Halfbridled Initial Favorite in Second Oaks Future Wager

Edited from a Churchill Downs release

Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled, the unbeaten winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and champion 2-year-old filly of 2003, is listed as a strong 3-1 morning line favorite among 24 wagering interests in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager ("KOFW"), which opens its four-day run on Thursday, March 11.

The Richard Mandella-trained daughter of 1990 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Unbridled was the 7-2 favorite in the first of three Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pools in February despite a decision by her trainer to skip a planned start in the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Halfbridled was a dominant winner in all four of her races at two and is set to make her anticipated 3-year-old debut in Sunday's Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I). Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed her the strong choice in his morning line for Pool 2.

Betting on Pool 2 of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which is being offered this year in three pools for the first time, is scheduled to open at noon (all times EST) on Thursday, March 11, and will continue through Sunday, March 14. The Oaks wager will run concurrently with the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and betting on both pools will close on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Both the Derby and the Oaks are grade I events.

Strong support is expected in Pool 2 for Bruce Lunsford's unbeaten Madcap Escapade, a 11 3/4-length winner of the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park; Robert and Beverly Lewis' unbeaten A. P. Adventure, who won the Las Virgenes in Halfbridled's absence; and Starlight Stable, Paul Saylor, and John Martin's Ashado, a romping winner of last week's Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). The Frank Brothers-trained Madcap Escapade, who is set to run in Saturday's seven-furlong Forward Gal (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, is the 6-1 second choice in Pool 2. A. P. Adventure, who will put her spotless record on the line against Halfbridled in the Santa Anita Oaks, and Ashado, who rolled to a 3 3/4-length win in New Orleans in her season debut, have been installed as the 8-1 co-third choices in KOFW Pool 2. The mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 2, is next in line at odds of 10-1.

A group of four fillies listed at 15-1 includes Bonnie Miss (gr. II) winner Last Song; Las Virgenes runner-up Hollywood Story; the Shug McGaughey-trained Daydreaming, a recent allowance winner at Gulfstream Park; and Class Above, one of four Bob Baffert-trained fillies in Pool 2.

"Halfbridled looked like a very special filly at two and was the solid favorite in the opening pool of the 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager despite the fact that she skipped the race that had been scheduled as her 3-year-old debut," said Battaglia. "It's easy to see why the fans love her as she dominated her division at two and ran faster than the males of her generation on Breeders' Cup Day. Madcap Escapade, A. P. Adventure and Ashado are impressive and very promising stars in this crop of 3-year-old fillies, but a strong win by Halfbridled in her return to racing would solidify her standing as a heavy favorite in the second pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager."

The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager operates under rules that are identical to Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The wager allows racing fans to place bets on contenders for the Kentucky Oaks weeks in advance of the race at odds that could be more attractive than those available on Oaks Day. There are 24 wagering interests in each pool of the Oaks Future Wager that include 23 individual horses and a mutuel field that includes all other 3-year-old fillies. The minimum wager is $2 and the Oaks Future Wager is a win bet only. There are no refunds in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.

The second of three pools in the 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager includes six fillies that were not members of February's opening pool. Those fillies include Shadow Cast, third in the Fair Grounds Oaks and winner of the Silverbulletday Stakes; Ender's Sister, winner of the Florida Oaks (gr. III) at Tampa Bay Downs; Rare Gift, third to Pool 2 wagering interests Last Song and Society Selection in the Bonnie Miss: Stellar Jayne, winner of Churchill Downs' Pocahontas and fourth in the Las Virgenes; Daydreaming; and Galloping Gal, runner-up in last year's Walmac Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland. Fillies dropped from February's KOFW Pool include Allswellthatnswell, Cherry Bomb, Lotta Kim, Rahy Dolly, Saltwater Runner, and Whoopi Cat. Those fillies will be members of the mutuel field in Pool 2.

February's opening pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager attracted total wagering of $66,426. The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager debuted in 2003 with a single pool in April that closed with total betting of $117,368. Marylou Whitney Stable's eventual Oaks winner Bird Town was sent off at odds of 15-1 in the inaugural Oaks Future bet and returned $33.60 for a $2 wager. The 130th running of the Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for Friday, April 30 at Churchill Downs. Real time odds and other information on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager are available on the Internet at www.kentuckyoaks.com.

2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager - Pool 2
(#), Wagering Interest, Odds
1. A.P. Adventure, 8-1
2. Ashado, 8-1
3. Class Above, 15-1
4. Daydreaming*, 15-1
5. Ender's Sister*, 30-1
6. Eye Dazzler, 30-1
7. Friendly Michelle, 50-1
8. Galloping Gal*, 50-1
9. Halfbridled, 3-1**
10. Hollywood Story, 15-1
11. House of Fortune, 30-1
12. La Reina, 20-1
13. Last Song, 15-1
14. Madcap Escapade, 6-1
15. Miss Coronado, 20-1
16. Rare Gift*, 50-1
17. Salty Romance, 50-1
18. Shadow Cast*, 30-1
19. Silent Sighs, 50-1
20. Society Selection, 30-1
21. Stellar Jayne*, 50-1
22. Victory U.S.A., 30-1
23. Yearly Report, 30-1
24. All Other 3YO Fillies, 10-1

**- favorite
* - Not included in KOFW Pool 1

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