Even though last weekend’s third and
final Kentucky Derby Future Pool generated a record amount of wagers, local
sports book directors said betting was lackluster at best.
very little interest,” said the race book manager of a popular locals casino.
“The problem is we have our own future book, which offers a wider variety of
choices and, in some cases, better odds.”
Avello, sports director at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, added that there was
“virtually no betting action” on the Future Pool.
bettors were hot and cold with Derby future bets,” said Avello, who posts his
own future prices on the casino’s web site, Ballys.com. “Every time one of
the contenders ran a poor race, he became cold in the future book.”
Kentucky Derby fans in a record 34 states wagered $524,847 during Pool 3, which
opened at noon (EST) on Thursday and closed at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday. The
total is a record for Pool 3 and the second-largest single pool total in the
four-year history of the Future Wager. The 2002 total for Pool 3 reflected an
increase of 23 percent from last year’s previous record of $425,871.
Harlan’s Holiday, the winner of the
Florida Derby, emerged as a narrow favorite in the final minutes of wagering. It
closed at odds of 7-1 to edge Johannesburg, who stood at 8-1, to reign as the
favorite in Pool 3. The Irish-based Johannesburg had been favored on the first
three days of Pool 3, but his odds drifted up in the wager’s final hours after
the previously unbeaten colt suffered a narrow defeat in his lone Kentucky Derby
prep in the Gladness Stakes in Ireland.
Close behind the top pair came Santa
Anita Derby winner Came Home, who also closed at 8-1, and 9-1 shot Saarland, the
Remsen winner who will be among the favorites in next week’s Wood Memorial
(GI) at Aqueduct. They were followed by Medaglia d’Oro and the mutuel field,
both at 11-1, and 12-1 shot Repent, the McPeek-trained stablemate to Harlan’s
Holiday who suffered an upset loss in Saturday’s Illinois Derby (GII). Next in
line in the Future Wager odds came Buddha at 13-1, Sunday Break at 15-1 and
Essence Of Dubai at 17-1.
Combined wagering for the three future
pools totaled $1,503,806 ”” an increase of 15 percent from last year’s
previous record of $1,309,647. This year’s total was an increase of 122
percent from the total of $676,233 in the inaugural year in 1999.
Part of the Kentucky Derby Future
Wager’s growth in 2002 can be attributed to the addition of markets in four
new states: California, Washington, Massachusetts and Michigan. Pool 3 also
benefited from the participation by racing fans in New York on its final day.
New York outlets had been closed in previous years because of Palm Sunday, which
fell much earlier on the calendar this year.
“The continued growth of the Kentucky
Derby Future Wager is a testament to the strength of this young wagering product
and the enduring appeal of the Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race,”
said Alex Waldrop, president of Churchill Downs. “We appreciate the enthusiasm
of racing fans across the country who love the Derby and the Future Wager.”
Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for
the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance of the race at odds that may be more
attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day. The bet is a $2 minimum
wager and is a win bet only. The list of horses in each pool consists of 24
betting interests, which include 23 individual horses and a mutuel field.
Derby Pool Final Odds
|Essence of Dubai||17-1|
|Request for Parole||58-1|