02/10/2012 9:09PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager handles $104K on first day; field is 3-5 favorite

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Barbara D. Livingston
Union Rags is the lowest-priced single entry at 8-1 on Day 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The second of three days of wagering into Pool 1 of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager will start with the mutuel field as the 3-5 favorite after $104,126 was bet into the win pool Friday. Pool 1 closes Sunday at 6 p.m., 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 3-5 choice Saturday morning, followed by Union Rags (8-1), Algorithms (17-1), Alpha (21-1), Hansen (24-1), and Creative Cause (27-1).

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The exacta pool drew $19,257 on Friday, with the lowest $2 exacta will-pay being $72.40 for the 24-23 combination of the field over Union Rags. Many will-pays are in five figures.

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.

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.

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.