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Betting This Week’s Kentucky Derby Future Wagers

by Jeremy Plonk

November 24, 2020

The 2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens Thursday through Sunday this week with a first look into the crystal ball. The traditional 24 wagering interests return for the parimutuel KDFW, including 22 individual runners and options for ‘all other 3-year-old fillies’ and ‘all other 3-year-old colts/geldings.’

Given the (minimum) 153-day span between this pool’s closing on Sunday and the scheduled May 1, 2021 Derby date, rest assured that ‘all other colts/geldings’ will be favored. It’s been the Pool 1 parimutuel chalk in this offering each of the past 22 years.

Keep in mind that the last 4 Kentucky Derby winners boasted exactly 1 victory between them coming into the start of their 3-year-old seasons. Authentic had a Nov. 9, 2019 Del Mar debut victory on his resume; Country House (Jan. 17 maiden breaker), Justify (Feb. 18) and Always Dreaming (Jan. 25) all were still without a win at this point. That said, the temptation to bet successful 2-year-olds like Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Essential Quality can be a pitfall.

Those who backed BC Juvenile winner Nyquist at 9-1 in the 2016 KDFW Pool 1 did much better than his 2-1 return some five months later. So it can work out backing the logical player, but you must demand an overlay price. The historical roll call of BC Juvenile-Kentucky Derby winners includes only Nyquist (2016) and Street Sense (2006) over more than 35 years.

Demand at least 40-1 this far out on an individual runner. Last year, there were 11 such options at that price or higher in KDFW Pool 1. One of those, Authentic, provided a 50-1 price that shined when he returned 8-1 on Derby Day. Recommendations in that price range for 2021 Pool 1 include #9 Keepmeinmind (30-1 ML), #14 Red Flag (30-1 ML) and #20 Speaker’s Corner (50-1 ML).

KDFW Pool 1 also offers a Sire Future Wager with 24 options, 23 of the individual variety and an ‘all others.’ Keep an eye on both pools as the prices near a close on Sunday; perhaps you’ll find an anomaly where the sire of your preferred horse is offering a similar or better price than your specific play. You’ll potentially get more coverage for the same investment.

If dabbling in the KDFW Pool 1 exacta offering, look at the combinations from your choice to ‘all other 3-year-old colts/geldings.’ If it’s more than double the payout than you’d get in the win pool betting your solo choice, it’s worth the gamble.

Subsequent 2021 KDFW Dates

--Pool 2: Jan. 22-24
--Pool 3: Feb. 12-14
--Pool 4: Mar. 5-7
--Pool 5: Mar. 26-28