03/31/2011 6:34PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager drops Comma to the Top

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Benoit & Associates
Comma to the Top, with Corey Nakatani up, wins the CashCall Futurity.

Comma to the Top, the winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity last December and two other stakes in 2010, was withdrawn from this weekend's third round of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Thursday after trainer Peter Miller told Churchill Downs officials that the Kentucky Derby is not likely to figure in the gelding's plans this spring.

The pool for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens at noon, Eastern, on Friday, and continues until 6 p.m., Eastern, on Sunday. Without Comma to the Top, the pool will feature 22 individual horses and a field that includes all other runners.

No bets will be accepted on Comma to the Top as an individual horse in the win or exacta pools of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. As a result of Miller's comments, Comma to the Top is now included in the field section.

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"The Derby Future bet carries a higher risk than most parimutuel wagers, so this decision to freeze wagering on Comma to the Top is an effort to look out for the best interests of all patrons who support this special wager," John Asher, Churchill's vice president of racing communications, said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.

Miller was quoted in Friday's Daily Racing Form saying that he did not envision Comma to the Top traveling to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, expressing concern about the race distance of 1 1/4 miles. "We're not going to the Kentucky Derby," he said. "We'll see what happens. I've discussed it with the owners and we're in the same mindset. I'm not on the Derby trail. I'm on the pre-Derby trail."

Owned by a partnership, Comma to the Top is scheduled to make his next start in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9. A gelding, he has won 6 of 12 starts and $578,600, but has been fourth in two starts this year - the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 12 and the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 12.

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