03/09/2011 12:09PM

Churchill Downs: Kentucky Derby, Oaks Future Wager fields set

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Barbara D. Livingston
If Uncle Mo wins his 3-year-old debut this weekend he will challenge the field for favoritism in pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Only four new names are in the lineup of 23 separately listed wagering interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, marking quite possibly the fewest changes since Churchill Downs first began offering parimutuel futures in 1999.

Pool 2, which opens its three-day run Friday at noon Eastern, comes three weeks after Pool 1 was offered Feb. 18-20. Pool 2 coincides with the only futures pool being offered this year on the Kentucky Oaks.

“I don’t remember so few changes from one pool to another,” said Churchill spokesman John Asher. “It seems like everyone is staying healthy, which is very good news, and they’re running reasonably well.”

FUTURE WAGER: Free past performances for Oaks and Derby Pool 2

Historically, more horses are dropped and added from one pool to another, with that number sometimes being as high as 10.

New horses for Pool 2 are Archarcharch, Elite Alex, Runflatout, and Sway Away. The displaced horses from Pool 1 are Clubhouse Ride, Decisive Moment, Indian Winter, and Tiz Blessed.

The mutuel field, the 24th or “all others” option, closed at 2-1 in Pool 1, marking the 13th time in as many years that the field has been favored in the first pool. Uncle Mo, the undefeated divisional champion, closed as the 7-2 second choice.

For Pool 2, it’s conceivable that Uncle Mo could close as the favorite when wagering ends Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern, depending on how the colt looks when he makes his 3-year-old debut Saturday in the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park. For the opening of Pool 2, however, Churchill linemaker Mike Battaglia has listed the field (No. 24) as a tepid 3-1 morning-line choice over Uncle Mo (No. 23) at 7-2. Soldat (No. 17) follows as the 8-1 third choice, with Dialed In (No. 6) and The Factor (No. 21) pegged as co-fourth choices at 10-1.

Besides the Timely Writer, two other Derby preps of significance will be run Saturday before Pool 2 closes: the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, and the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Kentucky Oaks

In the Kentucky Oaks futures, the field (No. 24) is the 5-2 morning-line choice, followed by R Heat Ligtning (No. 16, 8-1), Zazu (No. 23, 8-1), Dancinginherdreams (No. 4, 10-1), It’s Tricky (No. 9, 10-1), and Kathmanblu (No. 11, 12-1).

This is the first year that exacta wagering will be available on the Oaks, with the pool closing 30 minutes after Derby Pool 2 closes Sunday. Handle last year on the single Oaks pool offered was $61,901.

Win wagers and exactas for all futures are $2 minimums, although a $1 exacta box or part-wheel wager can be made. No exactas using the 24-24 combination (field-field) are sold. In the case of field horses eventually occupying the top spots, the separately listed horse finishing highest will complete the exacta for purposes of that pool.

Including exactas, the 2010 Pool 2 handle was $355,853, which exceeded the $310,154 bet into Pool 3. In all 12 prior years, Pool 1 handle has been greater than Pool 2 or Pool 3, while Pool 3 has drawn a higher handle than Pool 2 in seven of those years.

For 2011 Pool 1, total handle was $592,492, second-highest in the history of the wager (the record of $620,362 was set in 2005 Pool 1) and a 27 percent increase over the Pool 1 handle in 2010. Churchill officials said afterward that the resurgent handle for Pool 1 likely was attributable to several factors, including the possibility of an improving overall economy, and that it “was very encouraging to see, for us and for anybody in our business,” said Asher.

Pool 3 is set for April 1-3.

Lineups for all future wagers are chosen by Asher and by Mike Watchmaker and Brad Free of Daily Racing Form.
Win odds and exacta will-pays are available on selected monitors at tracks and wagering outlets where futures are offered, as well as on kentuckyderby.com and kentuckyoaks.com.

The Oaks and Derby both will be run at Churchill for the 137th time on May 6 and 7, respectively.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2
(No., Horse, Pool 1 odds, Pool 2 Morning-Line Odds)
1. Anthony’s Cross, 45-1, 30-1
2. Archarcharch, 2-1(f), 50-1
3. Astrology, 48-1, 50-1
4. Brethren, 15-1, 15-1
5. Comma to the Top, 90-1, 50-1
6. Dialed In, 8-1, 10-1
7. Elite Alex, 2-1(f), 50-1
8. Gourmet Dinner, 85-1, 30-1
9. J.P.’s Gusto, 79-1, 50-1
10. Jaycito, 21-1, 20-1
11. Machen, 49-1, 50-1
12. Mucho Macho Man, 30-1, 20-1
13. Rogue Romance, 34-1, 30-1
14. Runflatout, 2-1(f), 50-1
15. Santiva, 37-1, 30-1
16. Silver Medallion, 66-1, 50-1
17. Soldat, 18-1, 8-1
18. Stay Thirsty, 40-1, 20-1
19. Sway Away 2-1(f), 15-1
20. Sweet Ducky, 79-1, 50-1
21. The Factor, 25-1, 10-1
22. To Honor and Serve, 10-1, 15-1
23. Uncle Mo, 7-2, 7-2
24. All others (field), 2-1, 3-1
(f) – Field entry in Pool 1

Kentucky Oaks Future Wager
(No., Horse, Morning-Line Odds)
1. A Z Warrior, 15-1
2. Big Tiz, 20-1
3. Bouquet Booth, 20-1
4. Dancinginherdreams, 10-1
5. Delightful Mary, 15-1
6. Harlan’s Ruby, 20-1
7. Holy Heavens, 50-1
8. Inglorious, 30-1
9. It’s Tricky, 10-1
10. Joyful Victory, 20-1
11. Kathmanblu, 12-1
12. Mildly Offensive, 50-1
13. Miss Smarty Pants, 50-1
14. Oh Carole, 50-1
15. Pomeroys Pistol, 30-1
16. R Heat Lightning, 8-1
17. Rigoletta, 30-1
18. Royal Delta, 20-1
19. Salty Strike, 30-1
20. Snow Fall, 50-1
21. Summer Soiree, 50-1
22. Wyomia, 50-1
23. Zazu, 8-1
24. All others (field), 5-2