Sierra Leone ranks as overall 7-1 favorite in KDFW Pool 5; Impel favored in Oaks Future

March 18th, 2024

Although no points races were contested over the weekend, there was wagering action aplenty in Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), and the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW).

Sierra Leone established himself as the overall favorite for the 150th Kentucky Derby (G1) by closing at 7-1. The mutuel field of “All Others,” which had been the most popular choice through the first four pools, slipped to the third choice at 11-1 in Pool 5.

Trained by Chad Brown, Sierra Leone first emerged as the individual 6-1 favorite in Pool 4, thanks to his late-running victory in the Risen Star (G2). Bettors took the opportunity to back him again before his final prep, the April 6 Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland.

Last year’s juvenile champion, Fierceness, gained renewed interest in Pool 5, finishing as the 9-1 second favorite. The Todd Pletcher pupil ranked as the 8-1 individual favorite in Pools 2 and 3, following his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) conquest, but his comeback third in the Holy Bull (G3) cost him support in Pool 4, where he wound up at 16-1. As he trains forwardly for the March 30 Florida Derby (G1), and a potential rebound, Fierceness began to look more attractive again to the market.

Japan’s Forever Young and Timberlake battled it out to round out the top five. Each concluded at 12-1, with Forever Young just shading Timberlake in the win pool ($15,449 compared to $15,128). Forever Young, who just preserved his perfect record in the Saudi Derby (G3), is pursuing Derby points in the UAE Derby (G2) on Dubai World Cup (G1) night. Timberlake, the winner of last fall’s Champagne (G1) and the Rebel (G2) in his reappearance, is eyeing either the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby (G1). 

Dornoch, who outdueled Sierra Leone in the Remsen (G2) and won a scratch-reduced Fountain of Youth (G2), ultimately inched up to 13-1. The full brother to 2023 Derby star Mage was a 9-1 chance in Pool 4. 

Next came the 16-1 trio of Deterministic, Mystik Dan, and Conquest Warrior, the only others to trade inside of 20-1.

Deterministic captured the Gotham (G3) off a layoff since his Saratoga debut score, a rather bold move for trainer Christophe Clement, who is mulling his next target. Southwest (G3) romper Mystik Dan is bound for the Arkansas Derby. Conquest Warrior, impressive winner of his past two at Gulfstream Park, is expected in the Florida Derby. So is Holy Bull upsetter Hades, a 20-1 chance in Pool 5.

Here are the final odds for KDFW Pool 5:

#1 Agate Road38-1
#2 Be You160-1
#3 Born Noble154-1
#4 Catching Freedom26-1
#5 Common Defense62-1
#6 Conquest Warrior16-1
#7 Corporate Power183-1
#8 Deterministic16-1
#9 Domestic Product33-1
#10 Dornoch13-1
#11 El Grande O138-1
#12 Encino58-1
#13 Endlessly59-1
#14 Epic Ride189-1
#15 Fierceness9-1
#16 Forever Young12-1
#17 Hades20-1
#18 Hall of Fame37-1
#19 Honor Marie35-1
#20 Just a Touch31-1
#21 Just Steel137-1
#22 Lat Long468-1
#23 Le Dom Bro263-1
#24 Liberal Arts45-1
#25 Mystik Dan16-1
#26 Nash105-1
#27 No More Time144-1
#28 Resilience128-1
#29 Seize the Grey33-1
#30 Sierra Leone7-1
#31 Stronghold48-1
#32 The Wine Steward131-1
#33 Timberlake12-1
#34 Time for Truth231-1
#35 Top Conor98-1
#36 Track Phantom23-1
#37 Tuscan Gold81-1
#38 Tuscan Sky36-1
#39 Uncle Heavy80-1
#40 “All Others”11-1

In the Oaks Future Wager, undefeated allowance winner Impel received sustained support throughout from a morning line of 10-1. Late money came to drive her into 7-1 at the close, nipping Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion Just F Y I, who had been topping the market until pushed out to 8-1.

Just F Y I was bet down from a 12-1 morning line, despite her absence since the Breeders’ Cup. The Bill Mott filly missed her intended comeback in the March 2 Davona Dale (G2) due to a fever. 

Impel, who rolled in an Oaklawn Park allowance following her Fair Grounds debut, has yet to be tested at the stakes level. The Juddmonte homebred has the Fantasy (G3) or Ashland (G1) as her key options to earn Oaks points. 

Impel was preferred to her Brad Cox stablemate, Tarifa, the 8-1 morning-line favorite who drifted to about double that before ultimately rallying as the 11-1 third choice. Intricate, the Golden Rod (G2) romper who was runner-up to Tarifa in the Rachel Alexandra (G2), shortened from a 20-1 opening into 12-1. The duo will renew rivalry in Saturday’s Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).

In a year when the fillies’ picture is still sorting itself out, the “All Other Three-Year-Old Fillies” option was likewise backed into 12-1 from a morning line price of 20-1.

The respective second and third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Jody’s Pride and Candied, narrowly reversed positions in the Oaks Future. Both finished at 13-1, but Candied got more late money as she edged Jody’s Pride in the win pool. Unlike Just F Y I and Candied, Jody’s Pride has resumed this term with a victory in the Busher S.

Here are the final odds for the only Oaks Future:

#1 All Things Go113-1
#2 Alpine Princess52-1
#3 Band of Gold92-1
#4 Candied13-1
#5 Carmelina86-1
#6 Denim and Pearls49-1
#7 Fiona's Magic32-1
#8 Ghalia Princess45-1
#9 Gin Gin79-1
#10 Gun Song33-1
#11 Halina's Forte29-1
#12 Impel7-1
#13 Into Champagne85-1
#14 Intricate12-1
#15 Jody's Pride13-1
#16 Just F Y I8-1
#17 Kopion19-1
#18 Lemon Muffin16-1
#19 Leslie's Rose31-1
#20 Life Talk74-1
#21 Maxisuperfly100-1
#22 Midsummer March164-1
#23 My Mane Squeeze32-1
#24 Neom Beach214-1
#25 Our Pretty Woman31-1
#26 Perfect Shot166-1
#27 Power Squeeze77-1
#28 Pretty Ana218-1
#29 Scalable148-1
#30 She's a Tempest261-1
#31 Sistina Chapel530-1
#32 Tapit Jenallie180-1
#33 Tarifa11-1
#34 Thorpedo Anna17-1
#35 Ultimate Authority354-1
#36 V V's Dream85-1
#37 Ways and Means19-1
#38 West Omaha61-1
#39 West Sunset131-1
#40 “All Others”12-1

Complete details, including will-pays and exacta probables, will be available on the Future Wager page at

Churchill Downs reported Pool 5 handle of $334,581 ($246,076 in the Win pool and $85,506 in Exactas), while the Oaks Future attracted $69,717 ($48,334 in the Win pool and $21,384 in Exactas). A total of $53,971 was wagered on the Oaks/Derby Double, which challenges bettors to pick the winners of both races.

The sixth and final KDFW will be held April 4-6 – a Thursday-Saturday run that concludes before the Derby points races on April 6.