Edited press release
Amerman Racing's Balance, the favorite for Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland following grade I victories in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita, looms as a solid favorite when the final pool of Churchill Downs' Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW) launches its four-day run April 6.
Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia has installed the 3-year-old daughter of 1995 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Thunder Gulch
as the 7-2 favorite in the field of 24 wagering interests for the April 6-9 pool. The betting interests include a mutuel field that includes all 3-year-old fillies other than 23 individual horses in the pool.
The 'all others' wager, which was the favorite in each of the earlier Kentucky Oaks Future Pools, is listed as a 5-1 second choice heading into Pool 3. Wild Fit, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the Las Virgenes, is next in the morning line at 8-1, while the remaining wagering interests are all at odds of 12-1 or higher. The mutuel field was a 9-2 favorite in KOFW Pool 2, followed by Balance and Wild Fit, who were co-second choices at 7-1.
Top Notch Lady and Brownie Points are not nominated to the Kentucky Oaks, but trainer Mark Casse plans to make Top Notch Lady a supplemental entry to the race at a cost of $25,000, which is five percent of the Oaks' $500,000 purse. Trainer Donnie Von Hemel said Pin Oak Stud's Brownie Points could also be supplemented to the Oaks if she runs well in the $250,000 Fantasy (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park April 14.
A total of $54,054 was wagered during the four-day run of the second KOFW pool. That was the highest total for Pool 2 since the wager moved to a three-pool format in 2004 and it lifted the combined betting total for the two 2006 pools to $120,602.
The final pool of 2006 has nine new betting interests: Teammate, Quiet Kim, Bushfire, Ermine, Top Notch Lady, Miraculous Miss, Brownie Points, Sweet Fourty, and Ready to Please. Fillies dropped from Pool 2 include: Baghdaria, Better Now, Folklore, Joint Effort, Misty Rosette, Original Spin, Private World, Sabatini, and Sierra Sweetie.
2006 KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER POOL 3
Program--Horse Name, Odds
5--Celestial Legend, 20-1
6--Crystal Current, 30-1
7--Diplomat Lady, 30-1
9--Ex Caelis, 50-1
10--French Park, 20-1
12--Itty Bitty Pretty, 15-1
13--Miraculous Miss, 30-1
14--Quiet Kim, 15-1
15-- Ready to Please, 30-1
16--Sweet Belle, 30-1
17--Sweet Fourty, 20-1
18--Sweet Sugaree, 50-1
20--Top Notch Lady, 30-1
21--Wait A While, 12-1
22--Wild Fit, 8-1
23--Wonder Lady Anne L, 20-1
24--All Other 3-year-old fillies, 5-1
Morning Line Odds by Mike Battaglia