01/30/2006 1:00AM

Field has familiar place as early public choice

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - This is the eighth year that Churchill Downs has offered parimutuel futures on the Kentucky Derby, and at least one thing has remained constant: The mutuel field is always the favorite in the first of three pools.

Once again, the field, or the "all others" alternative to the 23 separately listed wagering options, was a decisive favorite when Pool 1 of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed Sunday evening. The field closed as the 3-1 choice and would return $8 for a $2 wager.

First Samurai closed as the 7-1 second choice, followed by the 2-year-old champion, Stevie Wonderboy, at 8-1. Next in line were Private Vow (14-1), Bluegrass Cat (15-1), and Brother Derek (16-1).

Even though the Jan. 26-29 dates were the earliest that Churchill has ever offered future wagers, total handle during the four-day run was $552,627, third highest in Futures history. The record was set last year in Pool 1 when $620,362 was bet.

Pool 1 field horses have won three of the seven Derbies since Churchill started the futures: Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), and Smarty Jones (2004). The largest payoff in Futures history came from Pool 1 in 2003, when Funny Cide paid $188.

Meanwhile, in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which was held concurrently with the Derby Futures, the field also closed as the favorite over the 23 separately listed entries. At 7-2, the field would return $9. The 6-1 second choice was the 2-year-old filly champion, Folklore, followed by Wild Fit (7-1), Balance (13-1), and French Park (15-1).

The Oaks handle was just $66,548, continuing a familiar trend. Since Churchill first offered Oaks Futures in 2003, each pool typically has drawn barely more than one-tenth of what the Derby Futures handled.

Pool 2 for both the Derby and Oaks futures is set for March 2-5, and Pool 3 for April 6-9. The Oaks and Derby will be run May 5 and 6, respectively.

Final Pool 1 Kentucky Derby odds

No.HorseOdds$2 will pay
1A.P. Warrior31-1$64.40
2 Achilles of Troy26-154.40
3 Barbaro 19-1 40.20
4 Barbican 18-1 38.80
5 Blazing Rate101-1 204.60
6 Bluegrass Cat 15-1 33.40
7 Bob and John 31-1 65.40
8 Brother Derek 16-1 35.00
9 Cause to Believe 59-1 120.60
10 Doctor Decherd 68-1 139.20
11 First Samurai 7-1 17.80
12 Flashy Bull 45-1 92.80
13 Half Ours 33-1 68.20
14Henny Hughes 27-1 57.40
15 High Cotton 62-1 127.20
16 Itsallboutthechase48-1 98.40
17 Keyed Entry 53-1 109.60
18 Lawyer Ron 21-1 44.00
19 Point Determined 18-139.80
20 Private Vow 14-1 30.60
21 Sorcerer's Stone45-1 93.00
22 Stevie Wonderboy 8-1 18.40
23Your Tent Or Mine21-1 45.80
24Field (all others)3-18.00

Handle: $552,627

Final Pool 1 Kentucky Oaks odds

No.HorseOdds$2 will pay
1Adieu 18-1 $38.40
2Baghdaria 45-1 92.20
3Balance 13-1 29.80
4Better Now 43-1 89.80
5Celestial Legend 38-1 79.80
6Dance Daily 42-1 87.40
7Daytime Promise 46-1 95.60
8Diplomat Lady 26-1 55.40
9Ex Caelis 24-150.00
10Folklore 6-1 15.60
11French Park 15-1 32.60
12Itty Bitty Pretty 25-1 53.40
13Original Spin 19-1 41.00
14Sabatini 19-1 40.80
15Seam Seeker 53-1 108.20
16Sensation 36-1 74.60
17Silvestris 66-1 134.60
18Somethinaboutbetty 28-1 58.40
19Sugar Swirl 36-1 75.00
20Wait A While 49-1 100.20
21Wild Fit 7-1 16.00
22Wonder Lady Anne L 18-1 39.80
23 Yachats 37-1 76.60
24 Field (all others) 7-2 9.00

Handle: $66,548