Kentucky Derby Future Wager | Contests and Promotions

Saturday, May 3

What is the Kentucky Derby Future Wager?

The Kentucky Derby may be run on the First Saturday in May, but interest for bettors begins as early as November.

The Future wager offers an opportunity to bet on the Kentucky Derby runners early, before their odds are set on the day of the race. This provides the opportunity for making more money on the winner.

Since 1999, Churchill Downs has offered early betting on America’s most famous race in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. It offers punters the chance to bet on a horse to win the Derby at an early date, with the chance of getting much greater returns than if you bet on the day of the race.

There are effectively four separate Kentucky Derby Future Wagers each year. Churchill Downs offers four separate pari-mutuel pools, each held over distinct three-day periods. The first is in late November, the second is in late January, the third in late February, and the fourth begins in late March.

In each pool, bets can be made on 23 individually-chosen horses, and one mutuel field option, which includes every other 3-year-old. Each pool also offers exacta betting involving the same 23 named horses and the single mutuel field option.

With numbers on their side, the mutuel field (also known as 'All Others' or 'The Field') option frequently carries the shortest odds. But in the 62 individual pools offered in the history of the KDFW, only 19 resulted in payouts on the mutuel field option.

Not surprisingly, there are more cases of this happening in the early pools; only three of the 18 horses to have won the Derby in that time span (Mine That Bird in 2009, War Emblem in 2003, and Charismatic in 1999) were not offered as individual options in the final pool.

How you go about betting in the next KDFW depends on the risks you like to take.

There’s a reasonable chance if you bet in November that the mutuel field option is a good one; last year, only seven of the individual options offered in November made it to the starting gates in May, and eventual winner Always Dreaming was not one of them. The payout was $4.40 for a $2 bet, not bad given that it covered 13 horses on the day.

However, if you think you’ve seen the Derby winner by late November, and it’s a named runner, you can get some very good odds. For example, if you thought American Pharoah was a potential champion based on his 2014 2-year-old form, you could have got odds of $27.60 in pool one; he paid $7.80 when he won the 2015 Derby. And if you liked Derby winner Funny Cide early in 2003, you would have got $188 for a $2 bet. He paid $27.60 on the day.

Mutuel field options can be very good ones for exactas, especially early on. There’s a good chance one of the horses that finishes in the first two on Derby day won’t be a named runner in the KDFW.

Held alongside the win and exacta KDFW options in pool one only, in late November, is a bet on what stallion will be the sire of the Derby winner. Once again, there are 23 individual sires named and a 24th “mutuel field” option covering all other sires. The third pool also includes the sole future wager option for the Kentucky Oaks. Exactas are available for both.

Find the most up-to-date Future Wager information here.

2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Click here for FREE Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 PP's courtesy of

Click here to download FREE PP's for the Triple Crown Nominations courtesy of

Click here to download FREE PP's for the Kentucky Oaks Nominations courtesy of

The dates for the four Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools are:

KDFW Pool 1: November 27-30 (4 days)

KDFW Pool 2: February 6-8 (3 days) -

KDFW Pool 3: February 27-March 1 (3 days)

KDFW Pool 4: March 27-29 (3 days)

KOFW Pool 1: February 27-March 1 (3 days)

About the 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

The fields for the four Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools and the single Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool will be selected by a panel of racing officials and journalists. Individual horses included in Pool 1 will be announced on November 25.

The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Future Wagers are innovative pari-mutuel wagers that allow racing fans the opportunity to wager on potential contenders well in advance of those races at odds that could be significantly more attractive than those available on the days the races are run.

For example, Orb paid $12.80 to win on race day of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, but returned $26.20 in Pool 2 and $29.60 in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

More than $1.4 million was wagered on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager in 2012 and 2013, respectively -- the highest totals since 2006 when the wager was offered in a three-pool, four-day format. Another $126,039 was bet on the 2013 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which was a record for the single-pool format.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager – the first pari-mutuel wager of its kind when launched in 1999 – will be offered for the 16th consecutive year. The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, introduced in 2003, is entering its 12th year and sixth straight year as a single-pool wager.

Each pool will feature 24 wagering interests that include 23 individual horses and a mutuel field, known by many fans as the "All Others" bet. The mutuel field, listed as No. 24 on the betting menu, will feature all foals of 2011 other than the 23 individual Thoroughbreds in the pool regardless of whether those horses have been nominated to the Kentucky Derby, the Triple Crown or the Kentucky Oaks.

