Betting the 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

Betting the 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2
Photo: Coady Photography

Caddo River made a big splash in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 for 2021 after his 10 1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park on Friday. The Brad Cox trainee, who is one of 23 individual betting interests in Pool 2, was listed at 30-1 in the morning line.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has five horses in Pool 2, including Bezos, the first unraced horse to ever be part of the KDFW. Cox has four, while Todd Pletcher, Doug O’Neill and Steve Asmussen each have two.

Since the qualifying points system was instituted in 2013, four horses from Pool 2 went on to win the Run for the Roses — California Chrome in 2014 (paid $63.40 in pool 2 and $7.00 on track), American Pharoah in 2015 ($23.00, $7.80), Nyquist in 2016 ($17.80, $6.60), and Authentic last year ($32.20, $19.60).

Fourteen new horses were added to Pool 2 this year: Bezos, Capo Kane, Concert Tour, Greatest Honour, Mandaloun, Medina Spirit, Mutasaabeq, Olympiad, Prate, Prime Factor, Proxy, Senor Buscador, Speilberg and Wipe the Slate.

In the qualifying points era, California Chrome is still the only new horse added to Pool 2 to ever win the Kentucky Derby.

Let’s take a look at how the Pool 2 horses from the Future Wager performed in the Kentucky Derby for the last eight years.

2020: Six horses from Pool 2 were in the Derby field. Interestingly, they all finished among the top seven and were led by the win and place horses, Authentic and Tiz the Law. The Pool 2 exacta paid $205.60 compared with the on-track price of $41.00.

2019: Seven horses from Pool 2 made it to the race, with Tacitus finishing third. Twelve new betting interests were added, and four of them made it into the gate. The futures exacta included the #24, the field or “All Other 3-year-olds” because the eventual winner Country House did not appear until Pool 3.

2018: Again, the futures exacta included the field because Triple Crown winner Justify did not show up until Pool 3. In total, 10 horses from Pool 2 were in the Derby, including the second, third, and fourth place finishers. Six new betting possibilities were added, and the third-place Audible was one of them.

2017: Derby winner Always Dreaming was yet another one who made his Future Wager debut in Pool 3, and that means that the exacta used the All Other 3-year-olds interest. Nine from Pool 2 made it to the First Saturday in May, with Lookin At Lee getting a place finish. From the 10 new betting interests added to Pool 2, only the 12th-place horse was in the Derby.

2016: Pool 2 betting interests swept the top four spots in Derby, led by the 2-year-old Champion Nyquist, and half the field came from Pool 2. Thirteen new horsesn were added to Pool 2, but only three made it to the race.

2015: Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was one of 10 Pool 2 betting interests to make it to the Derby field. The nine new horses added to Pool 2 included Firing Line, who finished second and completed a Pool 2 exacta that did not include the field.

2014: Derby winner California Chrome was one of 14 new individual interests added, with seven of them being the only horses to make their way into the starting gate from Pool 2. The futures exacta was completed with a field horse and paid $358.60.

2013: Orb was yet another Derby winner who did not show up in the Future Wager until Pool 3, which means that once again the field #24 was part of the exacta.

Here are the handicapping takeaways for the 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2.

• The list of new betting interests added to Pool 2 is not a place to find the Kentucky Derby winner.

Since the points system started in 2013, California Chrome is the only Pool 2 winner to be one of those new betting interests. Most of the horses are added to KDFW 2 based on a maiden win or on a good performance in a 10-point race, and that leaves a lot to accomplish to even make it to the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

• Pool 2 has contained the winner of the Derby 50 percent of the time.

As we are not looking for the Derby winner among the 14 new horses in Pool 2, that leaves only nine horses to consider: Caddo River, Essential Quality, Fire At Will, Highly Motivated, Hot Rod Charlie, Jackie’s Warrior, Keepmeinmind, Life Is Good and Midnight Bourbon.

• Play these Pool 2 horses to win.

Caddo River
 — Even with open-length victories in his last two starts, he will be no lower than the third individual betting choice in Pool 2 behind Life is Good and Essential Quality.

Hot Rod Charlie — He finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile less than a length behind Essential Quality and is expected to make his 2021 debut on Jan. 30 in the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita. Trainer Doug O’Neill is a two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby.

• Use #24 “All Other Interests” in the Future Wager exacta in Pool 2.

Since 2013, five out of the eight exactas included the field horses in one of the positions, four times in the top spot and once on the bottom. In those years, the Pool 2 exacta payout ranged from $69.80 to $550.60.

• Play these Pool 2 Future exactas.

All five of these key exacta horses were part of Pool 1. The minimum wager in the exacta pool is $2.

2-Caddo River, 5-Essential Quality, 9-Hot Rod Charlie, 11-Keepmeinmind, 12-Life Is Good with 24-All Other Interests = $10

24-All Other Interests with 2-Caddo River, 5-Essential Quality, 9-Hot Rod Charlie, 11-Keepmeinmind, 12-Life Is Good = $10

Wagering for Pool 2 concludes Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Meet Matt Shifman



Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.



You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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