Classic Empire

Classic Empire

Chad B. Harmon

Classic Empire Top Single Horse in KDFW Pool 2

Pioneerof the Nile colt was 5-1 when the pool closed Jan. 29.

John Oxley's champion 2-year-old Classic Empire  edged unbeaten rising stars Mastery  and McCraken to be the favored individual contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), but the ever-popular mutuel field, or "all others," continued its traditional run as the betting favorite in the second of four pools of Churchill Downs' 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which completed its three-day run Jan. 29.

The mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses on the roster of 24 betting interests, closed as the 5-2 fan's choice in the KDFW when betting ceased Sunday at 6 p.m. (EST). The mutuel field has been favored in each of the first KDFW pools of the calendar year since the pari-mutuel future bet was introduced in 1999.  

Classic Empire—a Pioneerof the Nile  colt, the unanimous selection as Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old of 2016, and winner of the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Park—was the favored individual 3-year-old throughout the three days of betting. The Mark Casse trainee has won four of his five starts and earned $1,485,920.

A pair of unbeatens finished in virtual dead-heat for the position as overall third choice and second choice among individual horses. Cheyenne Stables' Mastery (9-1) and Whitham Thoroughbreds' McCraken (9-1) closed as the co-third choices. A total of $18,160 was wagered on the Bob Baffert-trained Mastery, while $18,105 was bet on trainer Ian Wilkes' McCraken.

A total of $330,042 was wagered in Pool 2, including $102,162 in exacta wagering.

Other betting interests attracting solid support in KDFW Pool 2 were the Baffert-trained American Anthem (15-1), Remsen (G2) winner Mo Town (15-1), and Sham (G3) and FrontRunner (G1) winner Gormley  (19-1).