The leading contenders for the 2012 Kentucky Derby came into better focus over the weekend via Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. In three days of wagering that concluded Feb. 12, bettors poured in $631,304 to the pool, which is an all-time record for the future wager, which began in 1999.

As has been the case in every previous Pool 1, the “mutuel field,” or all other 3-year-olds not listed among the 23 individual betting interests, was made the heavy favorite by bettors. The proposition took in $160,625 in bets to close at 3-to-2.

Among individual horses, Union Rags garnered the most support and closed at 7-to-1. Union Rags, who won last year's Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and was second to 2-year-old champion Hansen in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, is slated to make his sophomore debut in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 26 at Gulfstream Park.

Algorithms, who beat Hansen en route to winning the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his seasonal bow, was made the second-choice in the wagering at 12-to-1. Interestingly, current Kentucky Derby future odds in Las Vegas make Algorithms the slight favorite over Union Rags. Algorithms may also return to the starting gate in the Fountain of Youth.

Other 3-year-olds garnering support in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager include El Padrino, a recent Gulfstream Park Allowance winner and stablemate of Algorithms for trainer Todd Pletcher, who closed at 16-to-1.

Southern California-based Grade 1 winner Creative Cause closed as the fourth-choice at 17-to-1. Creative Cause was last seen running third behind Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Trainer Mike Harrington said the Grade 2, seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 19 will mark the sophomore bow of Creative Cause.

New York-based Alpha, winner of the Count Fleet and Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, was next at 19-to-1. After winning the Withers, Alpha was subsequently shipped to South Florida for a future prep race at Gulfstream Park.

Hansen closed at 26-to-1. Despite getting beat in the Holy Bull, that still seems like a very fair price for last year's champion 2-year-old and Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner.

So those are the leading contenders for the 2012 Kentucky Derby at least as bettors see it nearly three-months out from the main event.

Here is the complete list of contenders in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager with final odds:
25. Algorithms 12-to-1
26. Alpha 19-to-1
27. Battle Hardened 46-to-1
28. Creative Cause 17-to-1
29. Discreet Dancer 30-to-1
30. Dullahan 40-to-1
31. El Padrino 16-to-1
32. Empire Way 33-to-1
33. Ever So Lucky 55-to-1
34. Fed Biz 21-to-1
35. Gemologist 22-to-1
36. Hansen 26-to-1
37. I'll Have Another 29-to-1
38. Junebugred 58-to-1
39. Liaison 56-to-1
40. Longview Drive 141-to-1
41. Midnight Transfer 67-to-1
42. Mr. Bowling 85-to-1
43. Out of Bounds 23-to-1
44. Rousing Sermon 71-to-1
45. Sabercat 34-to-1
46. Take Charge Indy 42-to-1
47. Union Rags 7-to-1
48. Mutuel Field (all others) 3-to-2

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