02/08/2014 6:59PM

Kentucky Derby Future Wager: Pool 2 handle dips, field is 3-2 favorite

Barbara D. Livingston
At 12-1, Honor Code is the lowest price individual entry in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The mutuel field closed as a big favorite Saturday, the third and final day of wagering into Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The field – the 24th or “all others” option – is the 3-2 favorite, followed by Honor Code (12-1), Cairo Prince (13-1), Top Billing (13-1), Shared Belief (14-1), Strong Mandate (17-1), and Midnight Hawk (19-1).

Pool 2 closed at 6 p.m. Eastern, about an hour before Candy Boy (32-1) won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. The Lewis was the only prep race with Derby points (10 to the winner) this weekend.

Combined handle on Pool 2 was $380,249, with $287,323 bet to win and $92,926 in exactas. That total was the second-lowest for a pool in the same time frame (behind the first-ever pool in 1999) and represents a 39 percent plunge from the corresponding pool last February, when combined handle on Pool 1 for the 2013 Derby was $621,493. The all-time single-pool record is $631,304, set in the first pool in 2012.

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

Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher said the sharp decrease was at least partly attributable to the fact that the New York Racing Association did not offer the bet to its customers, as well as poor weather throughout the East and other parts of the United States in recent days.

Churchill and NYRA have been unable over the past several weeks to negotiate a simulcast contract for 2014. The two sides have been operating under extensions since the beginning of the year, allowing their signals to remain available at each other’s properties, including their account-wagering platforms, but that extension did not apply to the future wager, according to Eric Wing, a spokesman for NYRA.

“We felt we could not offer the wager because we do not currently have a contract in place with CDI,” said Wing, in an emailed answer to questions. “We hope to have a resolution in time to offer the wager during its next pool. Both sides are continuing to negotiate.”

This is the 16th year Churchill has offered parimutuel futures; exacta wagering was added in 2009. In the case of field horses filling both exacta slots, the next-best finish by a separately listed horse counts toward the winning combination.

The lowest $2 exacta will-pay for Pool 2 is the field (No. 24) over Cairo Prince (No. 2), worth $69.20.

Pool 1 for the 2014 Derby was offered in late November, with the field closing as the 4-5 favorite. Combined handle for Pool 1 was $273,174, fifth-lowest ever. It was the first time for Churchill to offer futures at such an early date.

Pool 3 will run Feb. 27-March 1 and Pool 4 from March 27-29. A single Kentucky Oaks futures pool will run concurrent to Derby Pool 3.
The field has always closed as the favorite in Pool 1, which typically had been offered in early February. With rare exceptions, the second traditional pool (which is now Pool 3) in late February or early March also has had the field as the favorite, albeit not as strong as the earlier pool.

The 140th Derby will be run May 3.

- additional reporting by Matt Hegarty

Kentucky Derby Future Wager
Pool 2 closing odds
Win pool, $287,323; Exacta pool, $92,926; Total handle, $380,249
No., Horse, Pool 2 odds, Pool 1 odds
1. Bobby’s Kitten, 46-1, 28-1
2. Cairo Prince, 13-1, 26-1
3. California Chrome, 30-1, 4-5(f)
4. Candy Boy, 32-1, 4-5(f)
5. Commissioner, 22-1, 33-1
6. Conquest Titan, 29-1, 4-5(f)
7. Havana, 28-1, 26-1
8. Honor Code, 12-1, 10-1
9. Indianapolis, 25-1, 4-5(f)
10. Intense Holiday, 69-1, 4-5(f)
11. Kristo, 76-1, 4-5(f)
12. Matterhorn, 63-1, 4-5(f)
13. Midnight Hawk, 19-1, 4-5(f)
14. Noble Moon, 47-1, 63-1
15. Rise Up, 47-1, 50-1
16. Samraat, 30-1, 4-5(f)
17. Shared Belief, 14-1, 32-1
18. Strong Mandate, 17-1, 27-1
19. Tapiture, 38-1, 4-5(f)
20. Tonalist, 48-1, 4-5(f)
21. Top Billing, 13-1, 4-5(f)
22. Uncle Sigh, 73-1, 4-5(f)
23. Vicar’s in Trouble, 42-1, 4-5(f)
24. Field (all others), 3-2, 4-5
(f ) Pool 1 field entry