The third of five pools for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) opens Friday at noon ET with the familiar “All Other 3-Year-Olds” – a.k.a. “the field” – as the 5/2 morning-line favorite. But it opened with a new co-individual favorite sharing that status with a familiar favorite.
That newcomer to the top spot on the third of five Churchill Downs future pool is White Abarrio, who shares 8/1 co-individual favorite status with Smile Happy. The two are the lone single-digit odds wagers going into this weekend’s pool, which closes Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
This is the same White Abarrio who closed KDFW Pool 2 at 171/1. Don’t expect to get him anywhere near that. Not after the same Saffie Joseph Jr. charge won last week’s Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park by 4 ½ lengths. Afterward, Joseph said he was going to train White Abarrio up to the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2. That will carry White Abarrio past Pool 4 (March 11-13) and into the final weekend (March 31-April 2).
Smile Happy, meanwhile, closed at 8/1 in both November’s Pool 1 and January’s Pool 2. Trainer Kenny McPeek passed on running the Runhappy colt in the Holy Bull. Instead, he opted for the Feb. 19 Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds.
Eight newcomers to KDFW Pool 3
McPeek lost two of his four Derby prospects in this pool: Dash Attack and Tiz the Bomb. Dash Attack finished fifth in the Southwest Stakes 10 days ago at Oaklawn Park. Tiz the Bomb opened his 2022 season finishing a poor seventh in the Holy Bull. Along with Smile Happy, McPeek is represented by Breeders’ Futurity winner Rattle N Roll (30/1).
Speaking of the Southwest Stakes, the runner-up in that race: Barber Road, is one of eight newcomers to the KDFW pool. He debuts at 20/1. Joining him in the rookie pool club are Lecomte Stakes winner Call Me Midnight (20/1), Withers winner Early Voting (12/1), San Vicente winner Forbidden Kingdom (10/1), Grey Stakes winner God of Love (50/1), Street Sense winner Howling Time (50/1) and two non-stakes victors: maiden winner Happy Boy Rocket (50/1) and allowance winner In Due Time (30/1).
Conspicuous by his KDFW absence is Messier, who rolled up a 15-length win in last weekend’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. His 103 Beyer Speed Figure from that victory was the fastest Beyer by a 3-year-old this season. But like his Bob Baffert stablemates: Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Corniche, Del Mar Futurity winner Pinehurst and Sham Stakes and Southwest Stakes champion Newgrange, Messier is not included in the pool due to Baffert’s Churchill Downs suspension.
2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager-Pool 3
|Barber Road||John Ortiz||20/1|
|Call Me Midnight||Keith Desormeaux||15/1|
|Chasing Time||Steve Asmussen||15/1|
|Classic Causeway||Brian Lynch||50/1|
|Early Voting||Chad Brown||12/1|
|Forbidden Kingdom||Richard Mandella||10/1|
|God of Love||Mark Casse||50/1|
|Happy Boy Rocket||Bill Mott||50/1|
|Howling Time||Dale Romans||50/1|
|In Due Time||Kelly Breen||30/1|
|Major General||Todd Pletcher||30/1|
|Make It Big||Saffie Joseph Jr.||50/1|
|Mo Donegal||Todd Pletcher||30/1|
|Rattle N Roll||Kenny McPeek||30/1|
|Slow Down Andy||Doug O’Neill||20/1|
|Smile Happy||Kenny McPeek||8/1|
|White Abarrio||Saffie Joseph Jr.||8/1|
|All Other 3-Year-Olds||—||5/2|
This, however, didn’t prevent individual bettors whittling Messier from 75/1 to 20/1 at Circa Sports. He remained 20/1 at Caesars-William Hill. By reference, Smile Happy is 15/1 at Circa, 14/1 at Caesars-William Hill. White Abarrio, meanwhile, is 40/1 at Circa, 16/1 at Caesars-William Hill.
The absence of Baffert’s colts from individual KDFW wagering puts them into the “All Other 3-Year-Olds” category, which received heavy interest in the first two pools as a result. That wager closed at 3/5 in November’s pool and 9/5 in January’s.
After the KDFW pool opens Friday, bettors can make $2 win and exacta bets on the horses or combos in the listed field. Horseplayers can wager at Churchill Downs, online and satellite wagering centers across North America.
The combined handle for the first two KDFW pools was $687,657, a 20.4% boost from last year’s two-pool total.