The mutuel field closed as a clear-cut favorite over the nearly inseparable duo of Good Magic and Bolt d'Oro after three days of betting into Pool 2 of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The pool opened Friday at noon Eastern and ran through 6 p.m. Sunday.
The field, the 24th or "all others" option, closed at 5-2, followed by Good Magic and Bolt d'Oro, both at 8-1. In the win pool, a mere $105 separated those individual interests, with $33,219 bet on Good Magic and $33,114 on Bolt d'Oro.
Next in line are McKinzie (9-1), Audible (9-1), Catholic Boy (16-1), Instilled Regard (18-1), and Solomini (19-1). The lowest $2 exacta will-pay is Good Magic over the field (10-24), worth $61.60.
Total handle for Pool 2 was $521,649, up a whopping 58 percent from the corresponding pool in 2017 ($330,042). Win handle was $363,388, and exacta handle was $158,261. Last year, Pool 2 was held on the final weekend of January and was down 25 percent from 2016.
All wagering was suspended on Montauk (No. 15) just prior to the opening of Pool 2 when the colt's connections informed track officials that he has been declared from Derby consideration.
The only designated Derby prep run while Pool 2 was open this year was the Sam F. Davis Stakes, won Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs by Flameaway over Catholic Boy. The only one of 22 individually listed Pool 2 horses in action was Catholic Boy.
The field has always been the favorite in the pool held at this time of year (originally Pool 1, now Pool 2) since Churchill Downs began offering parimutuel futures in 1999. Churchill expanded from three pools to four in advance of the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
The field closed as the 6-5 favorite in Pool 1, which was held Nov. 23-26 in tandem with the Derby Sires Future Wager. Combined Pool 1 handle was $250,259, with another $42,953 bet in the Sires wager.
Pool 3 is set for March 9-11 and Pool 4 for April 6-8. The lone Kentucky Oaks futures pool will coincide with Pool 3.
Last year in Pool 2, the field closed as the 5-2 favorite and included the eventual Derby winner, Always Dreaming. Classic Empire closed as the lowest individual choice at 5-1.
The record for handle in a single pool is $631,304, set in 2012, while the record for aggregate handle in a single year is $1,665,990 in 2005.
In the case of field horses filling both exacta slots, the next-best finish by a separately listed horse will count toward the winning combination.
The 144th Kentucky Derby is set for May 5.