With fewer than 90 days remaining before the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia ranks Cairo Prince, unbeaten champion Shared Belief and Honor Code as the most attractive individual horses featured in this week’s second pool of the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”). But as attractive as those young stars will certainly be, Battaglia believes the Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others,” wagering interest will be a strong fan favorite when the pool ends completes its Feb. 6-8 run late Saturday afternoon.
Battaglia has installed “All Others” as the 7-5 morning line favorite over the 23 individual horses on the roster of wagering interests for KDFW Pool 2. The pool will offer $2 minimum win wagering on all interests, along with exacta betting. Cairo Prince (#2), the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained winner of Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull (GII), is the favored individual 3-year-old Thoroughbred at 8-1. He is followed closely by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief (#17), the Eclipse Award 2-year-old champion of 2013 and winner of the CashCall Futurity (GI) and Honor Code (#8), the Shug McGaughey-trainee who handed Cairo Prince his only defeat in a narrow victory in the Remsen, who are the co-third choices at 10-1.
Wagering on KDFW Pool 2 will begin Thursday, Feb. 6 at noon (all times Eastern) and is scheduled to close on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. or prior to the post time for the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis (GII) at Santa Anita, whichever comes first. The Robert B. Lewis is Saturday’s stop on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Prep Season schedule.
This week’s KDFW pool is the first of 2014, but the second of the pre-Kentucky Derby 140 season following the Nov. 27-30 opening pool – the first autumn pool conducted by Churchill Downs since it introduced the ground-breaking pari-mutuel wager in 1999. The November pool concluded with “All Others” as the odds-on favorite at 4-5, followed by favored individual Honor Code at 10-1 and the now-retired Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner New Year’s Day at 15-1. Cairo Prince stood at 26-1 and Shared Belief was a 32-1 risk at the conclusion of the opening pool.
Total wagering in November’s opening pool was $273,174, which included $238,078 in “win” betting and an exacta wagering pool of $35,096.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager provides fans with the opportunity to wager on contenders for America’s greatest race well in advance of the race at odds the could be much more attractive than those available on the day of the race.
The 140th running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 at Churchill Downs and will be televised by NBC Sports.
Along with the $2-minimum win betting, KDFW pools offer exacta wagering 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 the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Betting on an individual horse in the pool will be suspended immediately if Churchill Downs determines during the pool that injury, illness or other circumstance would prevent the horse from competing in their respective race.
All winning Pool 2 payouts will be determined by the odds in place at Saturday’s conclusion of wagering.
Along with Cairo Prince, Shared Belief and Honor Code, major returnees from November’s opening pool include Grade I winners Strong Mandate (#18), winner of the Hopeful (GI) and a 27-1 shot in Pool 1 for four-time Kentucky Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas, and Champagne (GI) winner Havana (#7), a 26-1 risk in the opening pool and one of four Pool 2 individuals trained by six-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher.
Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager features 14 individual wagering interests that were not a part of November’s opening pool. The new interests are California Chrome (#3), Candy Boy (#4), Conquest Titan (#6), Indianapolis (#9), Intense Holiday (#10), Kristo (#11), Matterhorn (#12), Midnight Hawk (#13), Samraat (#16), Tapiture (#19), Tonalist (#20), Top Billing (#21), Uncle Sigh (#22) and Vicar’s in Trouble (#23).
Pool 1 horses not featured in Pool 2 (with final Pool 1 odds) are Almost Famous (30-1), Bond Holder (40-1), Cleburne (62-1), Coup de Grace (48-1), Financial Mogul (99-1), In Trouble (53-1), Kobe’s Back (84-1), Mexikoma (40-1), Misconnect (43-1), New Year’s Day, Pablo Del Monte (59-1), Ride on Curlin (57-1), Tamarando (42-1) and Tap It Rich (25-1).
New wagering interests that could attract strong fan interest in KDFW Pool 2 include Top Billing (#21), a McGaughey-trained son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin who has won two of three races and was an impressive winner of a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25; a pair of unbeaten stakes winners in Indianapolis (#9) and Midnight Hawk (#13), both trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert and each listed at 20-1 in Battaglia’s morning line odds; Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Tapiture (#19), a 20-1 risk for trainer Steve Asmussen, and Vicar’s in Trouble (#23), an easy winner of the Lecomte (GIII) at Fair Grounds saddled by Mike Maker. The latter two individuals open the pool at 20-1.
Pletcher, who has nominated a record 42 horses to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, leads all trainers with four KDFW Pool 2 betting interests. Along with Havana (#7), Pletcher trainees in the pool include Commissioner (#5), Intense Holiday (#10) and Matterhorn (#12).
McGaughey trains two wagering interests in Honor Code (#8) and Top Billing (#21), joining Baffert and John Sadler (#4 Candy Boy and #11 Kristo) with a pair of horses in the pool.
Wagering on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Future Wager will be offered at Churchill Downs and racetracks throughout North America; via TwinSpires.com, 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.
Free Brisnet past performances for Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available for media use at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/14KDFW2PPs.pdf.
Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW are available at the official event Web site at www.KentuckyDerby.com.