Edited Release – CHC Inc and WinStar Farm’s undefeated $100,000 Sham Stakes (Grade III) winner Life Is Good was made the 6-1 individual morning line favorite in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) but the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is expected to be the overall choice in the three-day wager that begins Friday.
While Life Is Good was made the individual favorite in Pool 2 of the KDFW, veteran oddsmaker Mike Battaglia tabbed “All Other 3-Year-Olds as the overall 9-5 morning line favorite in the field of 24 betting interests. The pari-mutuel field for the first pool of the New Year has closed as the bettors’ choice every year since the wager was inaugurated in 1999, and the final odds were 5-2 in five of the last six years.
The pool will open Friday at noon and close Sunday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). Wagers can be placed online at www.TwinSpires.com, as well as racetracks and simulcast centers throughout the country.
Life Is Good, based at Santa Anita with six-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert, scored a front-running victory in the Jan. 2 Sham besting his stablemate Medina Spirit. Life is Good is one of five 3-year-olds in Pool 2 for Baffert. The others are debut winner Concert Tour; $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (GII) winner Spielberg; and the unraced, highly-touted colt Bezos. This is the first time an unraced horse has made the field in the KDFW.
Another horse expected to receive strong backing is $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Essential Quality. Listed at 8-1 on the morning line odds, Essential Quality has a perfect record through three starts with a three-quarters of a length win in the Juvenile over fellow Pool 2 interests Hot Rod Charlie, Keepmeinmind and Jackie’s Warrior. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality is preparing for his 3-year-old campaign at Fair Grounds where he has worked five times since his Juvenile score.
Cox is represented in KDFW Pool 2 with three other wagering interests: nine-length maiden winner and likely favorite in Friday’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Caddo River; $200,000 Lecomte (GII) third-place finisher Mandaloun; and eye-catching debut winner Prate.
The complete field for Pool 2 of the KDFW (with trainer and morning line odds): #1 Bezos (Baffert, 20-1); #2 Caddo River (Cox, 30-1); #3 Capo Kane (Harold Wyner, 30-1); #4 Concert Tour (Baffert, 15-1); #5 Essential Quality (Cox, 8-1); #6 Fire At Will (Mike Maker, 30-1); #7 Greatest Honour (Shug McGaughey III, 50-1); #8 Highly Motivated (Chad Brown, 20-1); #9 Hot Rod Charlie (Doug O’Neill, 30-1); #10 Jackie’s Warrior (Steve Asmussen, 20-1); #11 Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro, 20-1); #12 Life Is Good (Baffert, 6-1); #13 Mandaloun (Cox, 20-1); #14 Medina Spirit (Baffert, 12-1); #15 Midnight Bourbon (Asmussen, 30-1); #16 Mutasaabeq (Todd Pletcher, 30-1); #17 Olympiad (Bill Mott, 50-1); #18 Prate (Cox, 30-1); #19 Prime Factor (Pletcher, 30-1); #20 Proxy (Mike Stidham, 50-1); #21 Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher, 20-1); #22 Spielberg (Baffert, 30-1); #23 Wipe the Slate (O’Neill, 50-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (9-5).
There are 14 new betting interests from Pool 1, which was staged Nov. 26-29. In that pool, “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the 6-5 favorite and was followed by Life Is Good (5-1); Essential Quality (8-1); Jackie’s Warrior (18-1); Highly Motivated (18-1); Keepmeinmind (19-1); Caddo River (27-1); Speaker’s Corner (29-1); Fire At Will (30-1); Hot Rod Charlie (34-1); Red Flag (35-1); Reinvestment Risk (35-1); Savile Row (36-1); Scarred (49-1); Ten for Ten (51-1); “All 3-Year-Old Fillies” (56-1); Midnight Bourbon (59-1); King Fury (60-1); Get Her Number (64-1); Sittin On Go (68-1); Dr. Shivel (72-1); Rombauer (88-1); Pickin’ Time (96-1); and Super Stock (103-1).
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 147th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.
There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s three-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.