02/12/2012 11:26AM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Field a heavy favorite entering final day of Pool 1

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The third of three days of wagering into Pool 1 of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will start with the mutuel field as the 6-5 favorite after $273,517 was bet into the win pool Friday and Saturday. Pool 1 closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern, and as with any parimutuel wager, odds will change throughout the weekend, with final odds established at closing time.

The field, the 24th or “all others” option, stood as the 6-5 choice Sunday morning, followed by Union Rags (7-1), Algorithms (13-1), El Padrino (16-1), Alpha (17-1), and Creative Cause (19-1).

The exacta pool drew $57,542 during the first two days, bringing the two-day total to $331,059.

Handle last year for Pool 1 was $592,492; that was the second-highest in the 13-year history of the futures offered since 1999 by Churchill Downs, while the median handle is just more than $500,000. The Sunday of every pool tends to draw more handle than the other days.

Every year since Churchill began offering parimutuel futures in 1999, the field has closed as the favorite in Pool 1. A Pool 1 field horse has wound up winning the Derby in six of those 13 prior years, the latest being Animal Kingdom last year.

In all prior years, the odds on the field invariably have drifted above the even-money mark, but in a wide-open year such as this, bettors might well keep the field below 2-1.

The 138th Derby will be run May 5. Pool 2 is set for March 2-4 and Pool 3 for March 30 to April 1. A single Kentucky Oaks futures pool will be offered this year, to run concurrently with Derby Pool 2.

Real-time updates of win odds and exacta probables are available through a number of sources, including television monitors at tracks and wagering outlets and on kentuckyderby.com.