Thursday, February 19, 2009

Field closes at 9-5; Old Fashioned 7-1

By Marty McGee
Daily Racing Form

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- For the 11th time in as many years, the mutuel field closed as the favorite in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which ended its customary four-day run Sunday.

The field, the 24th or "all others" option, closed as the 9-5 favorite over the 23 separately listed 3-year-olds in the first of three futures pools.

Old Fashioned, who was scheduled to make his seasonal debut Monday in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, was easily the heaviest backed horse among the individual interests, closing as the 7-1 second choice. He was followed by Pioneerof the Nile (13-1), Friesan Fire (18-1), Midshipman (19-1), and Stardom Bound (22-1).

A Pool 1 field horse has wound up winning the Derby four times since Churchill Downs first began offering parimutuel futures in 1999, including Big Brown last year. The 135th Derby will be run May 2 at Churchill.

Handle on Pool 1 was $478,721, which was a 9 percent increase over last year but still the fourth-lowest Pool 1 total since the bet began. The peak handle was attained in 2005, when $620,362 was bet. The lowest Pool 1 handle was the first year ($267,748), and the second-lowest was last year ($439,379).

Derby Pool 2 is set for March 12-15, and Pool 3 will run April 2-5. For the first time, exacta wagering will be available in those pools.

Only one futures pool is being offered this year on the May 1 Kentucky Oaks. It will coincide with Derby Pool 2.

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