Eight weeks in advance of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), the unbeaten Bob Baffert-trained Life Is Good closed as the 2-1 favorite in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager with champion 2-year-old male Essential Quality the 5-1 second betting choice and Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Greatest Honour third at 6-1.
This marked only the fourth time in the last 19 years that the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” did not close as the March future pool favorite. “All Other 3-Year-Olds” closed at 7-1.
Life Is Good, who closed as the 5-1 individual favorite in Pool 1 and 7-1 individual choice in Pools 2 and 3, is the shortest-priced individual March future wager favorite in the 23-year history of the KDFW. Past March individual favorites included Mohaymen (7-2 in 2016), Uncle Mo (3-1 in 2011), and Pyro (4-1 in 2008).
On March 6, Life Is Good improved to a perfect three wins in three starts with an eight-length romp in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park for six-time Kentucky Derby winner Baffert. With 60 Road to the Kentucky Derby points, the son of Into Mischief is expected to make his final Derby prep in the April 3 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1)
Essential Quality, trained by Louisville native and 2020 Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox, also is unbeaten. The TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) winner improved his record to 4-for-4 with a 4 1/4-length triumph in the Feb. 27 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park, his first start as a 3-year-old. Ranked fourth with 40 Derby points, the Tapit colt is expected to compete next in the April 3 Toyota Blues Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Holy Bull (G3) and Fountain of Youth winner Greatest Honour, trained by Shug McGaughey, will attempt a sweep of the South Florida series in the March 27 Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4
|No.||Horse (Trainer)||Pool 4 Odds||$2 Win Will Pays|
|1.||Caddo River (Brad Cox)||16-1||$35|
|2.||Candy Man Rocket (Bill Mott)||71-1||$145|
|3.||Collaborate (Saffie Joseph Jr.)||29-1||$61.60|
|4.||Concert Tour (Bob Baffert)||17-1||$37.60|
|5.||Dream Shake (Peter Eurton)||71-1||$145.40|
|6.||Essential Quality (Brad Cox)||5-1||$13.80|
|7.||Freedom Fighter (Bob Baffert)||84-1||$171.20|
|8.||Greatest Honour (Shut McGaughey III)||6-1||$15.60|
|9.||Highly Motivated (Chad Brown)||36-1||$75.40|
|10.||Hot Rod Charlie (Doug O’Neill)||53-1||$108|
|11.||Hush of a Storm (Bill Morey)||146-1||$295|
|12.||Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro)||30-1||$62.40|
|13.||Life Is Good (Bob Baffert)||2-1||$6|
|14.||Mandaloun (Brad Cox)||17-1||$36.20|
|15.||Medina Spirit (Bob Baffert)||39-1||$81|
|16.||Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen)||52-1||$107.20|
|17.||Prevalence (Brendan Walsh)||29-1||$61|
|18.||Proxy (Mike Stidham)||41-1||$85.80|
|19.||Risk Taking (Chad Brown)||42-1||$86.80|
|20.||Roman Centurian (Simon Callaghan)||94-1||$191|
|21.||Rombauer (Michael McCarthy)||109-1||$220.80|
|22.||Spielberg (Bob Baffert)||63-1||$128.40|
|23.||The Great One (Doug O’Neill)||79-1||$160|
|24.||All Other 3-year-Olds||7-1||$16|
In the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which was conducted concurrently with the KDFW, Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2) winner Clairiere closed as 7-2 favorite over “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies,” which was 5-1.
Kentucky Oaks Future Wager
|No.||Horse (Trainer)||Odds||$2 Win Will Pays|
|1.||Bow Bow Girl (Dale Romans)||56-1||$115|
|2.||Clairiere (Steve Asmussen)||7-2||$9.80|
|3.||Coach (Brad Cox)||67-1||$137.80|
|4.||Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek)||39-1||$80.40|
|5.||Dayoutoftheoffice (Tim Hamm)||22-1||$47.20|
|6.||Kalypso (Bob Baffert)||23-1||$48.60|
|7.||Lady Mystify (Peter Eurton)||63-1||$129.60|
|8.||Li’l Tootsie (Tom Amoss)||35-1||$72.20|
|9.||Malathaat (Todd Pletcher)||7-1||$17.80|
|10.||Moraz (Michael McCarthy)||47-1||$96|
|11.||Obligatory (Bill Mott)||40-1||$82.20|
|12.||Pass the Champagne (George Weaver)||20-1||$43|
|13.||Pauline’s Pearl (Steve Asmussen)||28-1||$59.60|
|14.||Search Results (Chad Brown)||31-1||$65.40|
|15.||Simply Ravishing (Kenny McPeek)||15-1||$33|
|16.||Souper Sensational (Mark Casse)||110-1||$223.60|
|17.||Sun Path (Brad Cox)||55-1||$112.80|
|18.||Travel Column (Brad Cox)||6-1||$14.40|
|19.||Vequist (Butch Reid Jr.)||19-1||$41.80|
|20.||Wholebodemeister (Juan Carlos Avila)||28-1||$59|
|21.||Will’s Secret (Dallas Stewart)||14-1||$31|
|22.||Willful Woman (Steve Asmussen)||103-1||$209.20|
|23.||Zaajel (Todd Pletcher)||28-1||$59|
|24.||All Other 3-year-Olds||5-1||$13.40|
All told, $471,494 was bet in future wagers over the three-day period. To date, Churchill Downs has handled $1,481,435 in future wagers since November.
Total handle for the March 5-7 KDFW pool—the fourth of five wagering pools in advance of the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby—was $322,477 ($231,632 in the Win pool and $90,844 in Exactas).
Betting on the Oaks Future Wager totaled $78,290 ($57,219 in the Win pool and $20,771 in Exactas).
The Oaks/Derby Future Double, which requires fans to correctly select the winners of both the April 30 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and the May 1 Kentucky Derby, handled $70,727.
The year’s fifth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool is set for March 26-28.