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Jon White: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 Analysis

by Jon White

February 10, 2022


Many horseplayers find it fun to place a future wager (or wagers) on the Kentucky Derby. It’s especially fun if you do happen to get some money down on the winner at a nice price.

Horseplayers can get involved this week in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW). In addition to win wagering, exacta betting is offered. The pool opens Friday at noon ET and continues until Sunday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. ET.

There are 23 individual horses, plus an “all others” option.

The “all others” option has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Adding to the appeal of this option is it includes any horse currently trained by Bob Baffert.

There are no Baffert-trained horses among the 23 individual horses because he has been banned by Churchill Downs from entering a horse in the Kentucky Derby in 2022 and 2023. This stems from Baffert-trained Medina Spirit testing positive for the therapeutic medication betamethasone after he had finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

If you bet “all others” in KDFW Pool 3, you will get talented Baffert trainees Messier, Newgrange and Corniche, among others. As it stands right now, any of the Baffert-trained 3-year-olds would need to be transferred to another trainer in order to earn eligibility points in upcoming races toward a berth in the coveted Kentucky Derby.

Smile Happy and White Abarrio are the 8-1 co-favorites among the 23 individual horses on the morning line for KDFW Pool 2. But betting on either of them at such a short price is not a good move, in my view. That’s because you probably could get something around that price, or maybe even a much higher price, on race day. And keep in mind that when you place a future wager, there is no refund, whereas on race day you get a refund if your horses scratches.

I would consider betting Emmanuel or Early Voting in KDFW Pool 3, but not at anything in the neighborhood of their morning-line prices. Emmanuel is 10-1. Early Voting is 12-1.

Considering how hard it is this far out from the race to just get a horse into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May, rather than bet on a horse at a relatively short price, it’s typically a good idea to try to take a swing for the fences with a horse offering big odds.

Also, if you are thinking of diving into KDFW Pool 3, before you do, you might want to wait and see what happens in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis. How that race turns out figures to affect the price on a number of horses.

One Davis runner to especially keep an eye on, I think, is Classic Causeway, who I have ranked No. 6 on my Kentucky Derby Top 10. He is listed at a juicy 50-1 on the morning line for KDFW Pool 3. If Classic Causeway does win the Davis, no doubt his price will end up being much shorter than 50-1. But he still might be a decent enough of a price (30-1? 20-1?) to put a few bucks on him. Of course, if Classic Causeway does not win the Davis, betting him in KDFW Pool 3 really does not make much sense regardless of his price.

Commandperformance likewise is listed at 50-1 on the morning line. Yes, he’s still a maiden, but he has had recorded workouts in Florida at Palm Beach Downs on Feb. 2 and Feb. 8.

Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Commandperformance was good enough to finish second in the Grade I Champagne Stakes and fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Taking a flier on him at around 50-1 in KDFW Pool 3 is food for thought.

Simplification is 30-1 on the KDFW Pool 3 morning line. White Abarrio is 8-1. That’s quite a difference in odds. Of the two, I would much rather bet Simplification at the considerably better price.

I think another 30-1 longshot on the morning line definitely worth considering is Rattle N Roll. Two others at 30-1 who also have appeal to me are Major General and Zandon.

Below are the morning-line odds for Pool 3 of the 2022 KDFW:

No. Horse (Morning Line Odds)

1. Barber Road (20-1)
2. Call Me Midnight (20-1)
3. Chasing Time (15-1)
4. Classic Causeway (50-1)
5. Commandperformance (50-1)
6. Early Voting (12-1)
7. Emmanuel (10-1)
8. Epicenter (15-1)
9. Forbidden Kingdom (10-1)
10. God of Love (50-1)
11. Happy Boy Rocket (50-1)
12. Howling Time (50-1)
13. In Due Time (30-1)
14. Major General (30-1)
15. Make It Big (50-1)
16. Mo Donegal (30-1)
17. Pappacap (15-1)
18. Rattle N Roll (30-1)
19. Simplification (30-1)
20. Slow Down Andy (20-1)
21. Smile Happy (8-1)
22. White Abarrio (8-1)
23. Zandon (30-1)
24. “All Others” (5-2)