02/07/2013 4:45PM

Byron King: Kentucky Derby Future Wager has standouts among 'all others'

Barbara D. Livingston
Imported to the United States last year, Cerro has improved on dirt and since being treated with Lasix.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Some day, United Tote and its parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., will find a way to allow wagering on more than 24 separate betting interests in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which has its first pool this weekend.

That day, unfortunately, is not today. So those without access to wagering in Las Vegas – where some race books offer odds on hundreds of horses – must choose between Churchill’s 23 separate betting interests, or the 24th option, that being the field, otherwise known as “all other 3-year-olds.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

With strength in volume, the field is the morning-line favorite at 9-5 odds for Pool 1, open from noon Friday to 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.

Despite its favoritism, a wager on the field, being more of a wide-ranging shotgun blast than a long-range successful rifle shot, doesn’t really quicken your pulse, or provide any bragging rights.

For some, if not many, future-book wagering on the Derby is done with the hope of a chest-thumping experience, as if to say, “I told you this horse was a standout in February!” If successful, the money, while nice, can be almost secondary for those taking small monetary stabs at it.

For those who want to bet the field, or simply want to hedge a little by playing some tickets in the wagering after backing a few separate interests, here’s a quick look at 10 leading prospects offered among the “all others” option.

Because many past performances list these horses in alphabetical order, the horses below are shown similarly, not in order of preference.

Always in a Tiz: On the board in all three starts, this horse is by a stamina sire in Tiznow and was closing fastest when he was a close third in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn on Jan. 21. A Feb. 5 half-mile work in 49.80 seconds seems to indicate he remains in good form.

Belvin: Second first time out to crack sprinter Distinctiv Passion, he returned to win a maiden race at Santa Anita on Dec. 26 in fast time, running a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. Although yet to route, he has trained quickly in recent weeks for trainer Bob Baffert and has a distance pedigree, being by Empire Maker out of a Storm Bird mare.

Cerro: Imported to the United States last year, he has improved on dirt and since being treated with Lasix. He led throughout in winning a 1 1/8-mile dirt allowance at Gulfstream on Jan. 26 for the 2011 Kentucky Derby-winning connections of trainer Graham Motion and owner Team Valor International.

Demonic: Like Flashback, one of the current Derby favorites, every clocker in California seemed to like him before his debut at Santa Anita on Jan. 13, and though he won by only a head, he defeated an easy next-out winner in Tiz the Truth. His trainer, John Sadler, insists this horse wants to route, and since he is by Bernardini, one would think so.

Honorable Dillon: He just won the Grade 2, seven-furlong Hutcheson over a quick field that included the previously unbeaten Forty Tales. He hasn’t routed, but he’s steady-paced and by Tapit, a top distance sire.

My Name is Michael: Making his first start on dirt after racing exclusively on Polytrack at Woodbine last year, this colt rallied to be a respectable third in the Sam. F. Davis behind Falling Sky and Dynamic Sky – giving him two stakes placings in as many route starts. With Bill Mott training him this year, he could improve.

Palace Malice: Although upset in his seasonal debut, finishing second behind Majestic Hussar in a swiftly run Gulfstream allowance in the slop, this colt lost little in defeat. He likely needed that race to regain fitness, and Majestic Hussar is 2 for 2 in the slop. Unraced beyond seven furlongs, but Palace Malice has stamina bloodlines, being by Curlin out of a Royal Anthem mare.

Proud Strike: A colt by Smart Strike from a lovely female family, he has moved forward with each race, capped by a 7 1/2-length romp going two turns at Fair Grounds on Jan. 12 in his third and most-recent start. That earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure, and the form from the race was validated when the third-place finisher returned to win.

Shakin It Up: By crack sprinter Midnight Lute, he doesn’t have distance pedigree, but he has closed well in his sprints and may run further than his bloodlines suggest. Out of action since finishing third in the Hollywood Prevue, he is now working regularly after being absent from the work tab early in the year.

Tiz the Truth: A close second to Demonic in a maiden race Jan. 13, this colt by Tiznow successfully stretched out in distance and won a mile race by 7 3/4 lengths on the lead, posting a 94 Beyer. He capitalized by setting a slow pace, but as he proved with his off-the-pace effort to be second to Demonic, he’s good under any scenario.