05/01/2009 11:00PM

Friesan Fire on top in early betting

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Friesan Fire was a lukewarm 9-2 favorite for the 135th Kentucky Derby after early wagering for the race closed Friday evening.

As of 7 p.m. Eastern, and with $463,185 bet into the win pool, General Quarters was a surprise second choice at 5-1, with the morning-line favorite I Want Revenge the third choice at 6-1. Dunkirk was fourth at 8-1, Chocolate Candy fifth at 9-1, and Pioneerof the Nile sixth at 10-1.

Preliminary odds generally are a fair indicator of what the closing odds will be, even though advance wagering in the win pool accounts for less than even 10 percent of the final total.

Rachel-Revenge combination favored in doubles

The win by heavily favored Rachel Alexandra in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday led to some very small will-pay possibilities in the Oaks-Derby double, the annual two-day wager offered every year since 1996 by Churchill Downs.

The smallest possible $2 payoff is $12.20 on the 6-13 combination of Rachel Alexandra and I Want Revenge. The next smallest combinations end with Friesan Fire ($14.20), Dunkirk ($20.20), and Pioneerof the Nile ($23). The Oaks-Derby double pool was $1,514,974.

The Oaks also led off a new two-day wager, the Oaks-Woodford-Derby pick three, which drew a handle of $525,734.

* With the 45-1 victory by Orthodox in the American Turf giving a big assist, the Friday pick six (races 6-11) carried over to Saturday, when the pool will start with $137,981. The Saturday pick six goes on races 6-11.

EARLY KENTUCKY DERBY ODDS

1. West Side Bernie, 48-1

2. Musket Man, 26-1

3. Mr. Hot Stuff, 33-1

4. Advice, 50-1

5. Hold Me Back, 11-1

6. Friesan Fire, 9-2

7. Papa Clem, 13-1

8. Mine That Bird, 48-1

9. Join in the Dance, 57-1

10. Regal Ransom, 34-1

11. Chocolate Candy, 9-1

12. General Quarters, 5-1

13. I Want Revenge, 6-1

14. Atomic Rain, 68-1

15. Dunkirk, 8-1

16. Pioneerof the Nile, 10-1

17. Summer Bird, 35-1

18. Nowhere to Hide, 52-1

19. Desert Party, 24-1

20. Flying Private, 37-1

Win pool: $463,185

OAKS-DERBY DOUBLE $2 WILL-PAYS

Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra (No. 6) with:

1. West Side Bernie, $149.00

2. Musket Man, 85.80

3. Mr. Hot Stuff, 142.40

4. Advice, 194.40

5. Hold Me Back, 49.00

6. Friesan Fire, 14.20

7. Papa Clem, 61.40

8. Mine That Bird, 309.20

9. Join in the Dance, 307.00

10. Regal Ransom, 65.80

11. Chocolate Candy, 51.00

12. General Quarters, 75.40

13. I Want Revenge, 12.20

14. Atomic Rain, 344.40

15. Dunkirk, 20.20

16. Pioneerof the Nile, 23.00

17. Summer Bird, 163.80

18. Nowhere to Hide, 334.80

19. Desert Party, 50.60

20. Flying Private, 310.40

Oaks-Derby Double pool: $1,514,974