Classic Empire Top Individual in Derby Future
Photo: Ryan Thompson
Classic Empire won Breeders' Cup Juvenile earlier this month

While the ever-popular "all others" is the morning-line favorite for the first of four 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) pools, John Oxley's Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Classic Empire is the favorite among individual choices in the wager that opens its four-day run Thanksgiving Day.

Churchill Downs odds maker Mike Battaglia installed the "all others" wager as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the opening KDFW pool. He listed the Mark Casse-trained Classic Empire as the 8-1 favorite among individual choices in the opening Derby Futures pool.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which was created in 1999, offers $2 minimum win wagering on 24 betting interests: the 23 individual horses and the mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the individual wagering interests in a respective pool. Each pool also offers $2 exacta wagering on the 24 wagering interests, with the latter also available in $1 minimum increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations.

The initial KDFW pool for the 2017 Derby will be reduced by one individual choice as Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Not This Time   was retired after the initial horses were selected. Wagering on Albaugh Family Stables' Not This Time (#16) has been suspended for the first of the four KDFW pools.

Classic Empire launched his five-race season with a victory in May at Churchill Downs and, along with his Breeders' Cup triumph, won Keeneland's Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) and the Bashford Manor (gr. III) over his home track. Classic Empire's only setback of his 2-year-old season came in the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course, a race in which Classic Empire wheeled as he departed the starting gate and unseated his jockey. The son of Pioneerof the Nile  , the 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up who is also the sire of 2015 Derby and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah  , completed his 2-year-old season with total earnings of $1,485.920.

Another young star likely to elicit strong wagering support in the opening pool of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager is Cheyenne Stables' unbeaten Mastery (#12, 12-1 in the morning line odds), a son of Candy Ride   who scored an easy victory in last weekend's Bob Hope Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar and is currently the top hope to provide Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert with a fifth Kentucky Derby victory.  

Mastery is one a trio of Baffert trainees on the Pool 1 betting roster. The others are Kaleem Shah's Klimt (#10, 15-1), whose three wins from six races include the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), and Gary and Mary West's Beach Bum (#1, 15-1), a son of Arch who rolled to an easy win in his lone start at Santa Anita.

Other Kentucky Derby-winning trainers represented by horses in the pool's 23 individual betting interests are John Shirreffs, who saddled Giacomo to win the "Run for the Roses" in 2005, and Graham Motion, who conditioned 2011 winner Animal Kingdom. Shirreffs trains Jerry and Ann Moss' Gormley, whose two victories from three races include the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Motion conditions Isabella de Tomaso's Irish War Cry, a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin   and an easy winner in his career debut at Maryland's Laurel Race Course.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with WinStar Farm's Super Saver, has a pair of Pool 1 wagering interests in Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith's unbeaten Fact Finding (#3, 20-1) and Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Guri Singh, and Jerry Walia's Syndergaard, the winner of Saratoga's Funny Cide Stakes and runner-up in the Hopeful, who is named in honor of New York Mets pitching star Noah Syndergaard.  

Other prominent individuals include Peacock Racing Stables's Delta Jackpot (gr. III) winner Gunnevera (#5, 15-1); Janis Whitham's unbeaten McCraken (#13, 15-1), the winner of Churchill Downs' Street Sense Stakes; and Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence's Hopeful winner Practical Joke (#17, 15-1).

Fans will have the opportunity to wager on contenders for next spring's 143rd Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at odds that could be far more attractive than those available the day of America's greatest race. Future wager pools will open at noon (all times EST) Thursday, Nov. 24, through the close of the four-day pool at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. Betting will be available at Churchill Downs, racetracks and satellite wagering facilities throughout North America, and via TwinSpires.com and other online wagering platforms.

Winning payouts in the win and exacta wagering in Pool 1 will be determined by the odds that are in place at Sunday's conclusion of wagering. The 2017 Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 6.

The opening pool of the 2017 Derby Future Wager is concurrent with the Kentucky Derby Sire Wager, which is being conducted for the second year by Churchill Downs. 

The official rules of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager do not permit scratches of betting interests or refunds of wagers placed during any of its four pools. Wagering will be suspended on a betting interest in any of the respective pools if Churchill Downs determines that the individual horse will not be able to participate in the Kentucky Derby because of injury, illness or other circumstance.

2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1

Wagering Interest  Morning Line Odds 
Beach Bum  15-1 
Classic Empire  8-1 
Fact Finding  20-1 
Gormley  20-1 
Gunnevera  15-1 
Hemsworth  30-1 
Hookup  50-1 
Irish War Cry  50-1 
Just Move On  20-1 
10  Klimt  15-1 
11  Lookin At Lee  30-1 
12  Mastery  12-1 
13  McCraken  15-1 
14  Mo Town  30-1 
15  No Dozing  50-1 
16  Not This Time  8-1 
17  Practical Joke  15-1 
18  Running Mate  50-1 
19  Saint's Fan  50-1 
20  Syndergaard  15-1 
21  Takaful  30-1 
22  Uncontested  30-1 
23  Wild Shot  50-1 
24  Mutuel Field (All Others)  5-2 

Morning Line Odds by Mike Battaglia

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