Empire Maker, Field Top Derby Future Pool

(from Churchill Downs Release)
A record-smashing victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I) by Juddmonte Farm homebred Empire Maker made a strong impression on Kentucky Derby (gr. 1) fans across the nation. The mutuel field still emerged as a narrow favorite as wagering in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2003 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) ended its four-day run on Sunday.

The field, which included all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the pool, and Empire Maker both closed at odds of 7-2. But the mutuel field emerged as a narrow favorite, attracting total wagering of $70,151 to the $68,859 bet on Empire Maker. The actual final odds saw the "all other 3-year-olds" close at $3.60-to-1 and Empire Maker ended up at $3.70-to-1.

Empire Maker is a son of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled who was listed at 12-1 in Churchill Downs' handicapper Mike Battaglia's morning line for Pool 2.

The Bobby Frankel-trained colt defeated Trust N Luck and Indy Dancer by a record 9 ¾-lengths Saturday in the Florida Derby, a race that has seen ten of its winners go on to win the Kentucky Derby and has produced 19 Kentucky Derby champions overall. Unbridled pulled off the Kentucky Derby-Florida Derby double in 1990 and the most recent horse to sweep both races was Monarchos in 2001. Others to achieve the feat include such greats as Spectacular Bid, Needles, Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Swale, Tim Tam, Forward Pass, and Thunder Gulch.

Sunday's San Felipe (gr. II) at Santa Anita also had a major impact on the KDFW. B. Wayne Hughes Atswhatimtalknbout, who lost by a nose to Buddy Gil in an impressive performance in that 1 1/16-mile race, saw his odds drop rapidly after that effort. The Ron Ellis-trained son of 1992 "Horse of the Year" A.P. Indy was 23-1 risk when the field broke from the gate in the San Felipe. But his odds dropped to 8-1 aftereward and he ended up as the pool's third choice.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Badge of Silver, the winner of the Risen Star (gr. III) but a beaten favorite in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), was next at 10-1 and The Thoroughbred Corp's Kafwain, the Louisiana Derby runner-up, closed at 15-1. The pool also reflected strong support for Florida Derby third-place finisher Indy Dancer (17-1); the Frankel-trained Louisiana Derby winner Peace Rules (18-1); and Hutcheson (gr. II) winner Lion Tamer (19-1). Florida Derby runner-up Trust N Luck closed at odds of 29-1.

Buddy Gil, the upset winner of the San Felipe, was included in the Pool 2 mutuel field.

Racing fans in 34 states wagered $391,002 during the four days of betting in Pool 2 and that total includes $203,446 wagered on the pool's final day. Pool 2 has been the smallest of the three pools in each of the Future Wager's previous four years. Betting on the just-completed pool fell below the $516,906 wagered during February's Pool 1. This year's Pool 2 betting also fell shy of the $401,070 wagered in the same pool in 2002.

Combined wagering in the first two pools of the 2003 KDFW stands at $907,908.

Winning payouts for Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are determined by the odds that were in place when wagering on the pool closed on Sunday evening, which are listed below.

The year's third and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool is scheduled for April 3-6. The first-ever Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW) will also be conducted on those dates. The 129th Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 3 and the 129th Oaks is set for Friday, May 2.

# Horse Odds
1. Aristocat 64.10-1
2. Atswhatimtalknbout 8.90-1
3. Badge Of Silver 10.60-1
4. Champali 56.10-1
5. Composure(f) 38.70-1
6. Domestic Dispute 28.40-1
7. Empire Maker 3.70-1
8. Funny Cide 59.40-1
9. Great Notion 66.50-1
10. Inamorato 37.50-1
11. Indy Dancer 17.60-1
12. Kafwain 15.60-1
13. Lion Tamer 19.40-1
14. Man Among Men 25.20-1
15. Ministers Wild Cat 27.40-1
16. Ocean Terrace 40.00-1
17. Offlee Wild 37.30-1
18. Peace Rules 18.10-1
19. Region Of Merit 48.00-1
20. Senor Swinger 72.90-1
21. Supah Blitz 164.70-1
22. Ten Cents A Shine 46.50-1
23. Trust N Luck 29.70-1
24. All Others 3.60-1
FINAL TOTAL: $391,002