Fierceness Leads Field In Second Kentucky Derby Futures Pool Open This Weekend

Fierceness Leads Field In Second Kentucky Derby Futures Pool Open This Weekend
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Thanksgiving won’t just be time for turkey and stuffing. It’ll also be time to think about next year’s Kentucky Derby.

Yes, the race is still more than five months away, but Churchill Downs will start its second round of parimutuel futures wagers for Derby 150 on Thursday. The wagering window will run through Sunday.

This round features 38 named horses and two field entries, one for fillies and the other for all remaining 3-year-old colts and geldings. Mike Battaglia set the morning line for the entries earlier this week. The colts and gelding field entry is 4-5. For named entries, Fierceness, who comes off a win in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile earlier this month at Santa Anita, is the 15-1 favorite. Should he make it to Louisville in May, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt will try to become just the third Juvenile winner to take the Run for the Roses.

Wagering on the Derby futures pool will be available through select advanced deposit wagering platforms, such as Churchill Downs’ TwinSpires. It will also be available on DraftKings DK Horse site and FanDuel’s racing app, which is also connected to the FanDuel Kentucky sports betting app. The futures pool includes bets to win the Derby and exacta wagering, which covers the top two finishers in order.

Futures wagers allow bettors to seek value on their choices, but it also comes with risk. There’s no guarantee any of the listed horses will be among those in the field of up to 20 on the first Saturday in May. Bettors also can't get refunds if their horses are not in the Derby.

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Other Contenders

Because the futures pool is parimutuel, the final odds for each entry will not be known until the round ends Sunday evening. Battaglia’s morning line odds are an estimation of how Kentucky sports betting participants will wager.

After Fierceness, the second choice is Nash at 20-1. The Brad Cox-trained colt has yet to run in a stakes race, but in a Nov. 12 maiden special weight at Churchill, Nash and jockey Florent Geroux scored a convincing 10-1/4-length victory, pulling away in the final quarter of the 1-1/16-mile race.

Four other horses are listed at 30-1. Bentornato, a Florida-bred colt trained by Jose Francisco D’Angelo, has won all four of his races at Gulfstream Park. In his last time out, a seven-furlong stakes race on Oct. 21, he survived bumping another horse after exiting the gate and still posted a 2-3/4-length victory.

Dornoch earned his first victory in three starts on Oct. 14, going wire-to-wire for trainer Danny Gargan in a 1-1/16-mile maiden special weight at Keeneland. Liberal Arts has two wins in five starts, the most recent being the Oct. 29 Grade 3 Street Sense Stakes at Churchill. The Robert Medina-trained colt was last in the 1-1/16-mile race for the first three-quarters, but he picked up steam down the stretch to win by 2-3/4 lengths on a sloppy track.

The fourth horse is Locked, another Pletcher colt with two wins and two shows in four starts. He won the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland by a half-length on Oct. 7, but he settled for third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after being stuck in the back of the pack and forced to go five-wide coming out of the final turn.

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Churchill Downs Also Taking Bets On Winning Sire

A third pool will also be available this weekend. Churchill Downs is also offering wagering on which horse will be the sire, or father, of the Derby winner. That pool features 39 named entries plus a field option for all other sires. The field has a morning line of 6-1.

The morning line favorite among listed horses is Into Mischief at 6-1. Into Mischief has sired several champion racers, including 2020 Derby winner Authentic and 2021 winner Mandaloun.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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