A Surefire Black Friday Kentucky Derby Wager

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered this weekend and I’ve got a strategy that has generated a 100 percent ROI since the inception of the bet(s).

Conceived in 1999, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager consists of four pools that include the top 23 contenders for the Run for the Roses and a 24th entrant encompassing all other potential Derby entrants. Because the Future Wager pools are pari-mutuel in nature, the returns on winning horses tend to be higher than they would be otherwise.

For example, last year, Always Dreaming paid $11.40 when he won the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. Those prescient enough to have bet him in Pool 3 of the Future Wager, however, received $86.40.

Historically speaking, though, there is only one proven way to play the Future Wagers — bet the “All Others”.

In the 19 years the Future Wager pools have been available, nine winners of the Derby came from the All Others category in Pool 1, seven winners came from that category in Pool 2 and three All Others were victorious in Pool 3. A fourth pool was added in 2014 and, at least thus far, all the winning Derby horses were listed as individual entrants (see chart below for greater clarity on the additional pool).

A $100 bet on All Others in each Future Wager pool would have produced a profit of $6,100.

Even in the last 5 years, in which the Derby has been won by the post-time favorite each time, the All Others bet would have been a money-maker in Pool 1 — to the tune of 24 percent.


Editor’s Note: Starting in 2014, Pool 1 was offered earlier than before, whereas the other pools stayed more or less the same. It doesn’t affect the totals, but some might wish to move the Future Wager data from 1999-2013 over a column for a more consistent portrayal of the wagering.

Now, if you want to get a better price on a horse you like that is not among the pari-mutuel entries — All Others is sure to be favored — I would strongly suggest you check out the odds at US Racing, where Black Friday bargains abound even on some of the colts that are listed individually in Pool 1 (Principe Guilherme, for example, is currently 10-1 in Future Wager betting, yet is 80-1 on the US Racing board).

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