Empire Maker Solid Favorite In Derby Future Wager

Empire Maker Solid Favorite In Derby Future Wager
Photo: AP/Bill Denver
Florida Derby winner Empire Maker atop field for Future Wager final pool.
Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker, the record-breaking winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I), has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its four-day run on Thursday.

The Bobby Frankel-trained son of Unbridled validated his already glowing reputation when he won the Florida Derby by a record margin of 9 1/2 lengths. Frankel's colt narrowly missed being the favorite in last month's Pool 2 as both Empire Maker and the mutuel field, a wagering interest that included all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in that pool, closed at odds of 7-2. But the mutuel field emerged as a narrow favorite as it attracted total wagering of $70,151 compared to $68,859 for Empire Maker. The field's final odds were $3.60-to-1 while Empire Maker closed at $3.70-to-1.

Battaglia installed B. Wayne Hughes and Biscuit Stables' Atswhatimtalknbout, who will be among the favorites in this week's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), as the 6-1 second choice and the mutuel field is next at 10-1. Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. III), and The Thoroughbred Corp's Kafwain, also bound for the Santa Anita Derby, stand at 12-1. Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, winner of the Risen Star (gr. III), and Wertheimer Farm's Indy Dancer, third in the Florida Derby, are next at 15-1.

Pool three includes six wagering interests that were not included in either of this year's two previous pools. That group includes Michael Dubb and Mark Doneson's Alysweep; Michael Tabor's Brancusi; Desperado Stables, McFadden and Merrill Stable's Buddy Gil, the surprise winner of the San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita; James McIngvale's During; Paraneck Stable's New York Hero, the upset winner of the Lane's End (gr. II) at Turfway Park; and Chisholm, Horizon Stable and Jarvis' Ten Most Wanted.

"Empire Maker left a very strong impression with his huge win in the Florida Derby and he won't run again until next week's Wood Memorial, so I think he will be a pretty solid favorite in Pool 3," said Battaglia. "A big performance in the Santa Anita Derby by Atswhatimtalknabout would have an impact on the pool's final odds, but that is a very tough race and any of several horses could win. Although we have a favorite in Empire Maker, the overall Kentucky Derby picture is still very wide open, so you can expect the mutuel field to continue to attract solid support in Pool 3."

1.ALYSWEEP (NEW) 30-1
2.ARISTOCAT 50-1
3.ATSWHATIMTALKNBOUT 6-1
4.BADGE OF SILVER 15-1
5.BRANCUSI (NEW) 20-1
6.BUDDY GIL (NEW) 12-1
7.DOMESTIC DISPUTE 20-1
8.DURING (NEW) 30-1
9.EMPIRE MAKER 3-1
10.FUNNY CIDE 50-1
11.INAMORATO 50-1
12.INDY DANCER 15-1
13.KAFWAIN 12-1
14.LION TAMER 20-1
15.MAN AMONG MEN 30-1
16.MINISTERS WILD CAT 30-1
17.NEW YORK HERO (NEW) 20-1
18.OCEAN TERRACE 30-1
19.OFFLEE WILD 30-1
20.PEACE RULES 12-1
21.REGION OF MERIT 50-1
22.TEN MOST WANTED (NEW) 30-1
23.TRUST N LUCK 30-1
24. ALL OTHER 3 YOS 10-1

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