• The Future Is Now

    POSTED Nov 30, 2013



    Every year, I look forward to the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager and, this year, the fun started earlier than ever — on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

    That’s before the ball drop in New York, before Santa’s annual sleigh ride… heck, my Thanksgiving turkey hadn’t even been put in the oven, much less thawed, before I was breaking open the past performances in search of the next great sire.

    In fact, this is the first time in history that a (pari-mutuel) Kentucky Derby futures pool has been offered prior to February and it is open until post time of today’s Remsen or Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, whichever comes first.

    According to Darren Rogers, senior director of communications and media services for Churchill Downs, Inc., pool closures coinciding with the post time of an important prep race will be the new standard this year (in years past, the future pools closed on Sunday evenings).
    Before we take a closer look at the 2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1, here is a list of all the pools, including when they open and when they close:

    Pool 1: Wednesday, Nov. 27-Saturday, Nov. 30
    Pool 2: Thursday, Feb. 6-Saturday, Feb. 8
    Pool 3: Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1
    Pool 4: Thursday, March 27-Saturday, March 29

    Now, on to the fun stuff! First let’s take a look at the history of Pool #1 wagering.


    (Click on image to enlarge)

    As you can see, “All Others,” or the field, is a great betting option in the first futures pool. Although the $10.20 payoff resulting from Charismatic’s win in the initial pool back in 1999 probably won’t ever be seen again, the lower prices these days are more than offset by the higher winning percentage of non-listed horses since 2008.

    Betting “All Others”
    1999-2007

    Number: 9        
    Wins: 3
    Rate: 33.3%
    Return: $23.40
    ROI: +30.00%

    2008-2013

    Number: 6        
    Wins: 4
    Rate: 66.7%
    Return: $25.00
    ROI: +108.33%

    Overall (1999-2013)

    Number: 15      
    Wins: 7
    Rate: 46.7%
    Return: $48.40
    ROI: +61.33%

    Beyond playing the mutual field, however, there are three things that I think bettors need to consider before making a future wager on the Kentucky Derby:

    1) Is the horse one favors even likely to start in the Kentucky Derby? In the past two years, 22 of the 46 listed horses (47 percent) in Pool 1 have not made it to the starting gate on the first Saturday in May (at least at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby).

    2) Is the horse one prefers likely to go to post at odds significantly greater than its Future Pool odds? Given that half the horses won’t even make the trip to Louisville, I think asking for a 50-100 percent premium is not unreasonable.

    3) Will one’s future bet allow one to hedge down the road. To me, this is the most important consideration. The idea is to get as many of your future bets into the gate — at premium odds — as possible… and, then, don’t bet them all on Derby Day. Instead, use the future wagers as “savers” or as a means of consolidating your event-day tickets.


    (Click on image to enlarge)

    Click HERE to get your past performances, including my speed rations and Win Factor Report fair odds for all the listed horses in Pool 1 on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
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