Champion 2-year-old filly Sweet Catomine looms as the likely favorite in this week's third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, but fans will have to decide during the April 7-10 pool whether the daughter of Storm Cat
will ultimately challenge her fellow fillies in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or take on males in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr.I ).
The issue of which race will be chosen by owners Martin and Pam Wygod and trainer Julio Canani for their powerful winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) will be determined after her run against males in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
But her uncertain status for the Kentucky Oaks prompted Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia to install her as a tepid 4-1 favorite in his Pool 3 morning line. Close behind Sweet Catomine are Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's Summerly, the winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) and the 5-1 second choice, and Stonerside Stable's Sis City, a 16-length winner of Gulfstream Park's Davona Dale (gr. II) and the 6-1 third choice.
Betting in KOFW Pool 3 is schedule to open at Noon (all times EDT) April 7. The four-day pool will conclude at 6:30 p.m. April 10, which is 30 minutes after the close of betting in the accompany Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is a minimum $2 wager and a win bet only. It offers racing fans the opportunity to bet on Kentucky Oaks contenders at odds that could be greater than those they would receive on the day of the race. There are no refunds in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager.
"There is no doubt that Sweet Catomine would be a very strong favorite if she runs in the Kentucky Oaks, but the uncertainty over which race will be chosen for her should make this final Oaks Future Wager pool attractive to many fans," said Battaglia. "There are some impressive fillies outside of the champion, but none have been dominant and the Kentucky Oaks looks wide open if Sweet Catomine is not in there. There should be some enticing odd on a lot of the other Oaks contenders in this pool - especially if Sweet Catomine runs well enough against the boys to suggest that she would run for the Derby's roses rather than chasse the lilies that go to the Kentucky Oaks winner."
Saturday's $500,000 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland figures to have a significant impact on the Oaks Future Wager's closing odds as at least six of the wagering interests in Pool 3 fillies are expected to compete.
Summerly and Sis City are scheduled to be joined in the starting gate for the 1 1/16-mile race by Runway Model (12-1 in the Pool 3 morning line), Letgomyecho (20-1), Memorette (20-1) and Toll Taker (30-1).
Total wagering on the first two Oaks Future pools of 2005 stands at $99,257. KOFW Pool 2 in March attracted betting of $53,106 - the third largest total for an individual pool since the wager adopted a three-pool format last year.
Wagering interests and odds for Pool 3 include:
1. Amazing Buy 50-1
2. Aspen Tree* 30-1
3. Brooke's Halo* 50-1
4. Cape Hope* 20-1
5. Dance A Way Capote* 12-1
6. Dixie Talking* 30-1
7. Gallant Secret* 50-1
8. Hot Storm 50-1
9. In The Gold 15-1
10. Letgomyecho 20-1
11. Little Money Down 20-1
12. Maddelana 20-1
13. Memorette 20-1
14. Northern Mischeff* 50-1
15. Runway Model 12-1
16. Sharp Lisa 12-1
17. She Sings 50-1
18. Sis City 6-1
19. Summerly 5-1
20. Sweet Catomine 4-1
21. The Beter Man Can* 30-1
22. Toll Taker 30-1
23. Yankee Penny* 30-1
24. All other 3-year-old fillies 12-1
New Wagering Interests In Pool 3 (9) - Aspen Tree, Brooke's Halo, Cape Hope,
Dance Away Capote (included in Pool 1), Dixie Talking, Gallant Secret,
Northern Mischief, The Beter Man Can (included in Pool 1), Toll Taker and