Updated on 09/17/2011 9:54AM

Field early favorite once again


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Since Churchill Downs began offering its Kentucky Derby Future Wager in 1999, the mutuel field has been the morning-line and actual favorite in the first of three pools.

That trend appears destined to continue, because with no standout among the 23 separate betting interests, the field has been listed as the solid morning-line favorite in Pool 1 of the 2003 Future Wager, which opens Thursday at racetracks and wagering outlets throughout the United States.

The field, which is the 24th betting interest, was listed at 2-1 by Churchill linemaker Mike Battaglia and 3-1 by Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker. The field includes all 3-year-olds except the 23 listed as separate interests.

Watchmaker has listed Kafwain as the 8-1 second choice, followed by Sky Mesa (12-1) and Toccet (15-1).

Pool 1 opens Thursday at noon Eastern and is allowed to remain open at most sites until 10 p.m. The pool also is open from noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, when the bet closes. Pool 2 will be offered March 13-16 and Pool 3 April 3-6. The Future Wager is a win-only wager with a $2 minimum. Takeout is 16 percent.

Pool 1 is centered around three key Derby preps to be run this weekend: the Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, and the Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Sunday. The two later pools also are conducted during weekends of major activity.

Combined handle on the three Future Wager pools has risen every year, from $676,233 in 1999 to $1,503,806 last year. For Pool 1, the handle last year was $524,847.

The same 34 states that took the Future Wager last year will take it this year.

A new Future Wager on the Kentucky Oaks also will run concurrent with Pool 3.

The 129th Derby will be run May 3, one day after the Oaks.

Kentucky Derby future wager - 2003 pool one

NumberHorseMorning Line
1Apalachian Thunder30-1
3Badge of Silver50-1
4Domestic Disupte15-1
5Empire Maker20-1
6Funny Cide30-1
7Indy Dancer20-1
9Lion Tamer20-1
10Man Among Men30-1
11Ministers Wild Cat20-1
12Offlee Wild15-1
13Ozzie Cat50-1
14Peace Rules30-1
15Saintly Look30-1
16Seattle Hoofer50-1
17Senor Swinger20-1
19Sky Mesa8-1
20Ten Cents A Shine20-1
22Trust N Luck20-1
24All other 3 YO's2-1

Morning line odds by Mike Battaglia