Smile Happy Closes at 8-1 in Derby Future Wager Pool 2


Photo: Coady Photography
Smile Happy wins the 2021 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs

With the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) still 15 weeks away, the pari-mutuel field of "All Other 3-Year-Olds" closed as the 9-5 favorite in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and Smile Happy  was the 8-1 second choice.

The pari-mutuel field for the first pool of the New Year has closed as the bettors' choice every year since the future wager was inaugurated in 1999.

Smile Happy, owned by Mike Mackin's Lucky Seven Stable and trained by Kenny McPeek, was the 3 1/4-length winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) in November at Churchill Downs. He also closed as the second choice behind "All Other 3-Year-Olds" in Pool 1 of the KDFW, which ran Nov. 25-28.

Other horses who attracted interest from bettors were McPeek-trained Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) runner-up Tiz the Bomb  (10-1), Champagne Stakes (G1) winner Jack Christopher  (14-1), first-level allowance winner Chasing Time  (17-1), and debut maiden winner Emmanuel  (17-1). 

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

Sign up for

Number Horse (Trainer) Odds $2 Win Will Pays
1 Chasing Time (Steve Asmussen) 17-1 $36.40
2 Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch) 51-1 $105.60
3 Commandperformance (Todd Pletcher) 41-1 $85
4 Courvoisier (Kelly Breen) 39-1 $81.60
5 Dash Attack (Kenny McPeek) 34-1 $70.80
6 Emmanuel (Pletcher) 17-1 $37.60
7 Epicenter (Asmussen) 24-1 $51.20
8 Giant Game (Dale Romans) 28-1 $59
9 High Oak (Bill Mott) 38-1 $78.80
10 Jack Christopher (Chad Brown) 14-1 $30
11 Major General (Pletcher) 41-1 $84.40
12 Make It Big (Safe Joseph Jr.) 85-1 $172.80
13 Mo Donegal (Pletcher) 23-1 $48.20
14 Pappacap (Mark Casse) 24-1 $51.20
15 Rattle N Roll (McPeek) 20-1 $42.60
16 Simplification (Antonio Sano) 43-1 $89.60
17 Slow Down Andy (Doug O’Neill) 20-1 $43
18 Smile Happy (McPeek) 8-1 $18
19 Tiz the Bomb (McPeek) 10-1 $22.80
20 Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr.) 77-1 $156.60
21 Varatti (Pletcher) 47-1 $97.40
22 White Abarrio (Joseph) 171-1 $344.20
23 Zandon (Brown) 25-1 $52
24 ”All other 3-Year-Olds” 9-5 $5.80

Churchill Downs stated in a previous release that it would not include in the KDFW horses under the care of trainers suspended from competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. These horses include likely 2021 2-year-old male champion Corniche  and other Bob Baffert trainees. Last year, as a private property owner, Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert from participating at its tracks through the middle of 2023 after Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone after a first-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky stewards have yet to hold a hearing or issue a ruling.

Corniche is favored with Las Vegas casinos offering future-book wagering, with some bettors banking on a rule change that would allow for Baffert's participation, legal action overturning the suspension, or the horse qualifying for the race by running for another trainer.

Currently Baffert trainees fall under the pari-mutuel field of "All Other 3-Year-Olds" in the KDFW.

Total handle for the Jan. 21-23 KDFW pool—the second of five scheduled wagering pools in advance of the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby May 7—was $361,209 ($273,712 in the Win pool and $87,497 in Exactas), up 12.2% from last year's $322,035 ($240,768 in the Win pool and $81,267 in Exactas).

The other Future Wager dates are Feb. 11-13 (Pool 3), March 11-13 (Pool 4), and March 31-April 2 (Pool 5). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 on March 11-13.