Kentucky Derby future wager starts Wednesday

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As a Kentucky Derby fan, we eagerly await the first Saturday in May and the opportunity to wager on our favorite three-year-olds. But the Kentucky Derby future wagers offered by Churchill Downs give race fans an opportunity to wager on their favorites months in advance of the Kentucky Derby.

This year, Churchill Downs is starting the fun of Kentucky Derby wagering nearly six months in advance of the May 3, 2014 race. For the first time, the first pool in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered during the Churchill Downs fall meet. The event coincides with the meet’s closing week, Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 30. The pool opens at noon Wednesday and will close just before Saturday’s Remsen Stakes (Grade II) at Aqueduct or Churchill’s Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), whichever comes first. Both races are part of the Kentucky Derby points system which assigns points to the first four finishers in selected Kentucky Derby prep races for entry into the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows bettors the opportunity for higher odds than may be available on Derby Day. However, there are no refunds if your horse doesn’t start in the Kentucky Derby or is injured or otherwise removed from consideration during pool wagering. Churchill Downs will immediately suspend wagering on a horse if it learns that something has happened to a horse to prevent it from entering the Kentucky Derby.

“The job of setting the morning line odds for Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools has always been challenging, but there’s never been a wilder, more fascinating or challenging pool than this one,” said Kentucky Derby morning line odds maker Mike Battaglia. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch the odds fluctuate over four days as fans throughout North America compete for ultimate bragging rights when it comes to picking the Derby winner. And the opportunity to watch the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Remsen seconds, which should provide early evidence of our betting judgment, should add some sizzle to this Derby Futures pool and those races.”

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager offers a minimum $2 win wager only, no place or show wagering. Also offered is a minimum $2 straight exacta wager or a minimum $1 boxed exacta or part-wheel wager. Twenty-three individual betting interests are available in the pool, plus the always popular “All Others” mutual field.

A complete list of the 24 betting interests, plus real-time odds, for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager can be found on the official Kentucky Derby website.

Three additional Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools and one Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool will be offered in 2014. The second Kentucky Derby pool will be offered Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 through Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014; the third pool will be offered Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 through Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014; and the final pool will be offered Thursday, Mar. 27, 2014 through Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014. The only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool will run concurrently with the third Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool, Feb. 27, 2014 through Mar. 1, 2014.

Churchill Downs gates open at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. First post for closing week is 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Brisnet is offering free Past Performances (PPs) for all Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 interests.

Time to start talking Derby!

Photo: Churchill Downs/Kinetic