Fast rising stars McKinzie (#13), Audible (#1) and Mask (#12) join reigning 2-year-old champion Good Magic (#10) and the accomplished Bolt d'Oro (#3) atop the roster of individual betting interests in this week's second pool of Churchill Downs' 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), but the ever-popular Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others”, remains the likely wagering favorite for the pool that kicks of its three-day run on Friday, Feb. 9.
The “All Others” wager has been the favorite in first pool of the New Year since the Kentucky Derby Future Wager was introduced in 1999 and Churchill Downs odds maker Mike Battaglia has installed “All Others” as the 7-2 choice in his morning line for the upcoming pool. Wagering in KDFW Pool 2 will open at noon (all times EST) on Friday at Churchill Downs and racetracks and satellite wagering centers across North America and online at TwinSpires.com and other wagering platforms. Wagering will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager enables fans to bet on possible contenders for the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) at Churchill Downs well in advance of the May 5 running of America's greatest race. Odds on horses in the four KDFW pools could be more attractive than those available on the day of the race. Each wagering pool features 24 vetting interests that consist of 23 individual horses and the “All Others” interest, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the pool's individual horses.
The wager is $2 minimum bet and is a win wager only. Pari-mutuel payouts on winning tickets on Kentucky Derby Day will be determined by the final odds in each respective pool. Each pool also includes a minimum $2 exacta wager that requires bettors to correctly choose the top two Derby finishers in the exact order of finish. The exacta is also a $2 minimum bet, with exacta boxes available in $1 increments.
The second Kentucky Derby Futures Pool of 2018 is topped by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's unbeaten McKinzie, one of three Pool 2 hopes under the care of Hall of Famer and four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert. The son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense is the 8-1 individual choice after three wins that include a triumph via disqualification in the Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) and Santa Anita's Sham (GIII). Baffrert also trains Zayat Stables LLC's Solomini (#19, 20-1), disqualified from first to third in McKinzie's win at Los Alamitos, and Phoenix Thoroughbreds III's Mourinho (#16, 12-1), a son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who won Oaklawn Park's Smarty Jones in his only start of 2018.
Just behind McKinzie at 10-1 are e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Good Magic, the Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old of 2017 following his victory in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) at Del Mar for trainer Chad Brown, and Ruis Racing LLC's Bolt d'Oro, third as the beaten favorite in the Breeders' Cup event and a winner of three of four career starts for trainer Mick Ruis. The Juvenile was the only win in three 2017 races for Good Magic, while Bolt d'Oro scored emphatic wins in the Del Mar Futurity (GI) and Santa Anita's FrontRunner (GI) prior to his loss to Brown's star.
A pair of fast-rising stars is next at 12-1 in WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International Ltd. and SF Racing LLC's Audible, an impressive 5 ½-length winner of last week's Holy Bull (GIII) at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher, and the Brown-trained Mask, Lane's End Racing's unbeaten winner of Gulfstream's Mucho Macho Man. Pletcher, who earned his second Kentucky Derby victory last year with Always Dreaming, also trains Robert V. LaPenta, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC et al's Montauk (#15, 20-1), an 11 ¼-length winner of his lone career start in October at Saratoga.
Pool 2 notables with international connections include Withers (GIII) and Nashua (GII) winner Avery Island (#2, 20-1) and Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Enticed (#7, 30-1), both owned by Dubai-based Godolphin and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, and Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor's Mendelssohn (#14, 30-1), winner of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) for Ireland-based training star Aidan O'Brien.
Winchell Thoroughbeeds and Willis Horton Racing LLC's Copper Bullet (#6, 50-1), winner of the Saratoga Special (GII), is the most accomplished member of a group of four KDFW Pool 2 betting interests trained by Steve Asmussen. The Asmussen foursome also includes Combatant (#5, 50-1), the Winchell and Horton-owned runner-up in the Smarty Jones and Remington Park's Springboard Mile; Three Chimneys Farm's Lecomte (GIII) runner-up Principe Guilherme (#17, 30-1); and L and N Racing's unbeaten Retirement Fund (#18, 30-1).
Five trainers in KDFW Pool 2 have multiple horses. In addition to Baffert, Brown, Pletcher and McLaughlin, Churchill Downs-based trainer Dale Romans has Albaugh Family Stables' Free Drop Billy (#9, 20-1), winner of Keeneland's Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (GI) and runner-up in the Holy Bull, and Frank L. Jones Jr.'s Tiz Mischief (#22, 30-1), runner-up in Kentucky Jockey Club and third in the Holy Bull.
Along with Baffert and Pletcher, Kentucky Derby-winning trainers with horses in Pool 2 include Hall of Famer and four-time winner D. Wayne Lukas and Graham Motion. Lukas is represented by Hopeful (GI) winner Sporting Chance (#20, 50-1) and Motion by Untamed Domain (#23, 30-1). The latter is a son of Animal Kingdom, who won the 2011 Kentucky Derby for Motion.
The entire roster of wagering interests in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2: Audible (#1, 12-1), Avery Island (#2, 20-1), Bolt d'Oro (#3, 10-1), Catholic Boy (#4, 20-1), Combatant (#5, 50-1), Copper Bullet (#6, 50-1), Enticed (#7, 30-1), Firenze Fire (#8, 30-1), Free Drop Billy (#9, 20-1), Good Magic (#10, 10-1), Instilled Regard (#11, 30-1), Mask (#12, 12-1), McKinzie (#13, 8-1), Mendelssohn (#14, 30-1), Montauk (#15, 20-1), Mourinho (#16, 12-1), Principe Guilherme (#17, 30-1), Retirement Fund (#18, 30-1), Solomini (#19, 20-1), Sporting Chance (#20, 50-1), Strike Power (#21, 20-1), Tiz Mischief (#22, 30-1), Untamed Domain (#23, 30-1) and “All Others” (#24, 7-2).
The list of Pool 2 betting interests features seven horses that were not a part of November's opening pool: Audible, Remsen (GII) winner Catholic Boy, Combatant, Lecomte (GIII) winner Instilled Regard, Mourinho, Retirement Fund and Swale (GIII) winner Strike Power.
There are no scratches or refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the three-day run of Pool 2 that a wagering interest has suffered an injury or other circumstance that would prevent that horse from competing in the Kentucky Derby, wagering on that interest will be immediately suspended.
Real-time odds and other information on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, including free past performance information from Brisnet, is available at the official Kentucky Derby event web site at www.kentuckyderby.com.
The opening Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool of 2018 was conducted Nov. 23-26. Pool 3 is set for March 9-11 and the year's fourth and final pool will run from April 6-8. The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool will coincide with KDFW Pool 3 during its March 9-11 run.
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