If you’re interested in picking out your Kentucky Derby 2019 winner 12 weeks before the Run for the Roses, you’re in luck because the future is now! Or so it has been said.  The quickest way to play is to hit up your Advanced Wagering Account as Churchill Downs offers up the second of its four future wager pools this weekend. Certainly there’s other places to play, by either traveling to Vegas or signing up for US Racing which has an exhaustive list of “potential’ Derby contenders. But for those, like me, who bet the ponies primarily from home, the Churchill pool is path of least resistance to play.

What you need to know about Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2 is that it only runs through this weekend, It closes Sunday at 6 pm ET. In addition, this pool is pari-mutuel based until the final odds are reached on Sunday night. So if you jump in Saturday night with 5-1 odds on Game Winner, only to notice he landed at 2-1 Sunday night, you, unfortunately get only the closing odds.

Other future books use odds for the day of betting that don’t fluctuate once the future bet is played. The odds makers may make adjustments say, after a Kentucky Derby prep race win, moving a horse down from 50-1 to 15-1, but that wouldn’t affect the bet you made days or weeks before.

While I’ve been tempted to play the US Racing board and even had a notion to play the Draft Kings future odds at a Gulfport, MS casino – the book was taken down only a few days after opening in January – Sunday night perusing from home is what it will be for me.

I’ll be playing just a few Kentucky Derby bets through one of my ADWs. I think it’s the best-timed pool as there are no major preps – outside of the Sam F. Davis Stakes and San Vincente Stakes – to move the odds too much. Even if you like Knicks Go at 50-1, a Davis win may bring him down to 45-1. If you’re confident in a horse, as much as you can be more than 80 days out of the race, then it’s time to take a swing.

Here’s who interests me most:

#3 Game Winner – The 2-year-old champ is set to come back in March, so there’s plenty of time for him to ramp up and prepare for the first Saturday in May. If he wins out, his odds will be nowhere near 5-1. Worth a shot!

#10 Instagrand – All I will say is trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has brought the noise in saddling long shot Derby entrants with a real chance to win at big odds the last few years. He’s treating this horse like a threat – taking his time and likely kicking off his three-year-old season with a two-turn affair. If he has a hiccup along the way, he may end up an underlay at 15-1, as I’m thinking potential post time Derby odds will be higher.

#16 Owendale – OK, going to admit, you’ve got take a flyer and leap of faith for this late blooming colt, who only has an allowance win to top his running resume. He’s over a 100-1 right now and if, a big IF, he can advance in his next start, a likely Kentucky Derby prep, you can say, I bet him when he was a bomb!

#17 Signalman – This horse interests me due to consistency in racing and a bounce back win at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Jockey Club last November after finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile over the same track. Is he worth 25-1 or so right now? I think so.

Truth be told, I have not met with much Derby Futures betting success. I was live with Justify exactas last year, but did not cash. In fact, what I think I’ll do is play some more exactas and just hope.

For me the Pool #2 plays are:

Signalman with Game Winner, Instagrand, and Owendale for $2 each

Game Winner with Instagrand and Owendale for $2 each

Good luck if you decide to jump into this pool, when your horses make the 145th Kentucky Derby gate, it will feel like a victory.

photo of Signalman courtesy of Coady Photography

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