The Kentucky Derby Future Wager Analysis for Pool 1

The first chance to bet on the 2018 Kentucky Derby is almost upon us. Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens Thursday; for a period of four days, you can bet on who will win the Derby, what the exacta will be, and which stallion will be the sire of the Derby winner.

There are 23 individual 2-year-olds that you can bet on to win the Derby, along with a 24th option which pays out if the winner is not among the 23 named individuals. This last option, the “all others” bet, is usually at the shortest odds for Pool 1 of the KDFW since 2014, when it was moved to late November.

Mike Battaglia’s morning line estimates the “all others” option will be about 7-5 when Pool 1 closes – which means that for a $2 wager, the payout received will be about $4.80. The odds are short but fair: only one of the individual horses named in the first KDFW pool in 2013, Ride On Curlin, started in the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The number rose to seven for the 2015 Derby, six for 2016, and seven for 2017.

The “all others” option was the successful one in Pool 1 in 2014 and 2017, as neither California Chrome nor Always Dreaming were among those listed individually in Pool 1. The payouts were at odds of 4-5 in 2014 and 6-5 in 2017 (that’s payouts of $3.60 in 2014 and $4.40 in 2017). Both were great value – if a punter was told in November 2013 that they would have 18 horses running for them in a 19-horse 2014 Derby field, and that you’d get $3.60 for a $2 bet if any of the 18 won, they’d likely feel pretty good.

"The successful bets on the 2015 and 2016 Derby in KDFW Pool 1 were..."

The successful bets on the 2015 and 2016 Derby in KDFW Pool 1 were on horses that were among the named 23: American Pharoah in 2015 (a 12-1 chance, with a $27.60 payoff for $2), and Nyquist in 2016 (a 9-1 chance, with a $21.80 payout).

If your aim is to get better odds on a horse that you really like in November for next year’s Derby, taking an individual bet is the option. The Pool 1 payouts for both American Pharoah and Nyquist were much better than the payouts on the day of the race - $7.80 for American Pharoah and $6.60 for Nyquist. Of course, there is plenty of doubt which comes with investing in an individual runner in November – as history has shown, more than half of the 23 named each year didn’t even get to the Derby starting gate.

American Pharoah and Nyquist were both clearly the best juveniles of their year. But when the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) goes to a maiden, as it did this year, you know it’s a fairly even bunch of 2-year-olds in terms of Derby prospects. That maiden, Good Magic, is the shortest priced chance on the morning line at 8-1; if that’s close to his final odds when the pool ends, it seems a little low.
Among the favorites, Bolt d’Oro (10-1) may be the best prospect. Not everything went his way when he finished third in the Juvenile after a wide gate and a poor start – the latter of which he’ll need to fix ome Derby day. He’s bred to stay the 1 ¼ miles, and has shown great talent.

"Horses that haven’t taken on the best until now that could be good speculator bets for the Derby..."

Horses that haven’t taken on the best until now that could be good speculator bets for the Derby, among them Dak Attack, Montauk, Principe Guilherme, and McKinzie. But for this pool at least, the most likely bet to succeed is probably the “all others” option.

Many of the same principles apply to the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. The “all other sires” option is again favored on the morning line, but it needs to be remembered that each of the 23 listed sires have large numbers of progeny out there, so you’re getting more than one potential runner. Both editions of the sire wager have been won by named individuals – Uncle Mo in 2016 and Bodemeister this year – and the 4-1 morning-line odds for “all others” is the largest that it’s ever been.

Interestingly, six sires of 2-year-olds that are named as individual options in the KDFW Pool 1 are not among the list of sires available in the sire wager: they are Poseidon’s Warrior (Firenze Fire), Animal Kingdom (Untamed Domain), Shanghai Bobby (Gotta Go), New Year’s Day (Talent Scout), Star Guitar (Givemeaminit), and Majestic Warrior (Lone Warrior).

Twelve of the sires that are named on the sire future wager don’t have an individual among the 23 Pool 1 options in the KDFW: they are War Front, Bernardini, Bodemeister, Candy Ride, Pioneerof The Nile, Quality Road, Speightstown, Uncle Mo, Giant’s Causeway, Malibu Moon, Overanalyze, and Violence.

It’s worth noting that since 1990, only one stallion has sired more than a single Kentucky Derby winner – Maria’s Mon, sire of Monarchos (2001) and Super Saver (2010). That’s no guarantee that pattern will continue, but it does highlight the competitiveness. With sires, it’s probably best to pick one that has a potential runner which you feel confident about.

Read more on the KDFW.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools

KDFW Pool 1
   
All Others 7-5
Good Magic 8-1
Bolt d’Oro 10-1
Solomini 15-1
Engage 20-1
Firenze Fire 20-1
Free Drop Billy 20-1
McKinzie 20-1
Montauk 20-1
Principe Guilherme 20-1
Sporting Chance 20-1
Untamed Domain 20-1
Avery Island 30-1
Copper Bullet 30-1
Dak Attack 30-1
Enticed 30-1
Gotta Go 30-1
Mask 30-1
Mendelssohn 30-1
Quip 30-1
Talent Scout 30-1
Givemeaminit 50-1
Lone Sailor 50-1
Tiz Mischief 50-1
   
 
KDFW SIRES
   
All Other Sires 4-1
Curlin  8-1 
Tapit  10-1 
Medaglia d’Oro  12-1 
Street Sense  15-1 
War Front  15-1
Bernardini  20-1 
Bodemeister  20-1 
Candy Ride (ARG)  20-1 
Distorted Humor  20-1 
Ghostzapper  20-1 
Into Mischief  20-1 
More Than Ready  20-1 
Pioneerof the Nile  20-1 
Quality Road  20-1 
Scat Daddy  20-1 
Speightstown  20-1 
Tiznow  20-1 
Uncle Mo  20-1 
Giant’s Causeway  30-1 
Malibu Moon  30-1 
Overanalyze  30-1 
Union Rags  30-1 
Violence  30-1 
Download Sire PDF  

 

History of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.