03/01/2013 5:32PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Field 8-5 Pool 2 favorite as Saturday wagering begins

Tom Keyser
At the close of wagering on Friday, Verrazano, at 10-1, was second choice to the 8-5 field in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The mutuel field was bet down to clear-cut favoritism after the first full day of wagering in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, leaving all 23 of the separately listed wagering choices at double-digit odds.

After wagering on Friday, the first of three days for Pool 2, the field – the 24th or “all others” option – was the 8-5 favorite, with Verrazano next at 10-1. He was closely followed by Flashback, Itsmyluckyday, and Orb, all at 12-1, and then Revolutionary (13-1), Super Ninety Nine (18-1), and Shanghai Bobby (20-1).

Combined handle on Friday was $62,287, with $49,937 in the win pool and $12,350 in exactas.

Six new horses have been assimilated into the futures lineup since Pool 1 was held Feb. 8-10, when the field closed as the 3-2 favorite over Verrazano (11-1). The third and final pool is set for March 22-24.

Pool 2 typically has drawn the lightest handle of the three Derby pools since Churchill Downs first began offering futures in 1999. Last year, combined handle was $401,368; the record for a Pool 2 was $511,655, set in 2005, the same year the record was set for the three-pool aggregate handle ($1,665,990).

Combined handle for Pool 1 three weeks ago was $621,493, the second-largest single-pool total ever.

The only major Derby prep to be run this weekend is the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes today at Aqueduct. Two separately listed horses are in the Gotham field: Vyjack (23-1) and Overanalyze (41-1). Also, Titletown Five, at 81-1 one of the longest futures prices through Friday wagering, runs today in an overnight sprint stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Pool 2 coincides with the only futures pool being offered this year on the Kentucky Oaks. The Oaks and Derby are set for May 3 and 4, respectively.

As for the Oaks futures, Flashy Gray closed Friday as the 5-1 favorite, followed by Unlimited Budget (6-1), the field (7-1), Pure Fun (8-1), Beholder (10-1), Emollient (10-1), and Midnight Lucky (10-1). Win handle was $11,198 and exacta handle was $3,868.

The only Oaks prep scheduled for this weekend is the Grade 1 Las Virgenes on Saturday at Santa Anita. Three of the 23 fillies listed in the Oaks futures are in the race: Beholder, Fiftyshadesofhay (27-1), and Renee’s Titan (80-1).

The Oaks pool closes Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, a half-hour after the Derby pool closes. As with any parimutuel wager, odds can continue to change until closing time. More than half the handle in any given futures pool typically is bet on the final day.

Real-time odds and exacta will-pays are available on selected monitors at tracks and wagering outlets where futures are offered, as well as on kentuckyderby.com and kentuckyoaks.com.