How to play the Kentucky Derby Sires Future Wager

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

November 26th, 2021

Trying to predict the winner of a race more than five months out is enough of a task. But trying to predict the sire of the winner…arguably an even tougher task.

The Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager is perhaps the toughest task among the future wager puzzles. With the Future Wager for runners, you get four more goes at it to cover your bets if your selected runner falls by the wayside early, plus you can bet on the day itself.

However, for the Sire Future Wager, this is it. None of the other future wagers features a sire option, and it’s not available on the day of the race, so covering bets through other sires is not an option. Given that there are no refunds if a listed sire has no runners, it’s a serious challenge.

To date there have been six Sire Future Wagers. The list of winners is as follows:

Year     Winner                        Price                Winning Sire               Price

2016    Nyquist                        $21.80             Uncle Mo                    $20.20

2017    Always Dreaming *    $4.40               Bodemeister               $63.60

2018    Justify *                       $4.40               Scat Daddy                  $54.80

2019    Country House *          $4.60               Lookin at Lucky *         $11.40

2020    Authentic                    $103.60           Into Mischief               $36.20

2021    Medina Spirit *           $4.60               Protonico *                  $12.00


*Indicates the winner was the “All Others” option.

So though four of the six winners of the race were covered by the “all others” option in Pool 1 of the Future Wager, which happens at the same time as the Sire Future Wager, only two of the Sire Future Wager payouts were on the favored “all others” option: only Country House’s sire Lookin at Lucky and Medina Spirit’s sire Protonico were not individual options.

The two odd years out were 2017, when Always Dreaming was not a named option but his sire Bodemeister was, and 2018, when the unraced Justify was not an individual option, unlike his sire Scat Daddy.

For the 2022 Derby there is the extra complication of the Bob Baffert situation. As his runners are banned from Churchill Downs Inc. tracks for two years, his horses have not accumulated any points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and will need to move to another stable to earn a start.

This particularly impacts Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Corniche. He is not a named runner in Pool 1 of the Future Wager, but his sire #15 Quality Road is an option in the Sire Future Wager – and was the morning line favorite among individual sires at 8-1. This reflected not only the possibility of Corniche starting, but also the fact Quality Road is a top-notch sire. Early betting had him at 14-1.

Early betting had #24 All Other Sires favored at about 7-2 (in from the 6-1 ML price). As far as individual sires went, the early money was mainly for first-crop sire sensation #6 Gun Runner (backed from 15-1 ML to 6-1), champion overall sire #7 Into Mischief (backed from 20-1 ML to 8-1), and Jack Christopher’s sire #10 Munnings (steady at 12-1).

When betting on this, I would always include “All Other Sires.” There are always some horses that haven’t shown up much by late November of their two-year-old careers that become Derby contenders, and some will either be by low-profile stallions or sires that aren’t one of the 23 named sires.

Among the leading sires not featured among the options are Connect (sire of Breeders’ Futurity [G1] winner Rattle N Roll), Constitution, Classic Empire, Gormley, Ghostzapper, Paynter, Hard Spun, and Liam’s Map. There’s enough depth in the “all others” to put the largest investment in this option.

Corniche is too good a prospect to leave Quality Road out, especially as he may have some other candidates. I might take a chance on leaving out Munnings given the interruption to Jack Christopher’s training, though it’s understandable one might not want to.

Gun Runner has made such an impression with his first crop that he’s hard to leave out. If there was a Future Sire Wager for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), he’d be a must-include given how dominant Echo Zulu was among the juvenile fillies. However, even though his progeny might well improve at three, the current price of 6-1 seems a little short, so I’m prepared to take a chance and maybe back one of his individual runners in Pool 1 instead.

The one I would not leave out is Into Mischief. Not only is he the leading 2021 sire in waiting, his record in the Derby includes not only 2020 winner Authentic but also Mandaloun, second across the wire in 2021. He is second on the two-year-old sires list for 2021 and had 28 winners, so there’s a lot of potential Derby horses there.

Among the longer-priced sire prospects, I’d have a look at #3 Curlin, #2 Candy Ride, #12 Nyquist, and #23 Union Rags. But regardless, it’s a tough task!


