11/24/2015 10:33AM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens with new option

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Susie Raisher
Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist is the lowest price among individually listed horses at 10-1.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The first of four pools in the 2016 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens Thursday with something of a twist – for the first time, a separate wager involving the sires of Derby runners also will be available.

The new Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager is modeled after the future wager offered annually by Churchill Downs since 1999. It requires bettors to pick the sire of the Derby winner from a list of 23 stallions, although the morning line for this novelty wager suggests the 24th or “all others” wagering option could be a heavy favorite.

“We’ve been looking for years for a way to expand on our popular future wager and thought this would be a fun way to do it,” said Churchill media relations director Darren Rogers.

Both wagers will span four days, from noon Eastern on Thursday to 6 p.m. Sunday. For both wagers, win and exacta wagers are available at a $2 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 mutuel field, the 24th or “all others” option, has been the Pool 1 favorite without exception in the regular futures wager every year. Churchill oddsmaker Mike Battaglia made the field his 7-5 morning-line choice this year, while the unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist is the lowest individual at 10-1. Three colts are pegged next at 15-1 – Brody’s Cause, Mohaymen, and Swipe – while all others are 20-1 or higher.

The 2015 Derby winner, American Pharoah, paid $27.60 and topped a $58 exacta over the mutuel field as a separately listed interest in Pool 1. He paid $7.80 on Derby Day.

The dates for the three remaining pools are Feb. 12-14, March 11-13, and April 1-3, and all will run Friday to Sunday. A single Kentucky Oaks pool will coincide with Pool 3 in March. The futures wagers are available through most North American outlets and advance-deposit wagering sites.

Churchill expanded from three futures pools to four in advance of the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

As for the new sires futures, virtually all of the most accomplished North American sires are on the roster. Tapit, the world’s leading sire in various categories, has the most representation in Pool 1 with three colts – Conquest Big E, Mohaymen, and Synchrony.

Eleven of the 23 colts in Pool 1 have sires who are not individually listed.

Rogers said the criteria for choosing individual sires for the new wager included stud fee, crop size, overall prowess, individual prospects for the 2016 Derby, and Derby history as both a runner and sire.

KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 1
Horse Odds
Airoforce 20-1
Annual Report 30-1
Brody's Cause 15-1
Cocked and Loaded 30-1
Conquest Big E 50-1
Drefong 30-1
Exaggerator 30-1
Flexibility 30-1
Gift Box 30-1
Greenpointcrusader 30-1
Gun Runner 30-1
Matt King Coal 20-1
Mohaymen 15-1
Mor Spirit 20-1
Nyquist 10-1
Rated R Superstar 50-1
Riker 30-1
Sail Ahoy 30-1
Sunny Ridge 50-1
Swipe 15-1
Synchrony 30-1
Toews on Ice 30-1
Unbridled Outlaw 30-1
Mutel Field (All others) 7-5