Unique Bella closes at even-money in Kentucky Oaks Future Wager

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February 27th, 2017

Star three-year-old filly Unique Bella was sure to be heavily favored in the season’s one and only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW), but even an 8-5 morning line proved too high.

Bettors piled on, sending $21,718.72 of the $56,337.32 gross win pool her way, until she closed as the even-money choice. Should Unique Bella go on to win the Oaks, her early backers will receive a $4.20 payout.

After sensational wins in the Santa Ynez (G2) and Las Virgenes (G2), the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is expected to boss her foes again in Saturday’s Santa Ysabel (G3).

Fans have speculated, at times entreated, connections to pitch Unique Bella in against the boys. But Hollendorfer has emphasized his preferred path is to stick with the fillies, with the April 8 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) her springboard to Churchill Downs.

The KOFW bettors siding with Unique Bella are also wagering that Hollendorfer’s plans will hold, and her Chilean-based owners, Don Alberto Stable, won’t be drawn onto the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail.

So lopsided was the betting that the mutuel field of “All Others,” at 9-1, was the only other entity at single digits.

Wayne Catalano’s Farrell, regarded as the best individual alternative to Unique Bella, was trimmed from a 15-1 morning line to 10-1. She was in the headlines this weekend when racking up her third straight victory in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds, propelling herself to the top of the Oaks points leaderboard. The April 1 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) or April 8 Ashland (G1) could be next.

Elate was the most notable market mover, closing at 18-1 from a 30-1 morning line, to emerge as the third individual pick. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider homebred drew comparisons to the late Royal Delta after her sparkling maiden win. Her loss in the Suncoast at Tampa didn’t put a dent in the parallel either.

Click here for the $2 exacta probables for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager