Unbeaten Verrazano (#20), impressive in three dominant victories since he launched his racing career on New Year's Day, is a solid morning line choice to emerge as the overall betting favorite in this weekend's third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed Verrazano, the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the March 9 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II), as the 7-2 favorite in his morning line odds for KDFW Pool 3. Wagering in the three-day pool is set to open at noon (all times Eastern) Friday, March 22, and conclude at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 24.
While Verrazano was the favored individual in the first two KDFW pools of 2013, the overall bettors' choice in each was the Mutuel Field (#24), or "All Others," which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses listed on each pool's betting roster. Battaglia installed "All Others" as the 6-1 second choice in Pool 3.
Trailing Verrazano and "All Others" in Pool 3 odds is a third-choice trio at 10-1 that includes Holy Bull (gr. III) winner Itsmyluckyday (#7), Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (gr. II) winner Orb (#12), and Gotham (gr. III) winner Vyjack (#21). Flashback (#4), the Bob Baffert-trained winner of the Robert B. Lewis (gr. II), is the 12-1 fourth choice, and is followed in the morning line by reigning 2-year-old champion and Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Shanghai Bobby (#18) at 15-1 and a group at 20-1 headed by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained duo of Will Take Charge (#23) and Oxbow (#14), the 1-2 finishers in the March 16 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park. Also listed at 20-1 are San Felipe (gr. II) winner Hear the Ghost (#6), Remsen (gr. II) runner-up Normandy Invasion (#11) and Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) winner Uncaptured (#19).
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager offers racing fans an opportunity to bet on potential contenders for the Run for the Roses well in advance of the race at odds that could be significantly more attractive than those available in betting on Kentucky Derby Day.
Each Kentucky Derby Future pool offers $2-minimum win betting and exacta wagering, which is available in the form of $2 minimum straight exacta bets or $1-minimum exacta boxes and part-wheels. No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Derby Future Wager, but betting on an individual horse will be suspended immediately if Churchill Downs determines that an injury, illness, or other circumstance revealed during the pool would prevent that horse from competing in the Kentucky Derby.
Fans wagered a total of $1,028,532 in win and exacta bets during Feb. 8-10 and March 1-3 KDFW pools.
Once again, many of the 23 individual horses in this Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool are in the care of a handful of trainers, including five each from the stables of Pletcher and Baffert, both Kentucky Derby-winning trainers. Verrazano and Shanghai Bobby head a Pletcher squad that also includes Palace Malice (#15), Revolutionary (#16) and Overanalyze (#13). Flashback is joined in Baffert's group by Code West (#1), Den's Legacy (#2), Shakin It Up (#17) and War Academy (#22).
Pool 3 features six horses that were not wagering interests in this year's second pool. The newcomers are Hear the Ghost, Java's War (#8), Mr Palmer (#9), Noble Tune (#10), War Academy, and Will Take Charge.
Betting on the 2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager is offered by racetracks and off-track betting centers throughout North America. The bet also is available online at TwinSpires.com, the official online wagering site of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, and other advance deposit wagering platforms. KDFW betting interests are chosen by a panel that includes Ed DeRosa of BRISNET, Mike Watchmaker, Brad Free of the Daily Racing Form, and Churchill Downs' John Asher.
Information on the Kentucky Derby is available online at the official event Web site at www.KentuckyDerby.com and KDFW real-time odds will be presented on that web site throughout Pool 3.