Churchill Downs to honor Kentucky Derby Future Wager bets

Churchill Downs to honor Kentucky Derby Future Wager bets
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

The million-plus dollars already bet in anticipation of a 2020 Kentucky Derby on May 2 will carry over to the race on its postponed date, Sept. 5.

Churchill Downs spokesman Darren Rogers confirmed Tuesday that tickets from Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools 1, 2 and 3 will be honored. Pool 4, scheduled for April 3-5, will also be conducted as scheduled.

Churchill Downs intends to request from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission permission to host July and August rounds of betting in a truly unique year for America's most famous horse race, delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Derby's postponement well past the original date raised the future wagers' fate as a natural question. The legalese clearly states, however, that "no refunds will be issued." Because this is a pari-mutuel pool, it's not as if Churchill could fulfill refunds only from bettors who request them.

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One caveat in the policy: "In the event the 2020 Kentucky Derby is not run or does not produce an official winner, all wagers in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and Kentucky Derby Sires Future Wager shall result in a refund."

Language specific to the May 2 race appears but does not state that the race must occur on that day for bets to be honored.

The pari-mutuel field of "All Other 3-Year-Olds" closed as a 4-1 favorite in the most recent round of betting from March 6-8. The San Felipe Stakes (G2) winner Authentic was the top individual choice at 6-1, with the futures providing fans opportunities to place bets on possible entrants at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race.

Churchill Downs has handled $1,533,989 in future wagers since November, according according to a news release. Last year’s total future wager handle was $1,377,952 before Pool 4.

A representative with William Hill U.S., which takes fixed-odds future bets at its Nevada properties for the Derby, also confirmed Tuesday that the board remained open after news of the postponement.

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