05/02/2008 8:37PM

What the Will-pays Say


Over $2.02 million was wagered on the Oaks-Derby double, and I've found the will-pays to be at least as good a guide to likely Derby odds as the advance betting on the race itself. Below is the list of payoffs, the percentage of the live pool they represent, and the equivalent win odds based on those percentages (including Kentucky's 16 percent win-pool takeout). I've also listed the advance-wagering win-pool odds as of 6:30 p.m., with just $446,183 in that pool:

I'd recommend caution over some of the anomalies in the advance-betting win pool vs. the willpay equivalents, like Eight Belles being just 8-1 as opposed to 20-1 or Big Truck being 20-1 instead of 80-1. The DD pool was over four times larger than the Friday win pool, and it's hard to imagine many people other than casual visitors and souvenir collectors buying their tickets a day in advance.

A few other observations on the willpays:

*53.3 percent of the total betting was on just 3 of the 20 Derby horses -- Big Brown, Colonel John and Pyro.

*Court Vision was a very surprising fourth choice in the betting, at the equivalent of just 12-1.

*Seven horses are at least twice their morning-line price in the equivalent-odds, including Tale of Ekati (15) at 31-1, Cool Coal Man (20) at 43-1, Bob Black Jack (20) at 51-1 and Recapturetheglory (20) at 58-1.

*Big Truck is the early leader over Anak Nakal for Longest of the Long