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Kentucky Derby news release

Contact: John Asher, (502) 636-4586


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 12, 2002) -- There are 23 horses listed among the 24 wagering interests in Pool 1 of Churchill Downs' 2002 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), but it appears to be a safe bet that the mutuel field will be the favorite among Derby fans across the nation when the wager completes its four-day run.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed the mutuel field as the 4-1 morning line favorite in the first of three KDFW pools, which opens at racetracks and wagering outlets in a record 34 states at noon (all times EST) on Thursday, Feb. 14 and closes at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17. Hollywood Futurity (GI) and Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (GII) winner Siphonic is listed as second choice at 6-1, followed by a trio of contenders listed as co-third choices at 10-1: unbeaten Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Johannesburg, Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Repent; and Santa Catalina (GII) and Hopeful (GI) winner Came Home.

The Future Wager allows racing fans to place wagers on contenders for the Kentucky Derby weeks in advance of the race at odds that may be more attractive than those they would receive on Derby Day. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum wager and is a win bet only. The list of horses in each pool consists of 24 betting interests, which include 23 individual horses and a 24th interest that is a mutuel field that contains all other 3-year-old Thoroughbreds - regardless of whether those horses have been nominated to the Kentucky Derby and the Visa Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager has displayed strong growth in popularity during its first three years and is coming off its most successful year as Thoroughbred racing fans across the nation wagered more than $1.3 million in the three KDFW pools in 2001. The KDFW recorded combined wagering of $676,233 in its three pools in its initial year in 1999 and cleared the $1 million barrier for the first time in 2000, when more than $1.1 million was wagered in its three pools. California, the nation's largest racing market, heads a list of four new states that will offer the Future Wager for the first time in 2002. Other newcomers include Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.

The mutuel field has been favored in Pool 1 in each of the Future Wager's three previous years and Battaglia is convinced that it will occupy that role again when this year's initial pool completes its four-day run. Battaglia listed the mutuel field as a 6-1 favorite in Pool 1 of the initial Future Wager in 1999 and installed the field as a 5-1 favorite in Pool 1 in both 2000 and 2001.

"This group of Kentucky Derby candidates is as wide-open and competitive as any we've seen in the short history of the Future Wager and I think the mutuel field will end up as a strong favorite this year's Pool 1," said Battaglia. "We have seen very little of the horses that appear to be the strongest contenders for this year's Derby and the fact that some of those horses are training in Europe and Dubai clouds the picture even more. The most prominent horses in this group have major questions to answer and I think that will send many fans to the windows to take their chances on the mutuel field."

The wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is chosen by a three-member committee that includes Mike Watchmaker, national handicapper for the Daily Racing Form; Brad Free, West Coast correspondent for the Daily Racing Form; and John Asher, vice-president, racing communications at Churchill Downs.

"This committee has selected every field in the history of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, but the job of settling on 23 individual horses has never been more difficult than it was for this year's Pool 1," he said. "I'm sure we're going to be second-guessed about some of the inclusions and omissions from this group, but decisions had to be made as we narrowed a long list of Derby contenders that has yet to sort itself out. There's ample wagering value in Pool 1 and some of these horses may emerge as major players off their performances in Derby prep races run during the pool."

Derby preps scheduled during Pool 1 include the Fountain of Youth (GI) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Feb. 16 and the Risen Star (GIII) on Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Fair Grounds.

KDFW Pool 2 is set for March 14-17 and Pool 3 is scheduled for April 4-7.All pools run from Thursday through Sunday.

The 128th Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4. More information on the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Derby Future Wager may be obtained on the World Wide Web at Real time odds will be available on the site during each of the three KDFW pools.

Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America's greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) also operates Trackside Louisville, an off-track betting facility. Churchill Downs will conduct the 128th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2002. The track has served as host to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships a record five times. The 2002 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs is scheduled for April 27 through July 7. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Statistics
Wagering Pool 1 Pool 2 Pool 3 Total
2001 $510,815 $372,961 $425,871 $1,309,647
2000 $465,454 $306,259 $387,206 $1,158,919
1999 $267,748 $178,811 $229,674 $676,233
Winning Payout Pool 1 Pool 2 Pool 3 Derby Payout
2001 Monarchos $36.60 $13.00 15.80 $23.00
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus $27.80 $26.40 ** $ 8.00 $6.60
1999 Charismatic* ** $10.20 $30.20 $26.60 $64.60

* Charismatic was a member of the mutuel field in all three KDFW pools in 1999
** favorite

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