Racing fans had some difficulty in separating the major contenders for this year’s running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) during Churchill Downs’ 2015 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), so they settled on the “Mutuel Field” (#24), or “All Others”, as a mild favorite over individual stars I’m A Chatterbox (#4), champion Take Charge Brandi (#22) and Condo Commando (#4) at Sunday evening’s conclusion of three days of betting.
The “All Others” bet was installed as the 5-2 favorite in Churchill Downs Handicapper Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for the Kentucky Oaks Future Bet. But support was strong for a trio of individual stars and the 2015 Oaks pool had had a rare finish in which four of its 24 betting interests stood at single digit. The Oaks Future bet opened Friday, Feb. 27 at noon (all times Eastern) and concluded Sunday at 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes after the close of the companion Kentucky Derby Future Wager.
The favored individual in the 2015 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager was Fletcher and Carolyn Gray’s I’m A Chatterbox, who closed at odds of 6-1 following her impressive back-to-back victories in the Rachel Alexandra (GIII) and Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds. Those wins by the daughter of Munnings came in her first two starts since she moved to stable of two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Larry Jones.
Close behind I’m A Chatterbox were Willis D. Horton’s 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner and 2014 Eclipse Award 2-year-old filly champion Take Charge Brandi and Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and The Elkstone Group LLC’s Condo Commando, winner of Saratoga’s Spinaway (GI) and Aqueduct’s Demoiselle (GII). Both fillies closed at 7-1 in the Oaks Future pool, with slightly more money wagered during the pool on Take Charge Brandi.
A victory in the Kentucky Oaks by Take Charge Brandi would be the fifth for her Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, but his first since 1990 in America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies. Take Charge Brandi has won four consecutive races since her 61-1 victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies launched the run to her juvenile filly title. Condo Commando, a daughter of Tiz Wonderful trained by Rudy Rodriguez, rolled to an easy victory in Aqueduct’s $100,000 Busher in her 2015 debut to improve her career record to four wins in five starts.
The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager enables racing fans to wager on contenders for the Longines Kentucky Oaks weeks in advance of the race at odds that could be more attractive than those available on Oaks Day. The wager features $2 minimum win bets and $2 exactas, which are available in $1 minimum increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations.
Wagering during three days of Kentucky Oaks Future betting totaled $115,615, a strong increase of 42.3% from 2014’s Oaks Futures total of $81,234. The 2015 Oaks Future total included $2 win wagering of $79,445 and exacta betting of $36,170.
Other fillies that attracted solid fan support in the Oaks Future wager were Donegal Racing’s Puca (#17, 11-1), who finished fourth in Gulfstream Park’s Davona Dale (GII) in her most recent start for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; Forum Racing LLC’s Birdatthewire (#2, 12-1), winner of the Forward Gal (GII) and runner-up in the Davona Dale (GII) for trainer Dale Romans; Siena Farm LLC’s Angela Renee (#1, 22-1), the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Chandelier (GI); Kaleem Shah’s Luminance (#14, 22-1), an impressive winner of her career debut and a Saturday allowance for two-time Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Bob Baffert; Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Feathered (#9, 25-1); and Charles Fipke’s Forever Unbridled (#10, 27-1), third in the Rachel Alexandra.
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.