The final official Kentucky Derby futures ‘pool’opens today. Although there are plenty of unofficial futures markets at Las Vegas sports books and offshore betting operations this is the only official futures market run by Churchill Downs, the host site of the Kentucky Derby.
The morning line futures market favorite San Felipe winner California Chrome at 5-1. He’s become something of a trendy horse among bettors by virtue of his San Felipe victory–he won that race in impressive fashion and has shot up the contenders rankings for the Kentucky Derby. Before the San Felipe, California Chrome closed at 32-1 in the previous Derby futures pool. Next up for California Chrome is the Santa Anita Derby on April 5 and a strong performance there could make him the posttime favorite at the Kentucky Derby.
Second favorite pool #4 is Cairo Prince at 6-1. Cairo Prince made his stripes in January’s Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park and was 9-1 at the close of pool #3 but has appeared lose some of the momentum he had with bettors. Next up for Cairo Prince is Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park where he is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
Third choice in the final betting pool is ‘field’ or ‘all others’ at 8-1. This betting interest includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses on the Pool 4 betting list. The ‘Field’ was the favorite in the previous three futures betting pools and there is some precedent for backing that option. Mine That Bird won in 2009 at 50/1 in the Kentucky Derby but that was likely little consolation to ‘field’ bettors who had him at 17-1.
After the close of this final official Kentucky Derby betting pool the only place to wager on the race before the first weekend in May will be at a Las Vegas sports book or an offshore betting site. These sites will offer Kentucky Derby futures odds all the way up to race day along with other interesting proposition wagers. The action will really heat up on Kentucky Derby weekend after the official betting numbers are posted but if you have a strong opinion before that go ahead and get your bet down!