Updated on 09/16/2011 7:08AM

Harlan's Holiday is Pool 3 choice


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The wide-open nature of the 128th Kentucky Derby is perhaps no better illustrated than the results of Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed its four-day run Sunday with 12 of the 24 betting interests clustered in the 7-1 to 19-1 range.

Harlan's Holiday is the lukewarm 7.10-1 choice, but there is precious little breathing room between him and the other 3-year-olds that bettors in 34 states view as the top contenders for the May 4 Derby. Next in line are Johannesburg (8.10-1), Came Home (8.70-1), Saarland (9.30-1), the mutuel field (11-1) and Medaglia d'Oro (11.80-1), and Repent (12.40-1). Five more horses closed in the range of 13-1 to 19-1.

Understandably, results of the weekend had some effect on Pool 3, with Came Home being bet down after his Santa Anita Derby victory, and the odds on Johannesburg and Repent drifting up slightly after their respective defeats in Ireland and Chicago. Meanwhile, many of the favorites, led by Harlan's Holiday, were not active because they will make their final Derby preps this coming weekend.

As occurred with Pools 1 and 2, handle on Pool 3 set another record, with $524,847 being bet Thursday through Sunday. The aggregate total of $1,503,806 for all three pools also was a record in the four-year history of the Future Wager.

The Pool 3 handle, which was up 23 percent over last year, is the second-largest single pool total in history, trailing only the $577,889 bet in Pool 1 this year. The aggregate total is an increase of 15 percent over the record total established last year and more than doubles the $676,233 wagered in the inaugural year of 1999. The records for this year were widly predicted because California was among four states participating for the first time.

Churchill president Alex Waldrop called the record handle a "testament to the strength of this young wagering product" while thanking racing fans across the country for their enthusiasm.

Harlan's Holiday gives the 2002 Future Wager three different favorites. The mutuel field - the "all others" option - was the 5-2 choice in Pool 1 in February, and Siphonic, who since has been declared from Derby consideration, was the 6-1 favorite in Pool 2 in March.

Pool 3 Final Odds

Azillion 56-1

Blue Burner 19-1

Booklet 32-1

Buddha 13-1

Came Home 8-1

Castle Gandolfo 32-1

Danthebluegrassman 78-1

Eastyfromthegitgo 49-1

Easy Grades 19-1

Equality 105-1

Essence of Dubai 17-1

Harlan's Holiday 7-1

Johannesburg 8-1

Mayakovsky 43-1

Medaglia d'Oro 11-1

Mr. Mellon 49-1

Perfect Drift 22-1

Private Emblem 231-1

Repent 12-1

Request for Parole 58-1

Saarland 9-1

Sunday Break 15-1

U S S Tinosa 60-1

All other 3yos 11-1