Following an easy three-length wire job while making his stakes bow in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on Saturday, the Bob Baffert-trained Justify (#12) closed as the 3-1 favorite when wagering ended on the fourth and final pool of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW).
The chestnut son of Scat Daddy led every step of the way in the Santa Anita Derby and turned back a challenge from Bolt d’Oro (#2) to secure an unbeaten three-for-three mark heading into the May 5 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs. Justify opened at 6-1 on the Pool 4 morning line and will pay $8.40 if he should win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Bolt d’Oro was one of six who closed at single-digit odds in Pool 4, but was the longest shot in that group. The Medaglia d’Oro colt saw his odds rise from 5-1 on the morning line to 9-1 at close of wagering. Good Magic (#8), winner of Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, also closed at 9-1 but was favored over Bolt d’Oro by virtue of just over $400 extra dollars wagered on him. The champion son of Curlin opened at 8-1 on the morning line.
Second favorite in Pool 4 was Mendelssohn (#15), who closed at 5-1 following a 10-1 opening morning line. The Scat Daddy half-brother to four-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder and Grade 1-winning leading sire Into Mischief dominated his dirt debut in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) by 18 1/2 lengths on March 31 at Meydan.
Audible (#1) and Magnum Moon (#14) round out the sophomores bet down to single-digit odds in Pool 4 of the KDFW. The Todd Pletcher-trained duo closed at odds of 7-1 and 8-1 after opening at 6-1 and 10-1, respectively. Audible brings a four-race win streak into the Kentucky Derby after capturing the March 31 Florida Derby (G1) by three lengths. Magnum Moon will try to move his record to a perfect four-for-four in the April 14 Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.
The Mutuel Field (#24) or “All Other Three-Year-Olds,” was the lowest double-digit wager when closing at 17-1. It opened at 10-1 on the morning line.
Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager ran from April 6-8. Total handle for the final pool was $543,010. Of that amount, $339,036 was bet in the Win pool and $203,974 in the Exacta pool. That represents an increase of 23.3 percent from last when Pool 4 saw total handle of $440,511, of which $294,665 was bet in the Win pool and $145,845 in the Exacta pool.
This year, Churchill Downs handled $1,893,353 in future wagers since November, representing a 25.4 percent increase from last year’s total future wager handle of $1,510,195.