS               2-5
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