  • $20 win #24 All Other Sires
  • $6 win #15 Quality Road
  • $6 win #7 Into Mischief
  • $2 win #2 Candy Ride
  • $2 win #3 Curlin
  • $2 win #12 Nyquist
  • $2 win #23 Union Rags

Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager Pool 1 (Grade I)


B. h. (9) Pioneerof the Nile – Littleprincessemma by Yankee Gentleman
Bred in Kentucky by Zayat Stables (Feb, 2, 2012)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Mackinnon ($327,860),
Trust Our Journey ($136,750), Castle Leoch ($95,000), Forbidden Kingdom ($74,000), Gianni Lambo ($49,500), Husband Material ($32.950)
B. h. (22) Ride the Rails – Candy Girl (ARG) by Candy Stripes
Bred in Argentina by Abolengo (Sept. 27, 1999)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Senbei ($309,875), Stride ($68,010), Mr. Bouma ($47,100), Desert Ruler ($43,290), Viva Victory ($33,000), Slippo ($32,500)
3 15-1 CURLIN
Ch. h. (17) Smart Strike – Sherriff’s Deputy by Deputy Minister
Bred in Kentucky by Fares Farm Inc. (March 25, 2004)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Montebello ($97,000),
Beyond the Father (JPN) ($63,502), Sweeping Giant ($42,500), Surfer Dude ($34,000), King Curlin ($31,010)
Dk B or Br. h. (21) Unbridled – Toussaud by El Gran Senor
Bred in Kentucky by Juddmonte Farms Inc. (April 27, 2000)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Messier ($105,600)
Ch. h. (died at 21) Storm Cat – Mariah’s Storm by Rahy
Bred in Kentucky by Orpendale & Michael Tabor (Feb. 14, 1997 – April 16, 2018)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Giant Game ($242,400), Classic Causeway ($105,000)
Ch. h. (8) Candy Ride (ARG) – Quiet Giant by Giant’s Causeway
Bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables LLC (March 8, 2013)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Pappacap ($576,000), Gunite ($313,988), Red Run ($86,838), Gran Aplauso ($63,502), Concept ($58,362), Costa Terra ($57,900), Cyberknife ($48,000), Stowaway ($47,901), Woodline ($47,100), Guntown ($44,160),
Elusive Target ($43,534), Ten Gauge ($43,100), Hitting Bombs ($42,179), Flying Drummer ($34,000)
B. h. (16) Harlan’s Holiday – Leslie’s Lady by Tricky Creek
Bred in Kentucky by James T. Hines Jr. (March 28, 2005)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Royal Spirit ($118,000), My Prankster ($115,000), Overstep ($91,250), Rocket One ($87,594), Dr. Perry ($74,733), Higher Standard ($69,460),
Barossa ($69,200), Strava ($50,400), Varatti ($49,500), Key Point ($46,750), Cloud Play ($46,273), Kitten Mischief ($44,000), Triple Elvis ($40,000), So Determined ($36,450)
8 30-1 MASTERY
Dk B or Br. h. (7) Candy Ride (ARG) – Steady Course by Old Trieste
Bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm (May 3, 2014)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Forced Ranking ($61,500), Down Cold ($47,780)
Dk. b or b. h. (22) El Prado (IRE) – Cappucino Bay by Bailjumper
Bred in Kentucky by Albert Bell & Joyce Bell (April 11, 1999)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Rockefeller ($142,500), Grand Sonata ($68,400), Freelancer ($50,800), Chancellery (IRE) ($40,356)
10 12-1 MUNNINGS
Ch. h. (15) Speightstown – La Comete by Holy Bull
Bred in Kentucky by Dan Tayloe & Glencrest Farm (March 20, 2006)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Jack Christopher ($330,000),
Forty Stripes ($58,900), Fast Draw Munnings ($48,600), Timbuktu ($46,750), Jesuit ($39,420)
Dk. b or b. h. (7) Giant’s Causeway – Miss Macy Sue by Trippi
Bred in Kentucky by Albaugh Family Stable LLC (April 26, 2014)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Howling Time ($190,600),
Ain’t Life Grand ($128,730), Cogburn ($75,460), Epicenter ($70,639), Lucci ($49,500),
