Kentucky Derby Update: King Guillermo, Finnick the Fierce Scratched, Special Wagering Opportunities Available

Posted on: September 4, 2020, 06:52h. 

Last updated on: September 4, 2020, 11:06h.

UPDATE (12:15 pm ET, 9/4) – The connections for Finnick the Fierce announced Friday morning their colt would not race in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. That brings the field down to 16. The last time the race’s field was this small happened in 2003.

Saturday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby is down to 17 racers after King Guillermo’s connections scratched the colt on Thursday due to a fever.

King Guillermo Derby
King Guillermo, seen here winning the Tampa Bay Derby in March, will miss Saturday’s Kentucky Derby after developing a fever. (Image: Coolmore Stud)

The colt, owned by former baseball star Victor Martinez, won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby as a 49-1 shot in March. He followed that with a second-place finish in the second division of the Arkansas Derby in May, his last race.

Trainer Juan Carlos Avila said in a statement the 3-year-old colt’s handlers discovered the fever Wednesday. Veterinarians then evaluated him before the trainer and owner made the call.

To race in a race like the Derby, we need him at 100 percent,” Avila said. “We aren’t going to be able to demonstrate how good he is like this. I think we are going to have plenty of time to show his quality. He’s going to be a great horse, and everybody knows we have to take care of the horse first.”

The plan is now to get him ready for next month’s Grade 1 Preakness, the final leg of the Triple Crown.

King Guillermo is the second defection this week in the Kentucky Derby. Prior to the post position draw, Art Collector was forced out because of a hoof injury. His connections, too, are pointing him toward Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness.

Special Betting Options Available Derby Weekend

Pari-mutuel betting on the Kentucky Derby starts on Friday at Churchill Downs and other approved tracks, off-track betting parlors, and online wagering services across North America.

Besides traditional win-place-show and exotic betting on the race, the Louisville track is offering a number of betting options tied directly to the Derby and Friday’s Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

The biggest jackpot will likely come from the Oaks/Derby Pick 6, a pool with only a 15 percent takeout. The wager features Friday’s Oaks, Grade 2 Alysheba, and Grade 1 La Troienne, as well as Saturday’s Derby, Grade 1 Derby City Distaff, and Grade 1 Turf Classic. The minimum bet is $2 per entry.

The traditional Oaks/Derby Double bet will also be available through post time for the Oaks, scheduled for 5:45 p.m. ET. A Pick 3 for the Oaks, Derby, and Turf Classic will also be available, as will four 50-cent Pick 5 pools on both days.

Single-6 Betting Friday and Saturday

In addition, Churchill Downs is also offering a special 20-cent Single 6 jackpot on Friday and Saturday. To win the entire jackpot, only one entry can have the winning combination of picks over six races each day.

If there are multiple combinations, those winners split 90 percent of the pool. The remaining 10 percent carries over to Derby Day, which will feature a mandatory payout.

Like the Oaks/Derby Pick 6, the takeout on the Single 6 is 15 percent.

10-Cent Superfectas Available

Finally, Churchill Downs announced that the minimum bets on superfectas for Oaks and Derby days will be 10 cents. In years past, the minimum was $1. But since the races are taking place without fans under the Twin Spires, track officials opted for the change.

Last year, bettors wagered $250.9 million on Churchill’s Derby Day card and another $60.2 million on the Oaks card. Both days were record all-sources handles. On-track wagering accounted for $31.2 million of the combined $311.1 million over both days.