05/02/2008 12:00AM

Eight Belles officially out of Oaks, in Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eight Belles, the 5-2 morning line favorite for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, has been scratched, as expected, in favor of a start in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Owner Rick Porter and trainer Larry Jones had stated this week their intention was to scratch from the Oaks if the filly drew favorably in the Kentucky Derby, which she did, in post position 5. She had drawn a disadvantageous post in the Kentucky Oaks, post 12, on the far outside.

Winner of the Martha Washington, Honeybee and Fantasy Stakes this year, she will seek to become the fourth filly to win the Derby, with the last filly to do so being Winning Colors in 1988. She is 20-1 on Mike Battaglia’s morning line.

With the withdrawal of Eight Belles, Proud Spell, also trained by Jones, is expected to start as the Kentucky Oaks favorite.