In Due Time ($34,500), Mac’s Time ($33,380), Simplification ($33,200), Chasing Time ($30,000)
12 30-1 NYQUIST
B. h. (8) Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle by Forestry
Bred in Kentucky by Summerhill Farm (March 10, 2013)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): American Xperiment ($91,000), Ignitis ($87,900), Slow Down Andy ($69,850), Power Agenda ($67,000), Daunt ($65,500), Credibility ($50,638), Conclusive ($36,200), Nyquest Nix ($35,250), Chaotic Tempo ($33,600)
Dk. b or b. h. (15) Empire Maker – Star of Goshen by Lord At War (ARG)
Bred in Kentucky by Zayat Stables, LLC (May 5, 2006)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Dancin in Da’nile ($99,374), Cabo Spirit ($65,220), Camp David ($58,435), Baladi ($49,335), Let My People Go ($37,480)
B. h. (7) Into Mischief – Halo Humor by Distorted Humor
Bred in Kentucky by Whispering Oaks (April 15, 2014)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Wit ($252,000), Tejano Twist ($138,600), Dugat ($128,867), Joker Boy ($100,000), Legendary Lore ($95,284), Bourbon Heist ($79,507), Practical Coach ($52,000), Graphic Detail ($49,500), Page One ($30,600)
B. h. (15) Elusive Quality – Kobla by Strawberry Road (AUS)
Bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans (March 23, 2006)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Corniche ($1,262,000), Yano ($42,579), Kamui ($42,000)
   16 20-1 RUNHAPPY
B. h. (9) Super Saver – Bella Jolie by Broken Vow
Bred in Kentucky by Wayne Lyster, Gray Lyster & Brian Lyster (March 4, 2012)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Run to Daylight ($99,546), Rotknee ($61,750), Smile Happy ($50,400)
Ch. h. (23) Gone West – Silken Cat by Storm Cat
Bred in Kentucky by Aaron U. & Marie Jones (Feb. 1, 1998)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Overbore ($140,100), Chanceux ($49,400), Pink Dia ($47,344)
Dk. b or b. h. (17) Street Cry (IRE) – Bedazzle by Dixieland Band
Bred in Kentucky by James Tafel (Feb. 23, 2004)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Heaven Street ($121,437), Home Brew ($53,000), Murray ($48,000), Brigadier General ($37,116), Curbstone ($35,400), Merry Sense ($30,631)
19 15-1 TAPIT
Gr/ro. h. (20) Pulpit – Tap Your Heels by Unbridled
Bred in Kentucky by Oldenburg Farms, LLC (Feb. 27, 2001)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Coinage ($204,750), Fifty Chevy ($107,278), Stellar Tap ($64,912), Zatip ($52,240), Naval Aviator ($50,400), Almanzo ($46,800)
Dk. b or b. h. (14) Candy Ride (ARG) – House of Danzing by Chester House
Bred in Kentucky by Sidney H. Craig & Jenny Craig (Feb. 19, 2007)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Pinehurst ($272,000), Kiss the Sky ($160,700), Candy Landing ($59,488), Kaely’s Brother ($50,737), Amazing Alex ($38,700)
21 20-1 UNCLE MO
B. h. (13) Indian Charlie – Playa Maya by Arch
Bred in Kentucky by D. Michael Cavey DVM (March 10, 2008)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Crooke Creek ($82,800), Mo Donegal ($60,300), Mo Rewards ($33,000)
22 30-1 UNION RAGS
B. h. (12) Dixie Union – Tempo by Gone West
Bred in Kentucky by Phyllis M. Wyeth (March 3, 2009)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): Commandperformance ($220,000), Keepcalmcarryon ($93,000), Ohtwoohthreefive ($84,500), Red Knobs ($79,999), Speak Unity ($58,679), Gold Heritage ($50,600)
23 30-1 VIOLENCE
Dk. b or b. h. (11) Medaglia d’Oro – Violent Beauty by Gone West
Bred in Kentucky by Dell Ridge Farm (March 21, 2010)
$30,000+ Male Earners of 2019 Crop (Earnings): General Ken ($77,800), Diamond Digger ($58,835), A Dangerous Guy ($46,720)