March 4, 2024

Essential Quality, Life Is Good lead Pool 3 of Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Essential Quality posted a convincing debut win at Churchill Downs on Sept. 5 (c) Coady Photography

Champion two-year-old male Essential Quality and unbeaten Sham S. (G3) winner Life Is Good are expected to compete for favoritism among individual betting interests in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which kicks off its three-day run on Friday.

Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has pegged both colts at 8-1, the shortest price among 23 three-year-olds listed. The pari-mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (No. 24) is the overall 7-2 morning line favorite.

Pool 3 opens Friday at noon (ET) and closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Wagers can be placed online at

Essential Quality will open his sophomore season in Monday’s Southwest S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Life Is Good is being pointed to March 6 San Felipe S. (G2) at Santa Anita.

Life Is Good is among a quartet for six-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, who also has Concert Tour, Freedom Fighter, and Medina Spirit in Pool 3.

Saturday’s Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds includes Keepmeinmind, Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, and Mandaloun from Pool 3.

1. Caddo River12-1
2. Candy Man Rocket20-1
3. Concert Tour20-1
4. Dream Shake20-1
5. Essential Quality8-1
6. Fire At Will50-1
7. Freedom Fighter20-1
8. Greatest Honour15-1
9. Highly Motivated20-1
10. Hot Rod Charlie20-1
11. Jackie’s Warrior30-1
12. Keepmeinmind20-1
13. Life Is Good8-1
14. Mandaloun30-1
15. Medina’s Spirit20-1
16. Midnight Bourbon30-1
17. Nova Rags30-1
18. Prevalence20-1
19. Risk Taking15-1
20. Roman Centurian30-1
21. Senor Buscador30-1
22. Swiftsure30-1
23. The Great One20-1
24. All Other 3-Year-Olds7-2