Despite having never faced stakes rivals, a dominant win Sunday at Santa Anita Park just hours before Pool 3 of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) closed saw the Bob Baffert-trained Justify (#12) installed as the lowest individual betting interest at 6-1.
The chestnut son of Scat Daddy romped by 9 1/2 lengths in his career debut on February 18 at Santa Anita, earning a 100 BRIS Speed rating. Justify returned Sunday to record an effortless 6 1/2-length victory in an allowance/optional claimer going a mile in the mud, convincing handicappers to back him in Pool 3 of the KDFW.
There were two other individual betting interests who closed at single-digit odds. Bolt d’Oro (#3) and McKinzie (#15) battled it out in Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita and were separated by only a head on the wire. McKinzie finished first, but was disqualified and placed second for bumping his rival in the lane.
Pool 3’s final odds ended up reflecting the official finish, with Bolt d’Oro the slight 7-1 second choice over McKinzie’s 9-1 odds.
The overall 4-1 favorite for Pool 3 was the Mutuel Field (#24) or “All Other Three-Year-Olds,” which has been the public’s choice in 13 of the last 16 years for the March pool.
Total handle for Pool 3, which ran March 9-11, was $394,763. Of that amount, $277,469 was bet in the Win pool and $117,294 in the Exacta pool, a 5.7 percent increase from last year’s $373,354 ($250,280 in the Win and $123,075 in the Exacta).
The fourth and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager takes place April 6-8.