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Kentucky Derby

Unbeaten Justify Surprise 6-1 Second Choice in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

Justify romps to a 6 1/2-length win in first-level allowance at Santa Anita Park Sunday (Racing Dudes Photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY – Eight weeks in advance of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” closed as the 4-1 favorite in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW).

Four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert’s late-blooming Justify, who improved his record to 2-for-2 on Sunday with a 6 1/2-length romp in a first-level allowance at Santa Anita, closed as the surprise 6-1 second choice.

Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie, the clear but controversial 1-2 finishers in Saturday’s Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, were the third and fourth wagering choices at 7-1 and 9-1, respectively.

“All Other 3-Year-Olds” has closed as the March future pool favorite in 13 of the last 16 years. The three exceptions were Mohaymen (7-2 in 2016), Uncle Mo (3-1 in 2011), and Pyro (4-1 in 2018). None won the Kentucky Derby.

Justify, winner of his 7-furlong career debut on February 18, is attempting to buck one of the last so-called Derby “rules” that’s rarely challenged. “The Curse of Apollo” is named for the only Kentucky Derby winner to win the “Run for the Roses” without racing as a 2-year-old, a feat that he accomplished in 1882. The record of horses in the Derby without a race at 2 since 1937 is 61-0-3-5. During that span, the only horses to finish in the Derby Top 3 without racing at 2 were runner-ups:

  • Coaltown (1948)
  • Strodes Creek (1994)
  • Bodemeister (2012)

and third-place finishers:

  • Hampden (1946)
  • Agitate (1974)
  • Reinvested (1982)
  • Curlin (2007)
  • Battle of Midway (2017)

Following Sunday’s win in 1:35.73 for one mile over a muddy surface, jockey Mike Smith was extremely impressed by Justify.

“For a young horse, he has a great mind,” Smith said. “That might allow him to catch up even sooner than a normal horse, because of his talent and the mind to go with it. … I hate to compare him to other horses right now, but doesn’t he remind you of an Easy Goer way back in the day? Just a big ol’ red horse with a big, powerful stride.”

Other horses that attracted interest from bettors in the KDFW Pool 3 were the 2-Year-Old Champion Male and the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic (11-1); the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes winner Audible (13-1); and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Solomini (17-1), scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Results of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 are as follows (in alphabetical order):

2Avery Island29$7,404.9829.90$61.80
3Bolt d'Oro7$27,930.667.10$16.20
5Catholic Boy21$10,075.6221.70$45.40
8Free Drop Billy44$4,985.2644.90$91.80
9Gold Town (GB)52$4,281.7852.40$106.80
10Good Magic11$18,110.8811.60$25.20
11Instilled Regard41$5,428.1841.10$84.20
14Magnum Moon25$8,540.4025.80$53.60
17My Boy Jack31$6,958.3631.80$65.60
18Noble Indy60$3,739.8860.20$122.40
19Promises Fulfilled24$8,915.1824.60$51.20
21Sporting Chance39$5,695.4439.10$80.20
22Strike Power56$3,968.7256.60$115.20
23Vino Rosso39$5,691.0639.20$80.40
24Mutuel Field (All Others)4$45,347.104.00$10.00

The total handle for the March 9-11 KDFW pool – the third of four wagering pools in advance of the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby – was $394,763 ($277,469 in the Win pool and $117,294 in Exactas), a 5.7% increase from last year’s $373,354 ($250,280 in the Win pool and $123,075 in Exactas).

There’s just one more remaining 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool: April 6-8 (KDFW Pool 4). For more information about these future pools or past pool results, visit our official Kentucky Derby Future Wager page.

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