A sure sign that spring is right around the corner is when the first Kentucky Derby Futures Pool opens for business. Now through 6pm (EST) on Sunday, February 15th, you can visit your favorite short-term investment website and get action on the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. Even though the race isn’t run until May 2nd, over $500,000 will be wagered by horseplayers willing to take a shot at finding the Derby winner in February, at an attractive price.
Since the inception of the Derby Futures wager 10 years ago (1999), it has been conducted as three separate pools. Pool 1 in February, Pool 2 in mid-March and Pool 3 in mid-April, each having 24 betting interests. The pools oddsmaker lists 23 horses that appear to be on the road to Run for the Roses, and one “All Other 3 year olds” selection (which should be self-explanatory).
Historically in Pool 1, the “All Others” selection closes as the favorite in the range of 5-2 to 4-1 because a lot can happen between now and the first Saturday in May. Most of the 23 in Pool 1 never make it to the Derby starting gate, but oddly enough, of the past 10 Derby winners, only 4 of them were not in Pool 1. These 4 (Charismatic, War Emblem, Smarty Jones and Big Brown) were also absent from Pool 2. So, if you are thinking about a bet on “All Other 3 year olds” in Pool 1, save your money until Pool 2, where the odds on “All Others” have ranged from 4-1 to 14-1. Consider that nugget my Tip of the Day!
Here are some facts from the 2008 Derby Future Pool 1 group of 23.
FACT #1: Only 11 of the 23 were Derby starters.
FACT #2: Only 5 of those 11 were higher odds in Pool 1 versus Derby day track odds.
FACT #3: “All Others” closed at 3-1 as the winner Big Brown was 2-1 on Derby day.
After reviewing the 23 cast of characters in the 2009 Pool 1, I have determined which ones you can throw out and compiled my 2nd annual GQ’s Derby Double Dozen of those who, at this point, I feel could make a strong run at capturing the first jewel of the Triple Crown in 2009, given they are in the starting gate at approximately 6:05pm on May 2nd.
THROW-OUT from Pool 1: Beethoven, Big Drama, Capt. Candyman Can, Haynesfield, Notonthesamepage, Stardom Bound (filly), Taqarub, The Pamplemousse, Vineyard Haven and West Side Bernie.
GQ Derby Double Dozen (in order of preference accompanied by trainer)
1. Pioneerof The Nile Bob Baffert
2. Friesan Fire Larry Jones
3. Imperial Council Shug McGaughey
4. Patena Josie Carroll
5. Flying Pegasus Ralph Nicks
6. Old Fashioned Larry Jones
7. Silver City William Bret Calhoun
8. Dunkirk Todd Pletcher
9. Papa Clem Gary Stute
10. Chocolate Candy Jerry Hollendorfer
11. Theregoesjojo Kenneth McPeek
12. Desert Party Saeed Bin Suroor
13. Midshipman Bob Baffert
14. Hello Broadway Barclay Tagg
15. Giant Oak Chris Block
16. Nuclear Wayne Steven Asmussen
17. Square Eddie Doug O’Neill
18. Ryehill Dreamer John Shirreffs
19. Age Of Aquarius Adian O’Brien
20. This Ones For Phil Richard Dutrow
21. Rescue Squad Shug McGaughey
22. Danger To Society Richard Dutrow
23. Well Positioned Patrick Reynolds
24. I Want Revenge Jeff Mullins
Past Performances for all of the Pool 1 horses are available at http://www.drf.com/tc/kentuckyderby/2009/futures/pps/derby_123_pool1.pdf and at the official Kentucky Derby website (www.kentuckyderby/2009/futurewager.com).