5 keys to playing Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool 1

5 keys to playing Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool 1
Photo: Sue Kawczynski / Eclipse Sportswire

For the ninth time, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool 1 will open on Thanksgiving weekend to usher in the official wagering on the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

HorseCenter’s early preview of the 2022 Kentucky Derby

The biggest news is that horses trained by seven-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert were excluded from the list of 22 individual betting interests in pool 1. In a news release announcing the KDFW pool 1, Churchill Downs broke the news about Baffert without naming him.

“Pool 1 assumes that horses under the care of trainers suspended from competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby will not be under consideration.”

Since 2014, three individually listed horses in pool 1 won the Run for the Roses. American Pharoah and Nyquist did it in 2015 and 2016, and Bob Baffert trainee Authentic joined the list with the Kentucky Derby that was run in September 2020.

Jack Christopher
, the unbeaten winner of the Champagne (G1) stakes for Chad Brown, is listed as the 10-1 morning line favorite among the individual betting interests in KDFW pool 1. Jack Christopher was scratched from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and recently had a screw placed in his left front shin.

Here is the morning line for KDFW pool 1, which includes #1-22, the individual betting options; #23, all fillies from the 2019 foal crop; and #24, all other colts and geldings.

#1 Ben Diesel (Dallas Stewart, Will Take Charge, 30-1)

#2 Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch, Giant’s Causeway, 15-1)

#3 Commandperformance (Todd Pletcher, Union Rags, 15-1)

#4 Double Thunder (Todd Pletcher, Super Saver, 30-1)

#5 Epicenter (Steve Asmussen, Not This Time, 30-1)

#6 Forced Ranking (Chad Brown, Mastery, 30-1)

#7 Giant Game (Dale Romans, Giant’s Causeway, 15-1)

#8 Graphic Detail (Bill Mott, Practical Joke, 50-1)

#9 Gunite (Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner, 20-1)

#10 Howling Time (Dale Romans, Not This Time, 20-1)

#11 Jack Christopher (Chad Brown, Munnings, 10-1)

#12 Major General (Todd Pletcher, Constitution, 20-1)

#13 Mo Donegal (Todd Pletcher, Uncle Mo, 20-1)

#14 Osbourne (Ron Moquett, Tapiture, 30-1)<

#15 Oviatt Class (Keith Desormeaux, Bernardini, 30-1)

#16 Pappacap (Mark Casse, Gun Runner, 12-1)

#17 Rattle N Roll (Kenny McPeek, Connect, 15-1)

#18 Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek, Runhappy, 50-1)

#19 Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek, Hit It a Bomb, 20-1)

#20 Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr., Lord Nelson, 50-1)

#21 Varatti (Todd Pletcher, Into Mischief, 50-1)

#22 Zandon (Chad Brown, Upstart, 30-1)

#23 All Fillies from the 2019 Foal Crop (50-1)

#24 All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2019 Foal Crop (1-1)

Five trainers have more than one horse in KDFW pool 1, and together they have 15 of the 22 individual betting interests: Pletcher 5, McPeek 3, Brown 3, Asmussen 2, and Romans 2.

KDFW pool 1, which features $2 win and exacta wagering, opens Thursday at noon EST and will close Sunday 28 at 6 p.m. EST.

Please note that five horses from pool 1 are entered to run in the Kentucky Jockey Club on Saturday at Churchill Downs which means you should wait until that race has been run before wagering on any of them.

Here are five keys to help with your KDFW pool 1 wagers.

1) Betting on Bob Baffert.

The highly regarded 2-year-olds Corniche, Messier, Pinehurst and Rockefeller, who are currently trained by Baffert, are not among the 22 individual betting interests. But you can wager on them as part of the mutuel field as #24, “All Other” colts and geldings.

2) The “All Others” betting interest will be a heavy favorite.

In the last seven years the mutuel field bet, or #24 “All Others”, has been the overwhelming favorite, with the shortest-price individual far higher in odds. In 2021, “All Others” was 6-5 and Life is Good was 5-1; 2020 - “All Others” was 1-1 and Tiz the Law was 11-1; 2019 - “All Others” was 6-5 and Game Winner was 5-1; 2018 - “All Others” was 6-5 and Bolt d’Oro was 7-1; 2017 - “All Others” 6-5 and Classic Empire 6-1; 2016 - “All Others” 3-5 and Nyquist 9-1; 2015 - “All Others” 3-5 and Dortmund 9-1; and 2014 - “All Others” 4-5 and New Year’s Day 15-1.

The favored individual horse figures to end up having high odds this year with the absence of Corniche, the undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, and Jack Christopher sidelined after his shin procedure.

3) Should I use “All Others” in my pool 1 exacta wagers?

The favored “All Others” betting interest has been part of the KDFW Pool 1 exacta in six of the last seven years, and those payoffs have been relatively modest.

In 2021, Medina Spirit (“All Others”) with Mandaloun paid $123.80.

In 2019, Country House (“All Others”) with Code of Honor paid $109.40.

In 2018, Justify (“All Others”) with Good Magic paid $52.40.

In 2017, Always Dreaming (“All Others”) with Lookin At Lee paid $161.80.

In 2015, American Pharoah with Firing Line (“All Others”) paid $58.00.

In 2014, California Chrome (“All Others”) with Candy Boy paid $203.00.

4) It is a long journey from pool 1 to the Derby starting gate.

For the 2021 Derby, six of the pool 1 individual betting interests made it to the race: Hot Rod Charlie (third), Essential Quality (fourth), Midnight Bourbon (sixth), Keepmeinmind (seventh), Highly Motivated (10th) and Super Stock (16th).

In 2020, only four of the individuals from pool 1 made it to the Derby, with the winner Authentic leading the way. He was followed by Tiz the Law (second), Honor A. P. (fourth) and Storm the Court (sixth).

In 2019, five pool 1 runners got to the first Saturday in May, including the second-place Code of Honor. He was followed by Improbable (fourth), Game Winner (fifth), Vekoma (12th) and Roadster (15th).

5) Long shots to consider for your pool 1 wagers.

In pool 1, using long shots is the way to go whether it is in a win bet or part of an exacta box with #24 “All Others”.

#10 – Howling Time [ML 20-1] – This $200,000 Keeneland yearling purchase is very quietly unbeaten in two career starts, a six-furlong maiden victory at Churchill Downs at odds of 5.70-1 and a win in the Street Sense on Halloween. He drew off to win that two-turn stake by more than three lengths. Trainer Dale Romans will run him in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on Saturday.

#17 – Rattle N Roll [ML 15-1] – Rattle N Roll has more experience than most 2-year-olds, with four starts. His first two starts in maiden races were adventures for trainer Kenny McPeek. In an early June start at Churchill, he broke poorly and then weaved through the field to go from last to third. In August at Saratoga, he bolted on the second turn of a rare nine-furlong maiden and did not finish the race. The son of Connect benefitted from the experience as he won his next two starts in Kentucky, including the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Rattle N Roll is one of only three Grade 1 winners listed in pool 1.

#18 – Smile Happy [ML 50-1] – Smile Happy was a debut winner by 5 1/2 lengths at Keeneland going 1 1/16 miles at odds of 3.30-1. Most sons of the high-profile sire Runhappy have done their best running as 3-year-olds, so this colt having a victory going long as a juvenile leaves plenty of reason to be optimistic that better things lie ahead. He also is entered in Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club.

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