05/06/2002 11:00PM

'Dan' gets in an easy breeze


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Danthebluegrassman, the colt who was scratched Saturday morning from the Kentucky Derby after being a surprise entry three days beforehand, breezed an easy half-mile in 50.60 seconds Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs. The colt was scheduled to be flown Wednesday to Texas for Saturday's Lone Star Derby.

Sal Gonzalez Jr. was aboard Danthebluegrassman for the work, after which the colt showed no ill effects from the muscle cramps, or "tying up," that precluded him from running in the Kentucky Derby.

"He's fine," said longtime stable employee Mick Jenner.

Danthebluegrassman's entry into the Derby bumped Windward Passage from the field and sparked a controversy. Windward Passage was among a handful of horses scheduled to be on the same flight to Lone Star with Danthebluegrassman.

Bob Baffert, trainer of Danthebluegrassman and Derby winner War Emblem, left Churchill Monday for Tennessee for a brief visit with the parents of his fiancŽe, Jill Moss. Baffert was expected back at Churchill as early as Wednesday, when War Emblem was scheduled to ease back into training for the May 18 Preakness.

Morluc headed to Royal Ascot

Trainer Randy Morse said he and owner Mike Cloonan have accepted an invitation to run their turf-sprint star, Morluc, at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England next month.

Morse said there are two possible races at Royal Ascot for Morluc, an earner of over $925,000, one at six furlongs and one at 5 1/2.

Morluc finished fifth to his Morse-trained stablemate Testify in the Aegon Turf Sprint last Friday. The trip will be the fourth overseas for Morluc, who raced in Hong Kong the last two Decembers and in Dubai in March 2001. "He's taken us all over the world," said Morse.

Pattern emerging in Future Wager

Now four years old, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is still something of an all-or-nothing proposition.

In the first year, 1999, the mutuel field - or the "all others" option besides the 23 separately listed interests - was a winner in all three Future Wager pools. That's because the late-blooming Charismatic won the Derby, yielding mutuels of $12.20, $32.20, and $28.60 for the field.

In 2000, eventual winner Fusaichi Pegasus was a separate interest in all three pools, paying $27.80, $26.40, and $8, respectively. The same went for 2001, when eventual winner Monarchos was worth $36.40, $13, and $15.80.

This year, with War Emblem having emerged from obscurity to win, it was the mutuel field that once again swept all three pools. Respective payoffs on the field were $7.60, $16, and $24.

There still has not been a year in which the winner was available as a separate interest in one or two - but not all three - of the Future Wager pools.

Oaks-Derby double beats parlay

The Oaks-Derby double paid considerably more than what a win parlay would have returned.

In every year since the Oaks-Derby double was first offered in 1996, the payoffs have been close to, if not lower than, that of a parlay. The Oaks-Derby double with the least value was in 1997, when Blushing K.D., the Oaks winner at 5-2, and Silver Charm, a 4-1 shot, combined to pay a mere $24.80. A parlay would have paid close to $40.

But if someone last weekend had parlayed Farda Amiga ($42) with War Emblem ($43), the payoff would have been $903 for $2. The Oaks-Derby double held far more value, since it returned $1,395.40.

The payoff was easily the largest in the seven-year history of the bet. The previous high was $182 for the Pike Place Dancer-Grindstone combination in 1996.

Thursday's story may develop Wednesday

The big story Thursday at Churchill might very well focus on another massive pick six carryover, depending on what transpires Wednesday. With no winning pick six tickets sold on Derby Day, the carryover into the Wednesday card was over $348,000, fifth largest in track history and the largest in nearly seven years.

If, however, the pick six is won Wednesday, the top story might merely have to be the results of the ninth-race feature. A full field of filly and mare turf runners was entered in that race, a $44,200 allowance at 1 1/8 miles. Maltese Indy and Familiar Story rank among the top contenders.

* Cashier's Dream, winner of the May 2 La Troienne Stakes in her first start in nearly seven months, may make her next start in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont, said trainer Steve Asmussen. The one-mile Acorn will be run June 7.