03/07/2010 12:00AM

Field horses win two Saturday stakes


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The mutuel field, which includes the winners of both prep races run this weekend, continued as a clear-cut favorite going into the last of three days of betting into Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Awesome Act, winner of the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday, and Alphie's Bet, winner of the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita later that afternoon, both are part of the field, the 24th or "all others" option in Pool 2. As of Sunday morning, and with $143,609 bet into the pool, the field was the 3-1 choice, followed by Eskendereya (6-1), Dublin (8-1), Lookin At Lucky (9-1), Buddy's Saint (19-1), and Noble's Promise (20-1).

Ten of the 23 horses in Derby Pool 2 were not separately listed interests when Pool 1 was held Feb. 12-14. The field closed as the 3-2 favorite in Pool 1.

Also being offered by Churchill Downs this weekend is the only future wager of the year on the Kentucky Oaks. Despite her loss Saturday in the Santa Anita Oaks, Blind Luck led after the second day of Oaks futures wagering as a tepid 9-2 favorite, followed by Christine Daae (6-1), the field (7-1), Amen Hallelujah (9-1), She Be Wild (14-1), and Negligee (15-1). Handle was $27,785.

Historically, Pool 2 has drawn the lowest handle among the three Derby pools offered annually. Last year, $325,206 was handled on Pool 2, including exactas. Churchill has made exacta wagering a staple of its Derby futures pools, but there is win wagering only on the Oaks futures.

Derby Pool 2 closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern, with the Oaks pool closing 30 minutes later. Typically, about half of the handle in a futures pool is wagered on Sundays.

Derby Pool 3 is set for March 26-28.