LOUISVILLE, KY (Friday, March 30, 2012) – Friday’s first of three days of betting in Churchill Downs’ final Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) of 2012 featured strong support for 2-year-old champion and Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) winner Hansen (#8), and the flashy gray winner of the Gotham Stakes (GIII) ended the day as a strong 2-1 favorite among the pool’s 24 wagering interests.

Morning Line favorite Union Rags (#22), who is also favored in Sunday’s Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream Park, was a solid favorite during the pool’s early hours, but early evening betting action drove down the odds of Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Stables’ gray son of Tapit, who is expected to make his next start in the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) at Keeneland on April 14.

Union Rags, owned by Chadds Ford Stable and trained by Michael Matz, was a 9-2 risk when betting closed Friday evening, with the mutuel field (#24), or “All Others,” in the third spot at 6-1.

Bettors at racetracks and off-track betting centers and online at TwinSpires.com and other advance deposit wagering outlets platforms wagered $83,488 on Friday, a total that included $18,732 in exacta betting.

Kentucky Derby Future betting will resume on Saturday at noon (all times Eastern) and the pool will conclude on Sunday, April 1 at special closing time of 6:30 p.m. (Eastern). KDFW pools normally close at 6 p.m., but wagering in the pool will be extended by 30 minutes to allow fans to consider the results of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, which has a scheduled Sunday post time of 5:55 p.m.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows fans of the famed “Run for the Roses” the opportunity to wager on contenders for the race weeks in advance. Those bettors will receive odds that are in place at Sunday’s conclusion of betting, and those odds could be considerably larger and more attractive than those available at Churchill Downs on the day of the race. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and offers win and exacta wagering, along with $1 exacta boxes and part-wheels.

Other well-supported horses in Pool 3 opener included San Felipe (GII) winner Creative Cause (#3, 12-1), Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Gemologist (#7, 13-1), Florida Derby hope El Padrino (#6, 24-1) and Rebel (GII) runner-up Optimizer (#17, 24-1).