01/06/2009 12:00AM

Churchill sets future-bet dates

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Churchill Downs will again offer three separate pools for its Kentucky Derby Future Wager this year but will scale back the Kentucky Oaks future wager to one pool, the company announced on Tuesday.

The pools for the Derby wager will be offered Feb 12-15, March 12-15, and April 2-5. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 2 this year.

The lone pool for the Kentucky Oaks will be offered concurrently with the Derby pool on March 12-15, Churchill said in a release. Although the future wager for the Oaks was initially offered as a one-pool bet when it was instituted in 2003, it has been offered in three pools for the past five years.

The future wager, a parimutuel bet, allows bettors to select among 23 individual horses that are eligible to win the Derby or Oaks. A field bet covers all other eligible horses. The first Kentucky Derby future wager was held in 1999.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the dates for the pools at a meeting on Tuesday.