Pool 3 of KDFW opens Friday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The results of several key prep races in recent weeks have led to seven new names for the third and final pool of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its three-day run Friday at noon Eastern and will be kept open long enough Sunday evening to accommodate the running of the Louisiana Derby.

Churchill Downs officials announced Wednesday that Pool 3 will stay open Sunday until 6:30 p.m. Eastern, about a half-hour after the Louisiana Derby will be run at Fair Grounds. Derby futures customarily have closed at 6.

Two other major preps, the UAE Derby at Meydan in Dubai and the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, will be run Saturday. The parimutuel odds are not locked in until the pool closes Sunday.

The new horses for Pool 3 are Daddy Nose Best, Howe Great, My Adonis, On Fire Baby, Optimizer, Prospective, and Went the Day Well. The displaced horses from Pool 2 are Battle Hardened, Castaway, Empire Way, Fed Biz, Out of Bounds, Rousing Sermon, and Scatman.

Since Pool 2 was held March 2-4, Daddy Nose Best won the Sunland Derby, Prospective won the Tampa Bay Derby, and Went the Day Well won the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes. On Fire Baby, the only filly listed in any of the Derby pools this year, was a sharp winner of the Honeybee at Oaklawn Park and is being seriously considered for a run against the boys in the Arkansas Derby and/or Kentucky Derby.

Union Rags, the once-beaten standout who will be a solid favorite in the Florida Derby, has been pegged as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Pool 3 by Churchill oddsmaker Mike Battaglia, although clearly that outlook could change depending on what transpires Saturday at Gulfstream. Following Union Rags in the Pool 3 morning line are Hansen (6-1), the mutuel field (6-1), Creative Cause (10-1), Bodemeister (12-1), and El Padrino (12-1).

Besides Union Rags, other separately listed Pool 3 horses set for the Florida Derby are El Padrino, News Pending, and Take Charge Indy. Only one Pool 3 horse, Mark Valeski, is among the 14 3-year-olds entered in the Louisiana Derby. No Pool 3 horse is entered in the $2 million UAE Derby.

The field, the 24th or "all others" option, closed as the 3-2 favorite in Pool 1, which ran Feb. 10-12, and as the 3-1 choice in Pool 2. Union Rags was most heavily backed among separate entries in both of those pools.

Combined handle for the first two pools was $1,032,672. The record three-pool aggregate handle of $1,665,990 was set in 2005. The record Pool 3 handle is $533,973, also set in 2005. The Pool 3 handle last year was $392,910.

The timing of Pool 3 sometimes comes a week later, or four weeks before the Derby, but that was impractical this year with the Easter holiday set for Sunday, April 8, when tracks and wagering outlets in some jurisdictions are closed.

Win and exacta wagering are available at a $2 minimum, including $1 boxes and part-wheels. All results are predicated on the 138th Derby, to be run May 5 at Churchill.

Only one futures pool on the Kentucky Oaks was offered this year, concurrent with Derby Pool 2. The field closed as the 4-1 favorite.

All futures lineups are chosen by John Asher of Churchill Downs, Brad Free and Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form, and Ed DeRosa of Brisnet.

Live streaming odds and exacta will-pays are available throughout the weekend on television monitors at tracks and wagering outlets and on kentuckyderby.com.