05/01/2014 1:40PM

Futures pool offers best wagering value for Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Candy Boy likely will be the biggest underlay in the Kentucky Derby futures pool, as he was 12-1 in Pool 3 and most likely will be a bigger price for the Saturday race.

Derby futures players holding tickets at 30-1 and 32-1 on California Chrome are among those with the best long-term wagering value on Kentucky Derby 140.

This was the first year Churchill Downs had four pools in its Kentucky Derby Future Wager, offered annually since 1999. The pools were offered Nov. 27-30, Feb. 6-8, Feb. 27-March 1, and March 27-29.

California Chrome, the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Derby, was 30-1 in Pool 2, 32-1 in Pool 3, and 9-1 in Pool 4 after he easily won the San Felipe Stakes but before he won the April 5 Santa Anita Derby.

Other value plays in the futures include Intense Holiday, 69-1 in Pool 2; Tapiture, 38-1 in Pool 2; Uncle Sigh, 73-1 in Pool 2; Vicar’s in Trouble, 52-1 in Pool 3; and Ride On Curlin, 49-1 in Pool 4.

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Probably the biggest underlay is Candy Boy, who was just 12-1 in Pool 3 and most likely will be a bigger price Saturday.

The mutuel field, the 24th or “all others” option in each pool, closed as the favorite every time, at 4-5, 3-2, 3-1, and 5-1.

By far the best bets in all four pools are the 24-17 and 24-18 exacta combinations of the field over Pablo Del Monte and Ride On Curlin in Pool 1; those $2 exacta will-pays are $229.20 and $203. Remarkably, Pablo Del Monte and Ride On Curlin are the only separate betting interests to make the Derby lineup from the first pool. When field horses occupy the top two or more spots, the futures exacta payoff is completed with the highest finish of a non-field horse.

Seven of the Derby starters were separately listed in Pool 2, eight in Pool 3, and 12 in Pool 4.

Even with four pools, aggregate handle was $1,324,467, well short of the 2005 record of almost $1.6 million.

** For yet another year, it appears there will be a Derby without an outrageous longshot. Even with the mathematical implications of 20 starters, there almost certainly will be no horse above the 99-1 threshold, perpetuating a trend of recent years.

The last time a horse was higher than that was 2001, when Startac ran 10th at 102-1 and Arctic Boy was 12th at 101-1. The all-time Derby record for highest odds was set in 1958, when A Dragon Killer ran seventh of 14 at a whopping 294-1.

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There are four horses listed at 50-1 for this Derby: Harry’s Holiday, We Miss Artie, Commanding Curve, and Pablo Del Monte. Churchill’s Battaglia won’t list a horse any higher out of respect for the connections.

“I think our horse will be the longest shot on the board,” said Terry Raymond, one of the co-owners of Harry’s Holiday. “But I think he’ll outrun his odds.”

Perhaps the main reason for the dearth of huge prices is that horses don’t have nearly as many career races as in the bygone era, when form typically was well established with 20 or more starts going into the Derby.

** Ken Ramsey has been eating up all the attention he’s gotten this week as the owner of two Derby starters. At the Wednesday post draw, Ramsey consented to as many interviews as requests after Vicar’s in Trouble was assigned post 1 and We Miss Artie got post 7.

“We’re here, which is a lot more than most owners can say,” said Ramsey, who with his wife, Sarah, won 2013 Eclipse Awards for top owner and breeder. “Winning the Derby is at the top of my bucket list. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Saturday.”

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From Pool 1 -1 horse left from 23 (Ride On Curlin) From Pool 2 - 7/23 From Pool 3 - 9/23 From Pool 4 - 11/23 From Oaks Pool - 7/23 The real story is with a 19% takeout and no refunds for non-entered/scratches is there any value at all.
edb More than 1 year ago
Walter, there is no more value at CD. They don't care about their customers and they are starting to kill the future bet. Is the answer a november bet which is almost impossible to hit for lagging sales? How about expanding the bet to the top 50 horses and give better odds to your customers? Keep drinking your Juleps and gouging your customers. They can't even handle a HOF jockey, Ron T. Shame on them for making it a two day meet for me. CD now means Closed Down.
Walter More than 1 year ago
The future pools would be a much better opportunity if CDI didn't have such a high takeout on the bet. Why is there a 19 percent take for this? It's a future bet, there are very minimal costs associated with this prop. If they wanted to really offer "VALUE", they would make takeout 7-8 % and it would really give the players something to consider. No need for more fluff pieces, Marty.
Pete Mackin More than 1 year ago
If Harry's Holiday finishes 19th he will outrun his odds...
Jim Aljian More than 1 year ago
The author missed the mark on the best exacta payoffs in Pool no. 1. That would be 18 and 17 at $5168 and 17 and 18 at $4373. I would guess that the real odds for a Pablo/Curlin exacta would be much higher, but it would not be a complete surprise to see Curlin 1st or 2nd. Somebody out there has that ticket. Anyone who had Field to Curlin is probably quite unhappy about the Hoppy scratch as that removed their lock on the exacta wager win. Curlin could have finished last and they still would have won. Not now.
jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
Future pools are great bets..jJust ask the the people who bet Hoppertunity.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
* rim shot! Ouch!