How Future Wager backers may be feeling

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

May 6th, 2022

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) almost upon us, thousands of punters around the country are asking themselves whether they did the right thing in the Future Wager bets.

With the fields finalized for both, people who bet on the Future Wagers now know whether the odds they got are better value than if they’d made the bets on raceday - if their bets are still alive.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager

In Pool 1, only six of the named horses are in the field; however, they do include the two morning-line favorites, Zandon and Epicenter, both of whom were at more than 50-1 when Future Wager 1 closed; the others were Classic Causeway, Mo Donegal, Smile Happy, and Tiz the Bomb. The “all other colts and geldings” option has 14 runners at odds of 0.7-1.

The only new name on the Pool 2 list that’s in the final field is White Abarrio. Anyone that took him in that market will be very happy – the 10-1 morning-line chance closed in Pool 2 at 171-1! The “all others” option, favored at 1.90-1, is represented by 13 runners and possibly one also-eligible.

For Pool 3, Derby starters Barber Road and Simplification were added, but Tiz the Bomb was removed, bringing the number of named Derby runners in this pool to eight. White Abarrio was cut from 171-1 to 18.8-1, but you could still get Epicenter at 24-1 and Zandon at 21-1. The “all others” option, which closed at 2-1, has 12 horses running for its backers, including Tiz the Bomb.

Pool 4 added Derby runners Charge It, Cyberknife, Pioneer of Medina, and Zozos as individual options. With Tiz the Bomb still off the list, it means there are 12 Derby runners named on the Pool 4 list; the “all others” option will have eight runners at odds of 4.2-1.

Finally, Pool 5 added Derby runners Crown Pride, Messier, Summer Is Tomorrow, and Tawny Port as individual options, as well as reintroducing Tiz the Bomb. Classic Causeway, thought of then as a non-runner, was removed; he is now back in the Derby field and for this pool is represented by the “all others” option at 18.5-1, along with Taiba, Happy Jack, and Rich Strike.

The biggest loser for bettors prior to the Derby was Forbidden Kingdom; he was introduced in Pool 3 and was at 18.9-1 when that pool closed, 7.3-1 at the close of Pool 4, and 9.8-1 when Pool 5 closed.

Anyone who backed Smile Happy in any of the pools got only single-figure odds for each of them; he’s now a 20-1 morning-line shot. The other horse currently well above some of his earlier Future Wager odds is Classic Causeway, who was as low as 10-1 for Pool 4 but is now at 30-1 morning line odds.

Kentucky Oaks

Of the 14 horses in the final Oaks field, 11 of them were named options in March’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. The only horses potentially running for those who bet on the “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies” at odds of 6.5-1 are Desert Dawn, Candy Raid, Cocktail Moments. All are at morning-line odds of at least 20-1.

Among bettors who took one of the individual options still remaining, however, most will be happy they did, if the morning line proves a good guide. Only three of the 11 – Echo Zulu (2.8-1 Future Wager, 4-1 morning line), Secret Oath (3.9-1, 6-1), and Venti Valentine (15.2-1, 20-1) are at longer odds on the morning line than they were when the Future Wager closed, and not by too much.

Of the others, some have come down considerably. Those Future Wager bettors who have Nest at 14.5-1 and Kathleen O. at 9.2-1 will be delighted given that they are the morning-line favorites at 2.5-1 and 3.5-1, respectively. Turnerloose and Shahama are both a little shorter on the morning line than their final Future Wager odds, while the others are all significantly shorter.

Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager

Here, the scratching of Quality Road's son Ethereal Road means just nine of the 23 sires named in the Sire Future Wager will have progeny running in the Derby. If you backed one of the other 14 – and they include leading sires like Into Mischief, Quality Road, and Curlin – then you’ve already done your dough.

Eight horses in the final field will be running for those who took the “All Other Sires” option, for which odds closed at 3.8-1. These aren’t just any horses – they include the morning line favorite Zandon, whose sire Upstart wasn’t one of the top 23, and the two runners by the relatively unheralded sire Race Day, a son of Tapit now exported to Korea; his two progeny in the Derby are the 10-1 morning-line chance White Abarrio and 30-1 shot Barber Road.

Other runners covered in the “All Other Sires” option are Happy Jack (Oxbow), Summer Is Tomorrow (Summer Front), Reach the Crown (Crown Pride), Hit It a Bomb (Tiz the Bomb), and the also-eligibles Rich Strike (Keen Ice).

Of those who bet on one of the nine named stallions in the Sire Future Wager that does have a Derby runner, the happiest are probably those who bet on Not This Time. He closed at 23.1-1, and punters who took that have morning-line second favorite Epicenter and 20-1 shot Simplification running for them.

Other sires singled out in the Future Wager with two of their progeny in the Derby are first-season sire phenom Gun Runner (9-1 in the Future Wager), whose runners are Taiba and Cyberknife, and Pioneerof The Nile (53.2-1 Future Wager odds), who is represented by 30-1 shots Pioneer of Medina and Tawny Port.

Strangely, the odds aren’t great for the other sires still alive in the Future Wager, with most of their Derby-running progeny at longer morning-line odds than their sires closed at in the Future Wager. The only sires to buck that trend are 16.9-1 Sire Wager shot Empire Maker (sire of 8-1 chance Messier) and 25.7-1 Sire Wager chance Uncle Mo (sire of 10-1 Derby chance Mo Donegal).