The second of three pools in Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager is underway and it will offer the first opportunity for racing fans in Arizona to attempt to select the winner of Kentucky Derby 127 weeks in advance of the race.
The Arizona Department of Racing has granted approval for Turf Paradise in Phoenix and 50 off-track betting facilities across the state to participate in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Pool 2 opened at noon (EST) on Thursday and will close on Sunday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. (EST).
"We're excited that the great racing fans in Arizona will be able to participate in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager for the first time," said Alex Waldrop, president of Churchill Downs. "Fans across the country have shown time and again that they love this product and the addition of Arizona to the ranks of states that offer the Future Wager is another important step in its continued growth."
"We'd like to thank Arizona Department of Racing Director Wade Turner and officials at Turf Paradise for their efforts to bring the Kentucky Derby Future Wager to racing fans in Arizona," said Patrick Troutman, director of the Churchill Downs Simulcast Network. "The addition of this significant market in the Western United States is an important step and we hope for more growth in that region in the near future."
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance at odds that may be more attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and is a win bet only. Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, the final pool of 2001, is scheduled for April 5-8.
Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is available at outlets in a record 30 states, despite the loss of one state from Pool 1. The wager's second pool will not be available in Michigan, where Great Lakes Downs had offered this year's first pool. That track will not offer Pool 2 because of a regulatory issue. Arizona joins Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Oregon (home of the TVG hub) among new states in which tracks and off-track betting outlets are offering the Future Wager this year.
A total of $510,815 was wagered in Pool 1 of the 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager during its four-day run from Feb. 15-18.
The total was the largest for a single pool in the history of the Future Wager, which was offered for the first time in 1999, and marked the first time that a single pool had exceeded the $500,000 mark. Total wagering for all three pools in 2000 was a record $1,158,919 - up from the $676,233 wagered on all three pools in 1999.