When the dust settled after four days of betting, the "field" of all horses other than the 23 individual thoroughbreds posted, went off as the solid 3-1 favorite.
Of course, making the field a favorite is nothing new. The "all others" choice has been the favorite each year since the wager was introduced in 1999.
Two-time Grade 1 stakes winner First Samurai, thanks to a surge in late betting, closed at odds of 7-1, while last year’s juvenile champion, Stevie Wonderboy, went off at 8-1. Unfortunately, Stevie Wonderboy was injured Monday and will be out of the Derby race.
The actual pari-mutuel prices for a winning $2 ticket on First Samurai would pay $17.80. If a field horse crosses the wire first, a $2 ticket would be worth $8.
Pool 1 of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Future wager was one of the most successful in the wager’s eight-year history. Derby fans in the United States and Canada wagered $552,627 on Pool 1, which is the third highest total for the KDFW’s opening pool and the third largest individual pool total in the wager’s history.
Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is scheduled for March 2-5 and the year’s third and final pool is set for April 6-9.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager offers racing fans the opportunity to bet on Derby contenders well in advance of the famed "Run for the Roses" at odds that could be more attractive than they would receive on Derby Day.
It is a minimum $2 wager and a win bet only. There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and winning payouts are determined by the odds that are in place at the conclusion of each pool.
Other individual horses that attracted strong support in the opening Derby pool included Belmont Futurity and Kentucky Jockey Club winner Private Vow, who closed at odds of 14-1. Remsen Stakes winner Bluegrass Cat closed at odds of 15-1, while Hollywood Futurity winner Brother Derek, who handed Stevie Wonderboy his only career defeat in the San Rafael Stakes, closed at 16-1.
There was also solid support for Barbican (18-1), a recent allowance winner at Gulfstream Park; and Barbaro (19-1), a grass specialist who last weekend destroyed the field in a sloppy Holy Bull Stakes, which was also his first effort on the dirt.