'Field' Is Strong Favorite in Opening Oaks Future Pool

Churchill Downs' 2006 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager enters its fourth year with no clear individual favorite for the track's prestigious grade I race for 3-year-old fillies, so the mutuel field has been installed as the solid 7-2 morning line choice as the wager opens its Jan. 26-29 run.

Wagering on the Oaks future wager Pool 1 opens at noon (all times EST) Jan. 26 at racetracks and off-track betting facilities throughout North America and will continue through Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. The opening Oaks pool is scheduled to close a half-hour after the conclusion of betting in the year's opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which runs concurrently with the four-day Oaks pool. Racing fans in Canada will have their first opportunity to wager on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager as Toronto's Woodbine Racecourse has won approval to offer the bet.

The Oaks future wager, like the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, provides racing fans with an opportunity to wager on Oaks contenders in advance of the race dubbed "Derby for Fillies" at possibly more attractive odds than on Oaks Day. It is a minimum $2 wager and a win bet only. There are no refunds in the KOFW.

Each four-day KOFW pool includes 24 wagering interests a mutuel field consisting of all 3-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual fillies listed in the pool. Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia's morning line odds of 7-2 on the mutuel field in Pool 1 make that wagering interest a strong favorite over a group of accomplished individual contenders for the Kentucky Oaks headed by 2005 champion 2-year-old filly and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Folklore. Robert and Beverly Lewis' daughter of Tiznow  is the favored individual filly at 8-1.

Other highly regarded individual fillies among the wagering interests in KOFW Pool 1 include Hollywood Starlet (gr. 1) winner Diplomat Lady and Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) winner Wild Fit, both at odds of 12-1. A group of five fillies listed at odds of 15-1includes such stars as Frizette (gr. I) winner Adieu, Golden Rod (gr. II) winner French Park, Demoiselle (gr. II) winner Wonder Lady Ann L, Astarita (gr. II) winner Sensation, and Sharp Cat winner and Hollywood Starlet runner-up Balance.

"The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager has been a bit different from the Derby Future bet in that we have had some very strong fillies, such as champions Halfbridled and Sweet Catomine, that appeared so dominant early on that they were considered as strong candidates to challenge the boys in the Derby," said Battaglia.

"This year's group has a 2-year-old filly champion in Folklore that has already run and lost as a 3-year-old, and the other individual fillies in the pool have yet to really stamp themselves as future stars. Those factors should make the mutuel field a strong favorite in Pool 1 of the opening pool of this year's Oaks Future bet, but they will also provide for some very attractive odds on other promising fillies that could take major steps forward in the coming weeks."

Winning payouts in all Oaks future wager pools are based on the odds in place on each wagering interest at the conclusion of each respective pool. KOFW Pool 2 is scheduled for March 2-5 and the wager's third and final pool is set for April 6-9.

The 132nd running of the Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for Friday, May 5.

Real time odds on each pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available at www.kentuckyoaks.com

Kentucky Derby Future Wager - Pool 1

No. -- Horse, Morning Line Odds

1 -- Adieu, 15-1
2 -- Baghdaria 30-1
3 -- Balance, 15-1
4 -- Better Now, 30-1
5 -- Celestial Legend, 20-1
6 -- Dance Daily, 30-1
7 -- Daytime Promise, 30-1
8 -- Diplomat Lady, 12-1
9 -- Ex Caelis, 30-1
10 -- Folklore, 8-1
11 -- French Park, 15-1
12 -- Itty Bitty Pretty, 20-1
13 -- Original Spin, 30-1
14 -- Sabatini, 30-1
15 -- Seam Seeker, 30-1
16 -- Sensation, 15-1
17 -- Silvestris, 30-1
18 -- Somethinaboutbetty, 30-1
19 -- Sugar Swirl, 30-1
20 -- Wait A While, 20-1
21 -- Wild Fit, 12-1
22 -- Wonder Lady Anne L, 15-1
23 -- Yachats, 20-1
24 -- All other 3-year-old fillies, 7-2