03/27/2010 12:00AM

Eskendereya, field future favorites

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Three entities are vying for favoritism after the first of three days of wagering into Pool 3 of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. A mere $2 difference made Eskendereya a slight choice over the mutuel field, with both standing at 9-2, while Lookin At Lucky was right behind at 5-1.

As wagering was set to begin Saturday, and with $39,018 in the win pool, that trio was followed by Awesome Act at 13-1, Ice Box at 14-1, and a foursome at 19-1: Conveyance, Dublin, Noble's Promise, and Odysseus. Exacta wagering totaled $14,086 at the same juncture.

Eskendereya had drawn $5,484 in win wagering to $5,482 for the field.

The field, the 24th or "all others" option, closed as the favorite in the two pools offered earlier this year. The field was 3-2 in Pool 1 (held Feb. 12-14) and 3-1 in Pool 2 (March 5-7).

Only two of the 23 separately listed interests in Pool 3, Connemara and Discreetly Mine, were scheduled to be in action while betting remained opened this weekend. They were to race Saturday in the Lane's End Stakes and Louisiana Derby, respectively.

Two other separate interests, Conveyance and Tempted to Tapit, also were scheduled to race this weekend in the Sunland Derby, but that race will not be run until well after Pool 3 closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Roughly half the handle in any given futures pool typically is bet on a Sunday. Last year, a total of $377,158 was bet into Pool 3, fourth-lowest in history. Combined handle for the first two pools in the 2010 futures was $821,901. The record three-pool aggregate, set in 2005, is $1,665,990.

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