02/12/2012 6:29PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Field closes at 3-2 in Pool 1; handle sets record

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Barbara D. Livingston
Union Rags is the 7-1 second choice behind the field in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the 14th time in as many years, the mutuel field is the favorite in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern following a three-day run that set a record for highest handle since Churchill Downs first began offering parimutuel futures in 1999.

The field, the 24th or “all others” alternative to 23 separately listed interests, closed as the 3-2 favorite in the first of three futures pools being offered in the run-up to the 138th Derby on May 5. Union Rags is the distant second choice at 7-1, followed by Algorithms (12-1), El Padrino (16-1), Creative Cause (17-1), and Alpha (19-1).

Combined handle was $631,304, with $494,263 in the win pool and $137,041 in the exacta pool. Exactas were first offered in 2009.

The record handle for any futures pool had been $620,362, which was bet into Pool 1 in 2005, the same year the record of $1,665,990 for the highest three-pool aggregate was established. Last year, Pool 1 drew a combined handle of $592,492, which had ranked second-highest for a single pool until the top two marks were surpassed this weekend.

Understandably, Churchill officials were thrilled.

“We’re excited and a little surprised by the record Derby Future betting in Pool 1,” said company spokesman John Asher. “But it’s gratifying to see such a strong outbreak of Derby fever with about 80 days remaining until the big day. We felt some additional buzz heading into the pool in terms of media coverage and conversations and activity on social media. TwinSpires.com was also very active in marketing and promotion of the future bet, and we’re anxious to see wagering numbers from our online partners in the pool and assess the impact of that wagering segment on overall results.”

The lowest $2 will-pay for a Pool 1 exacta is the combination of Union Rags over the field (23-24), worth $59. There are numerous five-figure will-pays.

Pool 2 is set for March 2-4, and Pool 3 for March 30 to April 1. The only Kentucky Oaks futures pool of the year will be offered concurrent to Derby Pool 2.

Six field horses have wound up winning the Derby in the 13 years since Churchill started parimutuel futures in 1999, the latest being Animal Kingdom last year. A victory by a Pool 1 field horse would lead to a mere $5 payoff, which would rank as the lowest in futures history. The lowest is $5.60 after Smarty Jones won as a Pool 1 field horse in 2004.

2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Pool 1

# Horse Final
1. Algorithms 12-1
2. Alpha 19-1
3. Battle Hardened 46-1
4. Creative Cause 17-1
5. Discreet Dancer 30-1
6. Dullahan 40-1
7. El Padrino 16-1
8. Empire Way 33-1
9. Ever So Lucky 55-1
10. Fed Biz 21-1
11. Gemologist 22-1
12. Hansen 26-1
13. I’ll Have Another 29-1
14. Junebugred 58-1
15. Liaison 56-1
16. Longview Drive 141-1
17. Midnight Transfer 67-1
18. Mr. Bowling 85-1
19. Out of Bounds 23-1
20. Rousing Sermon 71-1
21. Sabercat 34-1
22. Take Charge Indy 42-1
23. Union Rags 7-1
24. Mutuel field (all others) 3-2