May 20, 2022

Smile Happy maintains individual favoritism in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

Smile Happy wins the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Although he hasn’t run in two months, Smile Happy remains the early favorite for the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1), closing as the lowest-priced individual betting interest in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2.

The runaway Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) winner settled at 8-1, the second overall choice behind “All Other Three-Year-Olds,” which closed at 9-5. No other horse managed to drop into the single-digit odds range, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) runner-up Tiz the Bomb coming closest at 10-1.

Smile Happy previously closed as the 8-1 individual favorite in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 thanks to a $10,000 win bet from Jim McIngvale, the Gallery Furniture founder who campaigned Smile Happy’s sire, champion sprinter Runhappy. Widely known as “Mattress Mack,” McIngvale was active again in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2—according to reporting on Twitter from Ron Flatter of Horse Racing Nation, McIngvale wagered another $7,000 on Smile Happy.

Both Smile Happy and Tiz the Bomb are trained by Kenny McPeek, who holds a strong hand on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. McPeek also conditions Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Rattle N Roll (20-1) and Smarty Jones S. hero Dash Attack (34-1).

Slipping in among the McPeek trainees were such accomplished runners as Champagne S. (G1) winner Jack Christopher (14-1) and flashy Oaklawn Park allowance hero Chasing Time (17-1). Exciting maiden winner Emmanuel (17-1), conditioned by two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, also attracted meaningful support.

The remaining betting interests were Slow Down Andy (20-1), Mo Donegal (23-1), Epicenter (24-1), Pappacap (24-1), Zandon (25-1), Giant Game (28-1), High Oak (38-1), Courvoisier (39-1), Major General (41-1), Commandperformance (41-1), Simplification (43-1), Varatti (47-1), Classic Causeway (51-1), Trafalgar (77-1), Make It Big (85-1), and White Abarrio (171-1).

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 proved popular compared to the same pool in 2021. Total wagering reached $361,209 ($273,712 in win bets and $87,497 in exacta wagers), a 12.2% increase from last year’s $322,035 tally ($240,768 in win bets and $81,267 in exactas).

Additional Kentucky Derby Future Wagers are scheduled for Feb. 11-13 (Pool 3), March 11-13 (Pool 4), and March 31-April 2 (Pool 5).

ProgramHorse NameODDS
1Chasing Time17 – 1
2Classic Causeway51 – 1
3Commandperformance41 – 1
4Courvoisier39 – 1
5Dash Attack34 – 1
6Emmanuel17 – 1
7Epicenter24 – 1
8Giant Game28 – 1
9High Oak38 – 1
10Jack Christopher14 – 1
11Major General41 – 1
12Make It Big85 – 1
13Mo Donegal23 – 1
14Pappacap24 – 1
15Rattle N Roll20 – 1
16Simplification43 – 1
17Slow Down Andy20 – 1
18Smile Happy8 – 1
19Tiz the Bomb10 – 1
20Trafalgar77 – 1
21Varatti47 – 1
22White Abarrio171 – 1
23Zandon25 – 1
24All Other 3-Year-Olds9 – 5