Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan opened as the 4-1 favorite in the first-ever Eclipse Awards Horse of the Year future bet odds listed April 25 by bookmakers William Hill, which operates 100 sports betting locations across Nevada.
Other favorites (with opening odds) include last year's champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge (5-1), three-time Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Game On Dude (6-1), 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Mucho Macho Man (7-1), current Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite California Chrome (8-1), and 2013 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Palace Malice (8-1).
The State of Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the 2014 Horse of the Year wager April 22 for all licensed books in the state. The setting of odds is at the discretion of each book. Future bet wagering on Horse of the Year will conclude Nov. 7, six days after the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Horse of the Year will be announced at the 44th annual Eclipse Awards ceremony Jan. 17, 2015, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
"We thank William Hill for pushing this initiative and applaud the state of Nevada for approving an entertaining wager that gives fans and bettors a new way to engage with the top North American horses in training throughout the season," said Alex Waldrop, National Thoroughbred Racing Association president and chief executive officer. "The Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year is the most prestigious award in American racing and now the sharpest fans can share in the glory if they back the right horse."
The new wager was conceived when Cot Campbell, founder and managing partner of the Dogwood Stable syndicate that owns Palace Malice, contacted William Hill US chief executive officer Joe Asher about betting on his prized colt to be named Horse of the Year. Palace Malice already has wins in two important handicap races to start his 4-year-old campaign—the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 8 in his 2014 debut and the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 29.
Nevada books are prohibited from displaying futures odds online. A list of the 2014 Horse of the Year odds posted April 25 by William Hill can be accessed on Dave Tuley's "View From Vegas" sports betting website by clicking here.