The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will return to Churchill Downs this year, as will a new bet tied to the Kentucky Oaks.
The Kentucky Racing Commission approved a plan Jan. 15 to offer the customary three pools in the Derby Future Wager, as well as one pool for the Kentucky Oaks. The Derby will be held May 3, and the Oaks May 2.
Jim Gates, acting president of Churchill Downs pending the official arrival of Steve Sexton, said the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool would be held in conjunction with the third and final Derby Future Wager pool. Specific dates were not immediately available.
The Future Wager has been a pleasant addition for Churchill in that handle has grown each year since its inception in 2000. Last year, it topped $1 million.
In another matter, Gates told the commission Churchill looked into the possibility of having an also-eligible list for the Derby but decided against it. Commissioner Robert Stallings believes one is needed given the situation surrounding entries and scratches last year, and has asked for comments from Churchill on several occasions.
Gates said he thought it was a good idea at first, but there are "logistical issues that would make it very problematic." He said for this year, at least, there would be no also-eligible list for the Derby.