Streaking Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Take Charge Brandi is a narrow choice as the favored individual horse, but the ever-popular Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies,” will again be a solid favorite in the morning line odds for Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), which opens a three-day run on Friday, Feb. 27 and concludes on Sunday, March 1.
Bettors were on target in 2014 when they tabbed Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable as the 5-1 Future Wager favorite to win the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies. The Steve Asmussen-trained star rolled to a dominant Oaks win and became just the third Oaks winner to also take the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) during a campaign in which she was unbeaten against her gender and suffered her only loss in a fourth-place finish against males in the Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park. Untapable earned the 2014 Eclipse Award for America’s outstanding 3-year-old filly.
The pre-race picture is murkier heading into this year’s 141st running of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1 at Churchill Downs, and handicapper Mike Battaglia has installed the Mutuel Field, or “All Others,” as the 5-2 favorite in the Oaks Future pool.
“All Others” includes all 3-year-old fillies other than the 23 individual horses listed among the KOFW’s 24 wagering interests.
Willis D. Horton’s Take Charge Brandi, riding a streak of four consecutive stakes triumphs that began with her 61-1 upset in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, is the 6-1 favored individual in lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool of 2015. The string of stakes wins by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Take Charge Brandi also includes the Starlet (GI) at Los Alamitos, Delta Downs’ Delta Princess (GIII) and the Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. Her career record stands at 5-1-0 in nine races with earnings of $1,680,125.
Despite her successful run, Take Charge Brandi is far from an overwhelming choice among the individual Oaks contenders in the pool. Close behind the daughter of Giant’s Causeway are 8-1 co-third choices Condo Commando (#4), Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and The Elkstone Group LLC’s romping winner of Saratoga’s Spinaway (GI) and Aqueduct’s Demoiselle (GII) at two, and the Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s I’m A Chatterbox (#11), who earned back-to-back wins in the Rachel Alexandra (GIII) and Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds since she joined the stable of two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Larry Jones.
The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager enables racing fans to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Oaks weeks in advance of the 2015 renewal of the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies at odds that could be more attractive than those available on Oaks Day.
The wager permits $2 minimum win bets and $2 exactas, which are available in $1 minimum increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations. The KOFW pool runs concurrent to the third of four pools of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Wagering in both the Oaks and Derby pools is scheduled to open at noon (all times Eastern) on Friday, Feb. 27. Betting in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 1 and Kentucky Oaks Future betting will continue for 30 minutes before the pool closes at 6:30 p.m.
No scratches or betting refunds are permitted in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Betting on any individual filly in the pool will be suspended immediately should Churchill Downs determine during the pool that injury, illness or some other circumstance would prevent that horse from competing in the Oaks.
Total wagering on the 2014 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (including win and exacta betting) was $81,234. The betting total for the three-day pool in 2013 totaled $126,039.
Other fillies expected to attract solid support in the KOFW pool include Spendthrift Farm LLC’s Callback (#2, 12-1), the Bob Baffert-trained winner of the Las Virgenes (GI) at Santa Anita; Phaedrus Flights LLC’s Ekati’s Phaeton (#6, 20-1), the front-running winner of Gulfstream Park’s Davona Dale (GII); Birdathewire (#2, 20-1), the Dale Romans-trained winner of Gulfstream Park’s Forward Gal (GII) and a close third in the Davona Dale; StarLadies Racing’s Eskenformoney (#7, 20-1), runner-up in the Davona Dale; Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Feathered (#9, 20-1), the Todd Pletcher-trained runner-up to Take Charge Brandi in the Starlet; and Donegal Racing’s Puca (#17, 20-1), fourth in the Davona Dale for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Two-time Kentucky Oaks winners Baffert and Pletcher each train three of the Oaks Future Wager betting interests. Baffert conditions Callback, Fantastic Style and Luminance, while Pletcher trains Angela Renee, Eskenformoney and Feathered.
The wagering interests for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager are selected by a committee that consists of Churchill Downs Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services Darren Rogers, Director of Programming and Senior Racing Analyst Jill Byrne, Player Services Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President of Communications John Asher.
Real time odds and other information on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager is available at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/racing-wagering/future-wager/pool-3-oaks-odds.