With the Kentucky Derby still 23 weeks away, the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the 3-5 favorite in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) and Smile Happy was the 8-1 second choice.
Smile Happy, the 3 ¼-length winner of Saturday’s $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs, had his odds drop from 15-1 to 9-1 around 5 p.m. ET when Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the Houston furniture store owner who campaigned Smile Happy’s sire Runhappy, bet $10,000 to win on the Kentucky-bred colt who is unbeaten in two starts. Additional money flowed late until the 6 p.m. ET deadline and his odds closed at 8-1.
Runners trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Corniche were listed as part of the “All Others.” Baffert is prevented from running any horses in the next two editions of the Kentucky Derby. Corniche would be eligible to run if his connections elect to change trainers.
Jack Christopher, the impressive Champagne (GI) winner for trainer Chad Brown who was expected to be the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) favorite before he was scratched, is expected to resume training in early 2022 following surgery to heal a left shin stress fracture.
Other horses who attracted mild interest from bettors: Breeders’ Futurity winner Rattle N Roll (21-1); Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and American Pharoah (GI) runner-up Pappacap (23-1); Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) runner-up Tiz the Bomb (24-1); and Hopeful (GI) winner Gunite (25-1).
The next Road to the Kentucky Derby points race is the $250,000 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct on Dec. 4.
Horses in order of the public’s betting choice:
(with trainer, Pool 1 odds and $2 Win Will Pays):
#24 All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2019 Foal Crop (3-5, $3.40)
#18 Smile Happy (Kenny McPeek, Runhappy, 8-1, $19.20)
#11 Jack Christopher (Chad Brown, Munnings, 10-1, $23.20)
#17 Rattle N Roll (Kenny McPeek, Connect, 21-1, $45.80)
#16 Pappacap (Mark Casse, Gun Runner, 23-1, $49.40)
#19 Tiz the Bomb (Kenny McPeek, Hit It a Bomb, 24-1, $51)
#9 Gunite (Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner, 25-1, $53.80)
#3 Commandperformance (Todd Pletcher, Union Rags, 31-1, $64.80)
#7 Giant Game (Dale Romans, Giant’s Causeway, 37-1, $77.40)
#13 Mo Donegal (Todd Pletcher, Uncle Mo, 37-1, $77.60)
#23 All Fillies from the 2019 Foal Crop (41-1, $85.20)
#12 Major General (Todd Pletcher, Constitution, 43-1, $88.60)
#10 Howling Time (Dale Romans, Not This Time, 43-1, $89.60)
#2 Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch, Giant’s Causeway, 44-1, $90.20)
#5 Epicenter (Steve Asmussen, Not This Time, 52-1, $106.80)
#21 Varatti (Todd Pletcher, Into Mischief, 54-1, $111.80)
#22 Zandon (Chad Brown, Upstart, 56-1, $114.40)
#1 Ben Diesel (Dallas Stewart, Will Take Charge, 66-1, $134.20)
#4 Double Thunder (Todd Pletcher, Super Saver, 72-1, $147)
#15 Oviatt Class (Keith Desormeaux, Bernardini, 87-1, $177.20)
#20 Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr., Lord Nelson, 98-1, $198.80)
#8 Graphic Detail (Bill Mott, Practical Joke, 133-1, $269)
#6 Forced Ranking (Chad Brown, Mastery, 138-1, $279.80)
#14 Osbourne (Ron Moquett, Tapiture, 155-1, $312.80)
Total handle for the Nov. 25-28 KDFW pool – the first of five scheduled wagering pools in advance of the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, May 7 – was $326,448 ($263,008 in the Win pool and $63,440 in Exactas), up 30.9% from last year’s $249,331 ($191,984 in the Win Pool and $57,347 in Exactas).
Inaugurated in 1999, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager has been offered for a 24th consecutive year, but this marks just the ninth time that Churchill Downs has hosted a KDFW pool on closing weekend of its Fall Meet.