(Churchill Downs press release)
Dates for the three pools of Churchill Downs’ 2009 Kentucky Derby Future Wager are set and a single pool will be offered in each of the three months preceding the 135th renewal of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on May 2.
Meanwhile, the 7-year-old Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will return to a single pool format in 2009, and that pool will run concurrent with the Derby Future pool offered in March.
Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is set for Feb. 12-15, Pool 2 is scheduled for March 12-15 and the third and final pool will be conducted April 2-5. Wagering on the lone 2009 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is set for March 12-15.
The Oaks Future bet was conducted in a single pool in its first year in 2003, but had been offered in a three-pool format in each the past five years. Dates for the four-day pools for the two Churchill Downs future bets were approved Jan. 6 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
As in past years, wagering on each of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools will open at noon (all times Eastern) on the first day of the pool’s Thursday-Sunday run.
Betting will conclude in the three Derby pools will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Wagering on the Kentucky Oaks Future pool will open at noon on Thursday, March 12, and that single pool will conclude at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.
The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future Wagers are minimum $2 wagers and win bets only. The bets offers fans opportunities to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks at odds that could be greater than those they would receive on the their respective race days. There are no refunds in either the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby – a 1 1/4-mile test for 3-year-olds and America’s greatest race – is scheduled for Saturday, May 2 at Churchill Downs. The $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), a 1 1/8-mile race restricted to 3-year-old fillies, will be run over the track on Friday, May 1.
A total of $1,056,520 was wagered on the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools in 2008 as total betting on the wager topped the $1 million mark for the ninth consecutive time in its 10-year history. Wagering on the three Kentucky Oaks pools in 2008 totaled $174,838, the second highest three-pool total in the history of the bet.
“A wide open and very competitive Kentucky Derby picture is developing and Churchill Downs is excited to again offer three pools with plenty of betting value in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which has become part of the Derby tradition over the past decade,” said Churchill Downs General Manager Jim Gates.
“After careful consideration we decided to return the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager to a single-pool format and believe the March pool offers the best opportunity to present a strong roster of serious Kentucky Oaks wagering interests. We think the single-pool format will provide the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager with its best opportunity to grow and present racing fans a chance to have a lot of fun while searching for the winner of what has become the nation’s most prestigious event for 3-year-old fillies.”