Other Sports

Mutuel field favored again in Derby Future Wager

Champion 2-year-old Lookin At Lucky is the top individual horse at 8-1, but Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia made the mutuel field the 5-2 favorite in the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager announced Wednesday.

Betting in the three-day pool opens Friday at noon and closes Sunday at 6 p.m.

Following Lookin At Lucky, at 12-1, were four additional members of the Herald-Leader's Derby Dozen: Remsen Stakes winner Buddy's Saint, unbeaten San Rafael winner Conveyance, Holy Bull runner-up Jackson Bend, and unbeaten Delta Jackpot winner Rule.

The wager allows fans to bet weeks in advance on contenders for the Kentucky Derby, sometimes at odds that are more attractive than those they would receive on race day.

The mutuel field, known as "all others," has now opened as the favorite in each of the Future Wager's 12 years. It has produced the winner five times, including last year with Mine That Bird. The others were Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), Smarty Jones (2004), and Big Brown (2008).

Battaglia said assigning odds to individual horses grows more difficult each year.

"So many of those horses have raced extensively or exclusively on synthetic tracks, while the Derby is run on traditional dirt," he said. "That's still a relatively new wrinkle in Derby preparations, but it adds to the fun and the challenge of a making a successful choice."

Real-time odds will be available online at www.kentuckyderby.com.

Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is March 5-7. The final pool is March 26-29.

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