Although Smile Happy was beaten to second place in last month’s Risen Star S. (G2), the promising sophomore remains the favorite to claim the Kentucky Derby (G1) eight weeks from now.
The son of Runhappy settled as the 6-1 individual favorite when Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 closed on Sunday evening. Smile Happy previously nabbed 8-1 individual favoritism in each of the first three pools.
The overall favorite in Pool 4 was the always-popular “All Other Three-Year-Olds” option, which closed at 4-1. The only other betting interest settling at single-digit odds was speedy San Felipe S. (G2) hero Forbidden Kingdom, who slotted in right behind Smile Happy at 7-1.
Classic Causeway, fresh off an easy win in Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby (G2), closed at 10-1. Epicenter, who conquered Smile Happy in the Risen Star, settled at 13-1, followed by impressive maiden winner Charge It (17-1), Gotham S. (G3) winner Morello (17-1), Fountain of Youth S. (G2) hero Simplification (19-1), and Withers S. (G3) winner Early Voting (19-1) in a crowded pack of contenders under 20-1.
The competitive nature of Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 proved attractive to bettors. The pool attracted $374,702 in wagers over the course of three days, a 16.2% increase compared to 2021.
|1||Barber Road||Ortiz, John A||39 – 1|
|2||Call Me Midnight||Desormeaux, J K||68 – 1|
|3||Charge It||Pletcher, Todd A||17 – 1|
|4||Classic Causeway||Lynch, Brian A||10 – 1|
|5||Cyberknife||Cox, Brad H||36 – 1|
|6||Early Voting||Brown, Chad C||19 – 1|
|7||Emmanuel||Pletcher, Todd A||33 – 1|
|8||Epicenter||Asmussen, Steven M||13 – 1|
|9||Ethereal Road||Lukas, D W||32 – 1|
|10||Forbidden Kingdom||Mandella, Richard E||7 – 1|
|11||In Due Time||Breen, Kelly J||48 – 1|
|12||Major General||Pletcher, Todd A||65 – 1|
|13||Mo Donegal||Pletcher, Todd A||24 – 1|
|14||Morello||Asmussen, Steven M||17 – 1|
|15||Pioneer of Medina||Pletcher, Todd A||71 – 1|
|16||Rattle N Roll||McPeek, Kenneth G||31 – 1|
|17||Shipsational||Barker, Edward R||51 – 1|
|18||Simplification||Sano, Antonio||19 – 1|
|19||Smile Happy||Mcpeek, Kenneth G||6 – 1|
|20||Un Ojo||Courville, Ricky||36 – 1|
|21||White Abarrio||Joseph Jr. ,Saffie A||22 – 1|
|22||Zandon||Brown, Chad C||22 – 1|
|23||Zozos||Cox, Brad H||30 – 1|
|24||All Other Three Year Olds||Unknown Trainer||4 – 1|
Running concurrent with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 was the lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, but betting in Oaks pool unfolded in starkly different fashion. Rather than support “All Other Three-Year-Old Fillies” as the overall choice, bettors showed only minimum interest in the catch-all option, allowing it to close at 6-1.
Instead, the favorite was Echo Zulu, the undefeated champion two-year-old filly of 2021. Although she hasn’t run this year, Echo Zulu closed at the remarkably short odds of 5-2, followed by runaway Honeybee S. (G3) winner Secret Oath at 7-2.
As a testament to the dominance of the early Kentucky Oaks favorites, Davona Dale S. (G2) winner Kathleen O. (9-1), Demoiselle S. (G2) heroine Nest (14-1), and Busher S. winner Venti Valentine (15-1) were the only other fillies to settle at less than 20-1.
The future wager series concludes with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5, slated to take place from Mar. 31 through Apr. 2.