'Valentine' Wins Hearts -- and Dollars

A P Valentine and morning-line favorite Point Given were the first and second choices, respectively, after the opening day of the third and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager offered by Churchill Downs.

A P Valentine, a Nick Zito-trainee who expected to start in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 14, was a narrow 5-1 favorite among the 24 wagering interests after the first day of wagering. In his last start, A P Valentine won a Hialeah Park allowance race in track-record time for 1 1/16 miles.

Point Given, a Bob Baffert trainee who is expected to be a heavy favorite in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby, also was 5-1 after the pool's opening day, but slightly more money had been wagered on A P Valentine ($4,599 to $4,306).

Other wagering interests that drew significant support on the first day of wagering were Dollar Bill, who finished the day as the 6-1 third choice. Florida Derby winner Monarchos was 9-1; Spiral Stakes winner Balto Star was 10-1; and Congaree and Hero's Tribute were 13-1. The mutuel "field," which includes3-year-olds ther than the 23 individual horses in the third pool, stood at 15-1.

Patrons at racetracks and satellite wagering facilities in 30 states
wagered $33,057 on the first day, an increase of $1,292 from the $31,765 wagered on the first day of last year's third and final pool. Wagering continues through Sunday.