Union Rags KDFW favorite

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Racing fans were undeterred by Union Rags being defeated Saturday as an odds-on choice in the Florida Derby when settling on the colt as a lukewarm 9-2 favorite in the third and final pool of the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which closed 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday after the customary three-day run.

Union Rags was bet down to favoritism, despite finishing third as the odds-on favorite behind Take Charge Indy in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. He was followed by the mutuel field (6-1), Creative Cause (8-1), Hansen (8-1), and Gemologist (12-1). Take Charge Indy, 50-1 when betting began Saturday, closed Sunday at 15-1.

Although the mutuel field, the 24th or "all others" option, closed as the favorite in the two futures pools offered earlier this year, Union Rags drew the most backing among separately listed interests in those two pools, too, at 7-1 and 4-1. Pool 1 was held Feb. 10-12, and Pool 2 from March 2-4.

The lowest $2 exacta will-pay for Pool 3 is the combination of Union Rags and Hansen (22-8), worth $77.40.

Pool 3 win handle was $303,043 and exacta handle was $124,304 for a total of $427,347, fifth-highest for a Pool 3 in the 14 years since Churchill Downs first began offering parimutuel futures in 1999. The record Pool 3 handle of $533,973 came in 2005. The Pool 3 handle last year was $392,910.

The three-pool aggregate handle for 2012 was $1,460,019, fourth-highest in history. The record aggregate of $1,665,990 was set in 2005. The aggregate last year was $1,362,101.

Churchill officials extended their customary closing time by 30 minutes to accommodate the results of the Louisiana Derby. Just one separately listed Pool 3 horse, Mark Valeski, was in the Louisiana Derby field, and his odds went unchanged at 34-1 in the half-hour of wagering after he finished second to longshot winner Hero of Order.