Empire Maker Dominates Derby Futures' Wagering

(from Churchill Downs release)
Juddmonte Farm's Empire Maker, winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I) and the favorite for next week's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, remained a strong favorite to win the 129th Kentucky Derby (GI) as wagering in the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager drew to a close on Sunday evening.

The Bobby Frankel-trained son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled was the 5-2 choice when wagering on KDFW Pool 3 closed at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) on April 6 at racetracks and wagering outlets in 34 states. A total of $222,261 was wagered during the four-day pool and $52,506 of that total was wagered on Empire Maker.

The final Pool 3 odds made Empire Maker one of the strongest favorites in the five-year history of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Fusaichi Pegasus, who would go on to win the 2000 Kentucky Derby, set the record for lowest odds in a single pool when he closed as the 2-1 favorite in that year's third and final KDFW pool.

After Empire Maker, Kentucky Derby fans had a difficult time in making up their mind on which horses to support. The mutuel field, which included all 3-year-olds other than the 22 individual horses in Pool 3, ended up as the 7-1 second choice.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, the winner of the Risen Star (gr. III) who runs next week in the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) at Keeneland, was the third choice at 9-1. Edmund Gann's Peace Rules, winner of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), closed at 12-1. Buddy Gil, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and Atswhatimtalknbout, fourth as the favorite in the same race, closed at 13-1. Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Ten Most Wanted saw his final odds drop to 17-1.

There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The wagering interests in KDFW Pool 3 were reduced to 23 when betting was suspended on Einar Robsham's Trust N Luck before the opening of the pool.

The final total for Pool 3 included $117,309 wagered on the Sunday. Combined wagering on this year's three pools totaled $1,130,169, the third highest total in the wager's history and the fourth consecutive year in which combined wagering topped $1 million.

This year's Pool 3 wagering total was second smallest single pool total in the wager's five-year history and the smallest since $229,674 was wagered in Pool 3 of the inaugural Future Wager in 1999. But the just-concluded pool was the first to be conducted concurrently with a pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.

# Horse, Final Odds
1. Alysweep, 71.00-1
2. Aristocat, 48.90-1
3. Atswhatimtalknbout, 13.40-1
4. Badge Of Silver, 9.60-1
5. Brancusi, 38.60-1
6. Buddy Gil, 13.10-1
7. Domestic Dispute, 41.50-1
8. During, 93.70-1
9. Empire Maker, 2.50-1
10. Funny Cide, 52.70-1
11. Inamorato, 68.80-1
12. Indy Dancer, 18.20-1
13. Kafwain, 18.20-1
14. Lion Tamer, 43.30-1
15. Man Among Men, 28.30-1
16. Ministers Wild Cat, 28.90-1
17. New York Hero, 40.50-1
18. Ocean Terrace, 47.10-1
19. Offlee Wild, 24.20-1
20. Peace Rules, 12.40-1
21. Region Of Merit, 46.10-1
22. Ten Most Wanted, 17.40-1
23. Trust N Luck Scr
24. All Others, 7.20-1
FINAL TOTAL: $222,261