03/13/2009 1:08PM




The first day of Pool 2 Derby Futures wagering closed Thursday with $22,458 in the win pool and $7,439 in the new exacta pool, too small a sample for trend-spotting -- especially since there's a case to be made that anyone who invests on Thursday is clinically goofy. With 9 of the 22 individual betting interests scheduled to race in one of Saturday's four Derby preps, why would any sane person bet until after those races have been run -- especially since you don't get a refund if someone drops off the Derby Trail with an injury or a poor performance? Maybe some misinformed people think they're locking in a price by betting early. They're not: It's a parimutuel pool and the odds aren't set until the betting closes at 6 pm ET Sunday.

Those four races Saturday -- the G2 Louisiana Derby, Rebel and San Felipe, and the G3 Tampa Bay Derby -- are likely to alter the Futures landscape radically, so it's probably best left until Sunday to even think about handicapping the horses. It's not too soon, though, to consider betting strategies for the exacta pool, which through its very novelty is likely to offer some exxtraordinary opportunities and overlays.

With 23 betting interests -- wagering has been suspended on the injured Big Drama (#3) -- there are 506 possible Exacta Futures in play, one for each white box in the grid below:

A combination that attracts exactly 1/506th of the betting would pay $819.60 after the 19 percent exacta takeout. There should be plenty of four-digit will-pays, and it's going to be interesting to see how high the top ones can go. What price a 1-4 (Bear's Rocket-Chocolate candy) exacta?

Perhaps another useful way to think of the range of possible payouts is to consider another pool with around 506 possible combos: There are 504 possible trifecta outcomes in a nine-horse race.

I suspect the key to the payouts is going to be what people do with #24 -- the "all-others" button that amounts to a roughly 400-horse mutuel field. The field is pegged at 8-1 on the morning line, but it will be far more heavily played than that in the exactas, possibly creating inflated prices on the 462 combos that don't include a #24.

On the other hand, consider this: Since Derby Futures began in 1999, an "all-others" horse from Pool 2 has been part of the Derby Day exacta six times in 10 years. If you think that's a fair predictor, you could say there's a 60 percent chance that the winning combo will be one of the only 44 of 506 that does includes a #24.

mpm101 More than 1 year ago
Steve, If I have a winning future ticket from NY OTB will I have to show ID when cashing it due to the 30 day limit they have imposed orf is it 30 days from race day? mpm101
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Oops, sorry for the misinformed post yesterday. In my eagerness to hype Flying Pegasus in the La Derby I somehow transposed facts from another horses' pp's. He did not raise his Beyer 10pts in his first try vs winners, but his trip and fig pattern say he will run well today, in my opinion. Should be a sloppy mess of winter goop at FG today, so all turf is in jeopardy. A wet/sloppy/muddy track at FG is severely biased towards speed, as are most off tracks.
ponyman More than 1 year ago
Tampa Bay Derby===box #5,8,9 weather perfect 80 degrees-great racing to all.
El Angelo More than 1 year ago
Steve: the Pool 2 field has hit the exacta in 6 of the past 10 years--not in 2001, 2003, 2006, or 2007 (i.e., 60%).
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Notice that the three 5-1 early pool 2 choices are available at much inflated prices on the William Hill site. Currently, The Pamplemousse 12-1, Old Fashioned 9-1, and Dunnkirk 16-1. Think I'll pass, but luck to all who venture in.
SarnataroF More than 1 year ago
Steve, I was able to bet $1.00 Magna 5 tckets on the NYRA internet betting site the past two weeks. Try again tomorrow perhaps??
steven_crist More than 1 year ago
Stringmail: No, it works like any other entry or mutuel field. If field horses run 1-2-3-4-5, the winning exacta would be the field over the 6th-place finisher. Tim: I can't find Derby Futures on my NYRA Rewards menu either.
ray flack More than 1 year ago
Interesting, this exacta futures. I"m with you, Steve. Wait and see. See, then pounce.
stringmail More than 1 year ago
Steve, It was interesting to note that the 24 over the 24 is not an option so it is possible that there could be no winning exacta tickets for this future bet if field horses finish 1-2. Perhaps it is a coding limitation but this seems similar to the quik-pik omission of Big Brown from the superfecta bets (and others?) through Scientific Games last year. A player couldn't bet his preferred horses even they wanted to.
Tim More than 1 year ago
Steve, I am sure that you covered this at some point along the way. Does NYRA offer Derby/Oaks future bets on its online platform? I checked earlier today and didn't see the option available in the menu. Thanks, Tim