04/06/2008 11:00PM

Big Brown favorite in Derby Future Wager Pool 3

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Big Brown closed as the 3-1 favorite in the third and final pool of the 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, with Pyro the 5-1 second choice and Colonel John next at 6-1.

Big Brown, the unbeaten Florida Derby winner who will come into the May 3 Kentucky Derby with just three career starts, was the favorite at the end of all four days in Pool 3, which opened Thursday and closed Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern. In the first two pools, which were conducted Feb. 7-10 and March 6-9, Big Brown was so untested and unheralded that he was a member of the mutuel field, the 24th or "all others" option.

Clearly the horse to take the most action in Pool 3 based on his performance in a Derby prep race last weekend was Colonel John, winner of the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. The colt was 17-1 on the morning of the race before closing as third choice Sunday evening.

After Colonel John, next in line were the field (14-1), War Pass (14-1), Tale of Ekati (18-1), Court Vision (19-1), and Visionaire (19-1).

The lowest price on a Pool 3 horse has been 2-1 on both Fusaichi Pegasus, the 2000 winner, and Point Given, fifth in 2001.

Handle on Pool 3 was just $291,835, third-lowest in the 10 years since Churchill Downs first began offering parimutuel futures. Only the $222,261 handled in 2003 and the $229,674 handled in the first year of the bet, 1999, were lower. Moreover, the aggregate three-pool total of $1,056520 this year exceeded only the 1999 total of $676,233. The highest aggregate handle was $1,665,990 in 2005.

Meanwhile, the Larry Jones-trained duo of Eight Belles (5-1) and Proud Spell (6-1) are the lukewarm favorites atop a well-balanced lineup in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Oaks futures, which ran simultaneous to its Derby counterpart and closed Sunday at 6:30.

Eight of the 24 betting interests in Oaks Pool 3 are 12-1 or under. After the Jones fillies are Country Star (7-1), Pure Clan (8-1), Bsharpsonata (8-1), Little Belle (11-1), the field (11-1), and Shes All Eltish (12-1).

Handle on Oaks Pool 3 was $47,116, bringing the three-pool aggregate to $174,838. Since Churchill began offering three annual Oaks pools in 2004, handle typically has drawn only about 15 percent of what the Derby gets.


Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Pool 3

(No.; Horse; Pool 1 odds; Pool 2 odds; $2 Will-pay for Pool 3:

1. Adriano, 3-1*, 6-1*, $78.60

2. Atoned, 3-1*, 6-1*, 121.00

3. Big Brown, 3-1*, 6-1*, 8.60

4. Big Truck, 3-1*, 6-1*, 67.80

5. Blackberry Road, 47-1, 45-1, 95.20

6. Bob Black Jack, 58-1, 49-1, 86.00

7. Colonel John, 19-1, 17-1, 15.40

8. Cool Coal Man, 3-1*, 26-1, 42.00

9. Court Vision, 15-1, 16-1, 40.00

10. Denis of Cork, 46-1, 12-1, 55.20

11. El Gato Malo, 16-1, 15-1, 45.40

12. Gayego, 3-1*, 111-1, 117.80

13. Liberty Bull, 3-1*, 6-1*, 150.20

14. My Pal Charlie, 3-1*, 6-1*, 148.40

15. Pyro, 5-1, 4-1, 12.40

16. Salute the Sarge, 3-1*, 6-1*, 193.80

17. Smooth Air, 159-1, 192-1, 62.20

18. Tale of Ekati, 33-1, 47-1, 39.40

19. Tomcito, 3-1*, 6-1*, 67.40

20. Visionaire, 3-1*, 19-1, 40.00

21. War Pass, 6-1, 9-2, 31.60

22. Yankee Bravo, 48-1, 41-1, 125.40

23. Z Fortune, 37-1, 33-1, 110.40

24. Field (all others), 3-1, 6-1, 30.60

* - denotes field horse in previous pools.