02/20/2011 11:34AM

Mutuel field slight favorite at 2-1 in Kentucky Derby Future Wager

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Barbara D. Livingston
Uncle Mo closed at 7-2 in Pool 1, the lowest odds among 23 individual horses offered in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the 13th time in as many years, the mutuel field is the favorite in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern following a three-day betting window that attracted a substantial increase in handle over recent years.

The field, the 24th or “all others” alternative to 23 separately listed interests, closed as the 2-1 favorite in the first of three futures pools offered by Churchill Downs. Uncle Mo, the unbeaten divisional champion, was a close second choice at 7-2, followed by Dialed In (8-1), To Honor and Serve (10-1), Brethren (15-1), and Soldat (18-1). The 137th Derby will be run May 7.

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Combined win and exacta handle was $592,492, second-highest in Futures history and a 27 percent increase from last year, when $466,048 was handled. Win handle for the 2011 Pool 1 was $480,375, and exacta handle was $112,117.

“We’re extremely happy with the fans’ response,” said Churchill spokesman John Asher. “It was kind of roaring from the get-go this time around. I think there’s a lot of anticipation with the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown campaign this year, with Uncle Mo and a lot of other attractive wagering interests. It might also reflect the economy getting a little better. This was very encouraging to see, for us and for anybody in our business.”

The record handle for a Pool 1 was $620,362 in 2005, the same year the record of $1,665,990 for the highest three-pool aggregate handle was established.

The lowest $2 will-pay for a Pool 1 exacta is the combination of the field over Uncle Mo (Nos. 24-23), worth $27. There are numerous five-figure will-pays, topped by a $30,271.60 payoff for Stay Thirsty over Decisive Moment (18-6).

Exactas were first offered during Pool 2 of 2009.

Only one Derby prep race was contested while the Pool 1 window was open: the Risen Star Stakes, which was won Saturday by Mucho Macho Man at Fair Grounds. The odds on Mucho Macho Man were 66-1 at the close of business Saturday but had dropped to 30-1 by the close of the pool.

Pool 2 is set for March 11-13 and Pool 3 for April 1-3. Only one futures pool is being offered on the May 6 Kentucky Oaks; it will coincide with Derby Pool 2 and will include exactas for the first time.

Five Pool 1 field horses have wound up winning the Derby in the 12 years since Churchill started parimutuel futures in 1999, the latest being Mine That Bird in 2009.

 

CLOSING ODDS: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1

(No. Horse, Closing odds, $2 Will-pay)

1. Anthony’s Cross, 45-1, $92

2. Astrology, 48-1, $98.20

3. Brethren, 15-1, $33.60

4. Clubhouse Ride, 127-1, $256.60

5. Comma to the Top, 90-1, $183

6. Decisive Moment, 186-1, $375.40

7. Dialed In, 8-1, $18.80

8. Gourmet Dinner, 85-1, $172.80

9. Indian Winter, 71-1, $144

10. J P’s Gusto, 79-1, $160.60

11. Jaycito, 21-1, $44.60

12. Machen, 49-1, $100.80

13. Mucho Macho Man, 30-1, $62.40

14. Rogue Romance, 34-1, $70.20

15. Santiva, 37-1, $77.20

16. Silver Medallion, 66-1, $134.80

17. Soldat, 18-1, $39.40

18. Stay Thirsty, 40-1, $83.40

19. Sweet Ducky, 79-1, $161.20

20. The Factor, 25-1, $53.60

21. Tiz Blessed, 79-1, $160.20

22. To Honor and Serve, 10-1, $23

23. Uncle Mo, 7-2, $9.20

24. Mutuel field (all others), 2-1, $6.20