The de-facto option for bettors not happy with the individual offerings of 3-year-olds: “All Other 3-Year-Olds,” a.k.a. the Field, closed as the 4/1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4. With eight weeks to go before the May 7 Kentucky Derby, that fourth of five pools sponsored by Churchill Downs closed Sunday with Smile Happy as the top individual favorite at 6/1.
The Field holding serve as the favorite is a chalky proposition in historical ways. This is the 15th time in the last 20 years the “All Other 3-Year-Olds” finished as the favorite in the March future pool.
In the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW), Echo Zulu closed as the 5/2 favorite. She was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly last year but has yet to run as a 3-year-old. Secret Oath, who won the Grade 3 Honeybee going away, is the 7/2 second choice. Her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, said he plans running Secret Oath against the boys in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 2.
Smile Happy benefited once again from the betting largesse of Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who confirmed to Horse Racing Nation he made a “couple thousand-dollar bet” on the colt. Smile Happy finished second in his lone 2022 start: the Grade 2 Risen Star Feb. 19. McIngvale owns Runhappy, Smile Happy’s sire.
Forbidden Kingdom surrendered favorite status
Finishing right behind him at 7/1 was Forbidden Kingdom, the Richard Mandella-trained colt who won the San Vicente and San Felipe. He opened this KDFW pool as the 5/1 favorite. Those were the only two individual selections carrying single-digit odds.
Tampa Bay Derby winner Classic Causeway checked in at 10/1, trailed by Epicenter (13/1) and Charge It and Morello, both at 17/1.
The odds span ran from the Field at 4/1 to pool newcomer Pioneer of Medina at 71/1.
Odds were bunched tighter on the KOFW. After Secret Oath at 7/2 “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies” (the Field) wound up 6/1. Kathleen O was the other option in single digits at 9/1. Nest (14/1) and Venti Valentine (15/1) came next.
KDFW handle climbed across the betting boards
The KOFW odds range went from Echo Zulu at 5/2 to Fannie and Freddie at 154/1.
Once again, none of suspended trainer Bob Baffert’s horses were represented in either pool.
Horseplayers piled $550,030 into both future pools, a boost of 16.7% from last year. The KDFW total handle came in at $374,702, a 16.2% jump from last year. That counts money in the Win and Exacta pools.
The KOFW took in $90,737. That climbed 15.9% from last year. The Oaks/Derby Future Double, which demands fans pick the winners of both the Derby and Oaks, checked in at $84,591. That represents a 19.6% jump from 2021.
The final KDFW runs Thursday, March 31 through Saturday, April 2. Unlike the previous four pools, this pool closes before the first Kentucky Derby prep race that Saturday.