'Field' Morning-Line Choice for First Future Pool

The "mutuel field" of horses not among the first 23 is the morning-line favorite for the first pool of the 2002 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Wagering will be offered from noon (EST) Feb. 14 through 5 p.m. (EST) Feb. 17 at facilities in a record 34 states.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has made the field, or program No. 24, the 4-1 favorite. Hollywood Futurity winner Siphonic is the second choice at 6-1, followed by three horses at 10-1: Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Johannesburg, Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winner Repent, and San Vicente Stakes winner Came Home.

One filly, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Tempera, is among the group.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is $2-minimum win bet. The list of horses in each pool consists of 24 betting interests -- 23 individual horses and a 24th interest that includes all other 3-year-olds, whether or not they have been nominated to the Kentucky Derby or Visa Triple Crown.

The three pools last year produced a total handle of $1.3 million, up from $1.1 million in 2000, and $676,000 in 1999, the first year the wager was offered.

"This group of Kentucky Derby candidates is as wide-open and competitive asany we've seen in the short history of the Future Wager, and I think the mutuel field will end up as a strong favorite this year's (first pool)," said Battaglia, also the track announcer at Turfway Park and a racing commentator for NBC. "We have seen very little of the horses that appear to be the strongest contenders for this year's Derby, and the fact that some of those horses are training in Europe and Dubai clouds the picture even more.

"The most prominent horses in this group have major questions to answer, and think that will send many fans to the windows to take their chances on the mutuel field."

The wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are chosen by a three-member committee that includes Mike Watchmaker, national handicapper for Daily Racing Form; Brad Free, West Coast correspondent for Daily Racing Form; and John Asher, vice-president, racing communications at Churchill Downs.

Here's the field for the first pool by betting number:

1 Booklet 15-1
2 Came Home 10-1
3 Cappuchino 50-1
4 Danthebluegrassman 30-1
5 Easyfromthegitgo 30-1
6 Fonz's 15-1
7 Grey Beard 50-1
8 Harlan's Holiday 12-1
9 High Star 30-1
10 Johannesburg 10-1
11 King's Consul 50-1
12 Maybry's Boy 50-1
13 Nokoma 30-1
14 Pelirrojo 50-1
15 Political Attack 30-1
16 Repent 10-1
17 Request for Parole 20-1
18 Saarland 15-1
19 Saratoga Blues 20-1
20 Siphonic 6-1
21 Stephentown 15-1
22 Tempera 15-1
23 U S S Tinosa 30-1
24 All Other 3-Year-Olds 4-1