Both wagers offer $2-minimum win betting and exacta wagering, which is available in the form of $2 minimum straight exacta bets or $1-minimum exacta boxes and part-wheels. No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in either wager, but wagering on a Derby or Oaks Future Wager horse will be suspended immediately if Churchill Downs determines that injury, illness or other circumstance revealed during a pool would prevent a horse from competing in their respective race.

All winning payouts are determined by the odds in place at the end of each respective betting pool.

Wagering on the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Future Wager will be offered at Churchill Downs and racetracks throughout North America; via, the official online wagering site of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Inc.; other advance deposit wagering sites; and simulcast centers and off-track wagering sites.

KDFW Pool 2, Pool 3 and Pool 4 -- along with KOFW Pool 1 which coincides with KDFW Pool 3 -- will be three-day pools that open at noon (ET) on Thursday. But in a change this year, each pool will close on Saturday afternoon prior to post time of a designated race on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" or "Road to the Kentucky Oaks." Previously, the KDFW pools opened on a Friday and closed on Sunday at 6 p.m.

"Our intent is to present pools that are more true to the future wager concept," said John Asher, Churchill Downs' Vice President of Racing Communications. "Two years ago, we made adjustments to our schedule. Rather than offer pools concurrent with major prep races, we moved them to a week or two in advance of those races and we saw increases in betting. Horseplayers are looking for optimum value, and we feel that closing the pools just before a major race is run is worth exploring. Those bettors with the 'right horse' in advance of the race could potentially receive the most advantageous odds."

Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW are available at the official event Web site at  The Kentucky Oaks' official event Web site is Real time odds will be presented on that site throughout the 2013 KOFW pool.

The $2 million Kentucky Derby will be run for the 140th consecutive year at Churchill Downs on May 3. The $1 million Kentucky Oaks will be run in its traditional calendar location on May 2, the eve of the "Run for the Roses."


YearWinnerPool 1Pool 2Pool 3Derby Day
2013Orb$4.40 (f)$26.20$29.60$12.80
2012I'll Have Another$60.20$46.20$45.60$32.60
2011Animal Kingdom$6.20 (f)$9.40 (f)$64.40$43.80
2010Super Saver$43.20$51.20$73.00$18.00
2009Mine That Bird$5.80 (f) *$11.80 (f) *$36.80 (f)$103.20
2008Big Brown$8.60 (f)*$15.00 (f)$8.60*$6.80*
2007Street Sense$22.80$18.20$15.40$11.80*
2006Barbaro$40.20$32.20$20.80 $14.20
2005Giacomo$52.00 $54.20$103.60 $102.60
2004Smarty Jones$5.60 (f)$10.80 (f) $23.60 $10.20*
2003Funny Cide$188.00*** $120.80$23.60$27.60 
2002War Emblem$7.60 (f)* $16.00$24.00$43.00 
2001Monarchos $36.60 $13.00$15.80 $23.00 
2000Fusaichi Pegasus$27.80 $26.40 (f)$ 8.00* $ 6.60* 
1999Charismatic $10.20 (f)* $30.20 (f)$26.60 (f)$64.60

(f) – Mutuel field  *Favorite  ***Record KDFW win payout


YearWagering PayoutPool 1Pool2Pool 3Payout
2012Believe You Can$74.80No PoolNo Pool$29.60
2011Plum Pretty$21.80 (f)No PoolNo Pool-
2010Blind Luck$10.00No PoolNo Pool$4.60
2009Rachel Alexandra$8.40No PoolNo Pool$2.60*
2008Proud Spell$15.60$14.20$15.60 $8.80*
2007Rags to Riches  $9.60 $10.00* $5.00* $5.00* 
2006Lemons Forever  $9.00 (f)* $11.00 (f)*$26.00 (f) $96.20 
2005Summerly$31.80 $15.00$28.40 $11.20
2004Ashado $48.40***$21.00  $17.80 $6.60*
2003Bird Town $33.60 No Pool  No Pool  $38.40 

(f) – Mutuel field *Favorite ***Record KDFW win payout

Past Kentucky Derby Future Wager Information

2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager