(Essential Quality / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

Godolphin’s Eclipse Award-winning colt Essential Quality and CHC Inc and WinStar Farm’s undefeated $100,000 Sham Stakes (Grade III) winner Life Is Good were made the 8-1 individual morning line favorites in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) but the pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is expected to be the overall choice in the three-day wager that begins Friday.

Pool 3 of the KDFW will open Friday at noon (all times Eastern) and close Sunday at 6 p.m. Wagers can be placed online at www.TwinSpires.com, as well as racetracks and simulcast centers throughout the country.

Veteran morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia installed the pari-mutuel field, or “All Other 3-Year-Olds,” as the overall 7-2 favorite in the field of 24 betting interests.

Essential Quality, the winner of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), is expected to make his seasonal debut in Monday’s $750,000 Southwest Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality closed at 8-1 odds in the first two pools of the KDFW.

Life Is Good, based at Santa Anita with six-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert, scored a front-running victory in the Jan. 2 Sham besting his stablemate Medina Spirit, who subsequently won the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis (GIII). Life Is Good and Medina Spirit are two of four Baffert trainees in Pool 3 of the KDFW. The others are the recent top two finishers of the $200,000 San Vicente (GII): Gary and Mary West’s Concert Tour and SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm and Robert Masterson’s Freedom Fighter.

There are nine new wagering interests from Pool 2, which was staged Jan. 22-24: Frank Fletcher Racing Operation’s Candy Man Rocket and Michael Shanley’s Nova Rags, the top two finishers in the $200,000 Sam F. Davis (GIII); Exline-Border Racing, SAF Racingand Richard Hausman’s 4 ¾-length debut winner Dream Shake; Freedom Fighter; Godolphin’s 8 ½-length debut winner Prevalence; Klaravich Stables’ $200,000 Withers (GIII) winner Risk Taking; Don Alberto Stable and Qatar Racing Limited’s Robert B. Lewis runner-up Roman Centurian; Siena Farms and Asmussenquine.com’s undefeated Swiftsure; and ERJ Racing, Train Wreck AI Racing Stables, Niall Brennan, Tom Fitz and William Strauss’ 14-length maiden winner The Great One.

The complete field for Pool 3 of the KDFW (with trainer and morning line odds): #1Caddo River (Cox, 12-1); #2 Candy Man Rocket (Bill Mott, 20-1); #3 Concert Tour (Baffert, 20-1); #4 Dream Shake (Peter Eurton, 20-1); #5 Essential Quality (Cox, 8-1); #6 Fire At Will(Mike Maker, 50-1); #7 Freedom Fighter (Baffert, 20-1); #8 Greatest Honour (Shug McGaughey III, 15-1); #9 Highly Motivated (Chad Brown, 20-1); #10 Hot Rod Charlie(Doug O’Neill, 20-1); #11 Jackie’s Warrior (Steve Asmussen, 30-1); #12 Keepmeinmind(Robertino Diodoro, 20-1); #13 Life Is Good (Baffert, 8-1); #14 Mandaloun (Cox, 30-1); #15 Medina Spirit (Baffert, 20-1); #16 Midnight Bourbon (Asmussen, 30-1); #17 Nova Rags (Mott, 30-1); #18 Prevalence (Brendan Walsh, 20-1); #19 Risk Taking (Brown, 15-1); #20 Roman Centurian (Simon Callaghan, 30-1); #21 Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher, 30-1); #22 Swiftsure (Asmussen, 30-1); #23 The Great One (O’Neill, 20-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (9-5).

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which features $2 Win and Exacta wagering, provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 147th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 1 at Churchill Downs.

There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s three-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.

More information and real-time odds are available online at www.KentuckyDerby.com/FutureWager.

Dates for the remaining 2021 Kentucky Derby future pools are March 5-7 (Pool 4) and March 26-28 (Pool 5). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.