Fox Hill Farms’ Eight Belles, who made the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park her fourth consecutive victory, emerged as a narrow favorite as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager concluded April 6.
The J. Larry Jones trainee was the pool’s 5-1 favorite although her gritty victory in the Fantasy came nearly 30 minutes after the conclusion of four days of Pool 3 betting at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). The Unbridled's Song filly claimed the favorite’s role after an eventful running of the $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on Saturday saw longshots Little Belle and Bsharpsonata finish 1-2 while Proud Spell and Country Star, the morning line favorites for Pool 3 of the KOFW, finished third and fifth, respectively.
Despite the loss, Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Proud Spell closed as the 6-1 second choice in Pool 3. Country Star was next at 7-1, while four-time stakes winner Bsharpsonata and Pure Clan, the third-place finisher in the Fantasy, were next at 8-1.
A total of $47,116 was wagered during Pool 3’s April 3-6 run. Betting on the three pools of the 2008 KOFW totaled $174,838.
The 134th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) is May 2 at Churchill Downs.
Ashland winner Little Belle saw her odds drop sharply after the A.P. Indy filly’s upset victory over an elite field at Keeneland. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee, a 30-1 shot in morning line odds for the pool, had seen her odds drift as high as 50-1 after the second day of betting. But that price tumbled to 11-1 at the conclusion of betting. Also closing at 11-1 was the mutuel field, which included all 3-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual betting interests in Pool 3. Bonnie Miss (gr. II) winner Shes All Eltish closed at 12-1, while Las Virgenes (gr. I) winner Golden Doc A stood at 15-1.
Information on the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is available on the official event Web site at www.kentuckyoaks.com.