01/26/2006 1:00AM

$10K bet makes Derby field favored


The mutuel field, the "all others" alternate to the 23 separately listed wagering options, was the even-money favorite Thursday after the opening hours of betting into Pool 1 of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

As of 4:30 p.m. Eastern, a total of $27,323 had been handled in the Derby futures, including $10,739 on the field. Churchill Downs officials reported that an early $10,000 bet at a Las Vegas simulcast outlet was what initially depressed the odds. Achilles of Troy and Stevie Wonderboy were the co-second choices at 8-1, followed by First Samurai at 15-1 and Bluegrass Cat at 17-1. Real-time odds are available at kentuckyderby.com.

Early action on the field has become something of a tradition for Pool 1 in the Future Wager. What typically transpires during the four-day wager is that the field will slowly drift upward while the odds on most of the individual interests will gradually get lower. Final odds are set with the close of wagering Sunday at 6 p.m.

Pool 1 for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager also opened Thursday, with the field (7-2) slightly favored over Folklore (4-1) after just $1,923 had been bet.

Pool 2 for the Derby and Oaks futures is set for March 2-5, and Pool 3 for April 6-9.