03/27/2014 3:47PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Field the early favorite in Pool 4

Shigeki Kikkawa
California Chrome was the 9-1 favorite among individual betting interests early in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The mutuel field occupied its customary spot as the favorite after the opening hours of betting into the fourth and final pool in the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which began a three-day run Thursday at noon Eastern.

As of 4:30 p.m., and with $22,660 in the win pool, the field, the 24th or “all others option,” was the 6-1 favorite, followed by California Chrome (9-1), Social Inclusion (9-1), Constitution (10-1), Cairo Prince (13-1), Hoppertunity (16-1), Intense Holiday (16-1), and Samraat (16-1). Another $9,634 had been bet in exactas.

Pool 4 will close Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern, prior to the runnings of the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby. As with any parimutuel wager, odds are not locked in until the pool closes. There are no refunds.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

The field was favored in all three of the earlier pools, which were held Nov. 27-30; Feb. 6-8; and Feb. 27-March 1.

This is the first year Churchill has had four futures pools for the Derby. Last fall, Churchill moved Pool 1 into a preceding calendar year for the first time.

Handle has slumped noticeably thus far for the Derby futures. Pool 3 handle was $334,326, down 18 percent versus the corresponding period in 2013. Pool 2 handle was $380,249, down a whopping 39 percent for the corresponding period. And Pool 1 handle was $273,174, the fifth-lowest total since the futures were first offered in 1999.

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

Minimum wagers are $2 to win and $2 for exactas, although $1 boxes or part-wheels may be used to reach that $2 exacta minimum. In the case of field horses filling both exacta slots, the next-best finish by a separately listed horse will count toward the winning combination.

The 140th Derby will be run May 3.