First Derby Future Wager Pool in Mid-February

Edited Churchill Downs press release
Churchill Downs has set the dates for the trio of four-day wagering pools for the 2001 Kentucky Derby Future Wager and that schedule includes a significant change in the timing of the wager's final pool.

The Future Wager, which gives Kentucky Derby fans across North America the opportunity to wager on their Derby selections weeks and months in advance of the famed "Run for the Roses," enters its third year in 2001. Pool 1 is scheduled for Feb. 15-18; Pool 2 is set for March 8-11; and Pool 3 will run from April 5-8. The 127th renewal of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.

Pool Three will be conducted a week earlier than in the first two years of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Previously, that pool had been open three weeks prior to the running of the Kentucky Derby, a schedule that coincided with the running of three major prep races: the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) at Keeneland, the Wood Memorial (gr. II) at Aqueduct and the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park. Those races fall on Easter Weekend in 2001 and most North American tracks will be closed on Sunday, April 15 - which would have reduced Pool 3 to a three-day session. As a result, Pool 3 for 2001 was moved back a week to April 5-8, a period that coincides with the running of a major Kentucky Derby prep, the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and allows for a full four-day wagering session in most of the markets that will offer the Future Wager. A major exception is the New York Racing Association, which will not conduct live racing or simulcast wagering on Palm Sunday, April 8.

"The Kentucky Derby Future Wager displayed impressive growth in its popularity and distribution in its second year and we're looking for more of the same in 2001," said Alex Waldrop, president of Churchill Downs. "The support shown by fans over those first two years indicates that they love the challenge of finding the Kentucky Derby winner weeks and months before the race is run. The earlier time period for Pool 3 should be a boost to Derby fans in search of a bargain, since the final odds won't be affected by the runnings of three major prep races that have had a big impact on pool's final odds in the Future Wager's first two years."

The Future Wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance of the race at odds that may be more attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and is a win bet only. The field of horses in each pool consists of 24 betting interests, which include 23 horses and a 24th interest that is a mutuel field that contains all other three-year-old Thoroughbreds - regardless of whether those horses have been nominated to the Kentucky Derby and the Visa Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby contenders listed among the wagering interests in the wager's three pools will be selected by a panel of racing officials and handicappers.

Combined wagering in the three Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools in 2000 was a record $1,158,919, a 71 percent increase from the wagering total of $676,233 in the three pools of the wager's inaugural run in 1999. Fans in 25 states participated in the wager in at least one of the three pools in 2000, a significant increase from the 15 states in which the wager was offered in its first year.

Winning Derby Future Wager
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus
Pool 1: $27.80
Pool 2: $26.40
Pool 3: $8.00**
Derby Payout: $6.60

1999 Charismatic*
Pool 1: $10.20**
Pool 2: $30.20
Pool 3: $26.60
Derby Payout: $64.60
*Charismatic was a member of the mutuel field in all three pools in 1999