Action Light as Major Preps Loom for Derby, Oaks

(from Churchill Downs release)
With a weekend of major prep races featuring Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders ahead, bettors continued to make the mutuel field and Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Wimbledon their lukewarm choices at the midpoint of Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

The mutuel field, which includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in the pool, was a narrow 8-1 favorite in Pool 2 on Friday evening. Wimbledon, trained by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, also stood at 8-1, but slightly more money had been wagered on "all others" after two days of the four-day wager period.

Real Time Future Wager Odds

The complexion of the Derby Futures pool could undergo a considerable change on Saturday and Sunday as several major contenders are scheduled to perform.

The Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park includes Pool 2 wagering interests Read The Footnotes (14-1 ), Tapit (15-1), The Cliff's Edge (39-1) and Value Plus (25-1).

Eurosilver (13-1) is favored in the Swale (gr. III), a highlight of the Florida Derby undercard.

Unbeaten 2-year-old filly champion Halfbridled (18-1) makes her 2004 debut in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), while Limehouse (37-1) and Swingforthefences (39-1) are set to run in Sunday's Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III).

Minister Eric (38-1) is set to make his season debut in a Santa Anita allowance race. Champion 2-year-old Action This Day (18-1) and Santa Catalina winner St Averil (37-1) will face each other in Sunday's San Felipe (gr. II).

A total of $60,374 had been wagered in the first two days of KDFW Pool 2. Betting will conclude on Sundayat 6:30 p.m. ET.

(#) Horse, Odds
1. Action This Day, 18-1
2. Birdstone, 12-1
3. Borrego, 24-1
4. Eddington, 17-1
5. Eurosilver, 13-1
6. Fire Slam, 59-1
7. Gradepoint, 30-1
8. Halfbridled, 18-1
9. Imperialism, 16-1
10. Limehouse, 37-1
11. Lion Heart, 14-1
12. Master David, 15-1
13. Minister Eric, 38-1
14. Mr. Jester, 49-1
15. Read the Footnotes, 14-1
16. Redskin Warrior, 46-1
17. Rock Hard Ten, 12-1
18. St Averil, 37-1
19. Swingforthefences, 39-1
20. Tapit, 15-1
21. The Cliff's Edge, 39-1
22. Value Plus, 25-1
23. Wimbledon, 8-1
24. All Other 3YO's, 8-1

Wertheimer Farm's unbeaten Halfbridled, who is set to make her anticipated 2004 debut on Saturday in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), remained a solid 3-1 favorite at the end of the second day of wagering in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs' 2004 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager ("KOFW").

The Richard Mandella-trained champion 2-year-old filly of 2003 has not run since an impressive win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) in October capped a spotless 2-year-old season. The homebred daughter of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled saw her odds drift slightly upward after she opened Friday's betting as the 2-1 choice for the April 30 Oaks.

The two biggest movers during Friday's wagering were the mutuel field, which contains all 3-year-old fillies not listed among the 22 individual wagering interests in the pool, and the Todd Pletcher-trained Ashado. The field opened the day's betting at 12-1, but was the 7-1 second choice by Friday evening. Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Ashado opened Thursday's betting at 13-1, but ended the day as the 8-1 third choice.

Other fillies that drew significant interest on Friday were Robert & Beverly Lewis' unbeaten A.P. Adventure, who dropped from 11-1 to 9-1, and Bruce Lunsford's dazzling Old Hat winner Madcap Escapade, who saw her odds rise from 8-1 to 11-1.

Through two days of the Oaks Future Wager, Thoroughbred racing fans wagered $7,732. That total is down from the $10,607 bet through two days of the first pool. Betting will close on March 14 at 6:30 p.m.

(#) Horse, Odds
1. A.P. Adventure, 9-1
2. Ashado, 8-1
3. Class Above, 34-1
4. Daydreaming, 32-1
5. Ender's Sister, 52-1
6. Eye Dazzler, Out
7. Friendly Michelle, 22-1
8. Galloping Gal, 34-1
9. Halfbridled, 3-1
10. Hollywood Story, 32-1
11. House of Fortune, 28-1
12. La Reina, 22-1
13. Last Song, 18-1
14. Madcap Escapade, 11-1
15. Miss Coronado, 17-1
16. Rare Gift, 70-1
17. Salty Romance, 68-1
18. Shadow Cast, 55-1
19. Slient Sighs, 62-1
20. Society Selection, 38-1
21. Stellar Jayne, 27-1
22. Victory U.S.A, 26-1
23. Yearly Report, 21-1
24. All Other 3YO Fillies, 7-1