Derby Future Wager: Life Is Good closes as 2-1 favorite

Derby Future Wager: Life Is Good closes as 2-1 favorite
Photo: Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

Eight weeks in advance of the $3 million Kentucky Derby, the unbeaten, Bob Baffert-trained Life Is Good closed as the 2-1 favorite in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) with champion 2-year-old male Essential Quality the 5-1 second betting choice and Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Greatest Honour third at 6-1.

This marked only the fourth time in the last 19 years that the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” did not close as the March future pool favorite. “All Other 3-Year-Olds” closed at 7-1.

[RELATED: See the odds on Life Is Good, dozens of others on Derby trail]

Life Is Good, who closed as the 5-1 individual favorite in Pool 1 and 7-1 individual choice in Pools 2 and 3, is the shortest-priced individual March future wager favorite in the 23-year history of the KDFW. Past March individual favorites included Mohaymen (7-2 in 2016), Uncle Mo (3-1 in 2011) and Pyro (4-1 in 2008).

On Saturday, Life Is Good improved to a perfect three wins in three starts with an eight-length romp in the $300,000 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita for six-time Kentucky Derby winner Baffert. In the Derby with 60 Road to the Kentucky Derby points, the son of Into Mischief is expected to make his final Derby prep in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Essential Quality, trained by Louisville native and Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox, also is unbeaten. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner improved his record to 4-for-4 with a 4 1/4-length triumph in the $750,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 27, his first start as a 3-year-old. Ranked fourth with 40 Derby points, the Tapit colt is expected to compete next in Keeneland’s Blue Grass (G2) on April 3.

Holy Bull (G3) and Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Greatest Honour, trained by Shug McGaughey, will attempt a sweep of the South Florida series in the March 27 Florida Derby (GI) at Gulfstream Park.

Horses in order of favoritism in the three-day March 5-7 KDFW Pool 4 (trainer, odds and $2 win will pay):

#13 Life Is Good (Bob Baffert, 2-1, $6)

#6 Essential Quality (Brad Cox, 5-1, $13.80)

#8 Greatest Honour (Shug McGaughey, 6-1, $15.60)

#24 All Other 3-Year-Olds (7-1, $16)

#1 Caddo River (Brad Cox, 16-1, $35)

#14 Mandaloun (Brad Cox, 17-1, $36.20)

#4 Concert Tour (Bob Baffert, 17-1, $37.60)

#17 Prevalence (Brendan Walsh, 29-1, $61)

#3 Collaborate (Saffie Joseph Jr., 29-1, $61.60)

#12 Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro, 30-1, $62.40)

#9 Highly Motivated (Chad Brown, 36-1, $75.40)

#15 Medina Spirit (Bob Baffert, 39-1, $81)

#18 Proxy (Mike Stidham, 41-1, $85.80)

#19 Risk Taking (Chad Brown, 42-1, $86.80)

#16 Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen, 52-1, $107.20)

#10 Hot Rod Charlie (Doug O’Neill, 53-1, $108)

#22 Spielberg (Bob Baffert, 63-1, $128.40)

#2 Candy Man Rocket (Bill Mott, 71-1, $145)

#5 Dream Shake (Peter Eurton, 71-1, $145.40)

#23 The Great One (Doug O’Neill, 79-1, $160)

#7 Freedom Fighter (Bob Baffert, 84-1, $171.20)

#20 Roman Centurian (Simon Callaghan, 94-1, $191)

#21 Rombauer (Michael McCarthy, 109-1, $220.80)

#11 Hush of a Storm (Bill Morey, 146-1, $295).

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, offered for a 23rd consecutive year, enables bettors to wager on possible Kentucky Derby contenders in advance of the race at odds that could be more attractive than those available on the day of the race. The Kentucky Derby for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds will be run for the 147th consecutive year on Saturday, May 1.

In the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which was conducted concurrently with the KDFW, Rachel Alexandra (G2) winner Clairiere closed as 7-2 favorite over “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies,” which was 5-1.

The final odds for the Oaks Future Wager:

#2 Clairiere (Steve Asmussen, 7-2, $9.80)

#24 All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies (5-1, $13.40)

#18 Travel Column (Brad Cox, 6-1, $14.40)

#9 Malathaat (Todd Pletcher, 7-1, $17.80)

#21 Will’s Secret (Dallas Stewart, 14-1, $31)

#15 Simply Ravishing (Kenny McPeek, 15-1, $33)

#19 Vequist (Butch Reid Jr., 19-1, $41.80)

#12 Pass the Champagne (George Weaver, 20-1, $43)

#5 Dayoutoftheoffice (Tim Hamm, 22-1, $47.20)

#6 Kalypso (Bob Baffert, 23-1, $48.60)

#20 Wholebodemeister (Juan Carlos Avila, 28-1, $59)

#23 Zaajel (Todd Pletcher, 28-1, $59)

#13 Pauline’s Pearl (Steve Asmussen, 28-1, $59.60)

#14 Search Results (Chad Brown, 31-1, $65.40)

#8 Li’l Tootsie (Tom Amoss, 35-1, $72.20)

#4 Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek, 39-1, $80.40)

#11 Obligatory (Bill Mott, 40-1, $82.20)

#10 Moraz (Michael McCarthy, 47-1, $96)

#17 Sun Path (Brad Cox, 55-1, $112.80)

#1 Bow Bow Girl (Dale Romans, 56-1, $115)

#7 Lady Mystify (Peter Eurton, 63-1, $129.60)

#3 Coach (Brad Cox, 67-1, $137.80)

#22 Willful Woman (Steve Asmussen, 103-1, $209.20)

#16 Souper Sensational (Mark Casse, 110-1, $223.60).

All told, $471,494 was bet in future wagers during the three-day period. To date, Churchill Downs has handled $1,481,435 in future wagers since November.

Total handle for the March 5-7 KDFW pool — the fourth of five wagering pools in advance of the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby — was $322,477 ($231,632 in the win pool and $90,844 in exactas).

Betting on the Oaks Future Wager totaled $78,290 ($57,219 in the win pool and $20,771 in exactas).

The Oaks/Derby Future Double, which requires fans to correctly select the winners of both the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks on April 30 and the next day’s Kentucky Derby, handled $70,727.

The year’s fifth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool is set for March 26-28.

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