Churchill Downs will offer its first of three Kentucky Derby future wagering pools this weekend. Pool 1 will be open from February 10 through February 12. Pool 2 will be open from March 2 through March 4 and the final pool, Pool 3, will run from March 30 through April 1. Only one pool will be offered for Kentucky Oaks future wagering. It will run concurrently with Derby Future Wager Pool 2.
All pools will open at noon on the respective Friday and will remain open until 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday. The Kentucky Oaks pool will close 30 minutes after the Kentucky Derby pool. Each future wager pool will offer 23 individual betting interests or horses and one “all other three-year-olds” option. A minimum $2 wager is required. Exacta wagering will also be available.
Future wagers might be a bit riskier than wagering on Derby Day. All wagers must be “win” wagers of at least $2, so if you’re the type that likes the added security of a show bet, you’ll need to wait until Derby Day to make your bet. Churchill Downs is diligent to suspend wagering on any horse that becomes injured or is otherwise taken off the Derby trail, assuming the information comes to light before or during the wagering pool. If your horse does not make it to the Derby for whatever reason, you won’t get your money back. The Kentucky Derby field is limited to 20 horses and will include four also-eligibles.
Future wagering offers a fun way to pick your Derby horse well in advance of the first Saturday in May. There is also the potential for a much higher payoff on your future wager ticket than that same bet might bring on Derby Day. For example, last year if you had bet Animal Kingdom in advance, the eventual Derby winner, depending upon which pool you wagered, you would have received a payoff from $6.20 to $64.40 for a $2 wager, compared to the $43.80 the same wager returned on Derby Day.
Future exacta wagering on Animal Kingdom and Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro, ranged from $230 to $3,074.60. Neither Animal Kingdom nor Nehro was offered as an individual betting interest in Derby Future Wager Pool 1 or Pool 2.
The Kentucky Oaks winner, Plum Pretty, was part of the “all others” option and returned $21.80. The same $2 win wager returned $14.60 on Oaks Day.
To place you wager, visit Trackside at Churchill Downs, 700 Central Avenue, (Churchill Downs’ simulcasting area on the Third Floor) or wager through your online wagering account. Click here  for more information, individual betting interests, and real-time odds. Free past performances provided by Brisnet.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby