07/20/2003 11:00PM

Fields set for Classic, three others

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The Breeders' Cup set the fields on Monday for its first of four this weekend, giving bettors the opportunity to make wagers on four races exactly three months before the events are scheduled to run.

Fields were set for future bets on the Classic, Distaff, Sprint, and Turf, scheduled for Oct. 25 at Santa Anita as part of the eight-race Breeders' Cup card. A Breeders' Cup-designated panel picked 23 individual horses and a field entry for each race.

The bet has a $2 minimum, and all bets are final. Takeout will be 15.43 percent, the statutory takeout for win bets in California.

Betting will open at 1 p.m. Eastern on Friday and close at 9 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. The bets will be offered at nearly every racing facility in the United States, according to Ken Kirchner, the director of simulcasting for the Breeders' Cup, although contract negotiations are still ongoing with New York City Off Track Betting Corporation, the largest offtrack betting company in the country.

Last year, the Breeders' Cup offered the bets on four different weekends, and total handle was $530,541. The bets were rescheduled this year, in part to take advantage of the opening weekends at Del Mar and Saratoga, two of the most popular tracks in the country.

"We're optimistic," said Kirchner. "We think the fields have turned out great, and we think there's a lot of value on the board."

Medaglia d'Oro, the winner of the Oaklawn Handicap in the spring but off since that win, has been set as the 5-1 morning-line favorite for the Classic by DRF National Handicapper Mike Watchmaker, who is also a member of the selection panel. Mineshaft, an impressive winner of five races this year, follows closely behind at 6-1, and Empire Maker, the 3-year-old Belmont Stakes winner, is 8-1.

In the Turf, a race that is expected to attract a majority of its entrants from Europe, High Chaparral is the 8-1 morning-line favorite. Storming Home, Kris Kin, Dalakhani, and the field are all listed next at 12-1.

Bettors should take note of Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot before betting the Turf futures. Among the probables in the King George who are also listed in the Turf future bet are Alamshar, Falbrav, Kris Kin, Nayef, and Sulamani.

In the Distaff, Azeri, last year's Horse of the Year and a winner of 10 straight races, was made the 8-5 favorite, the shortest price of any horse in any of the four future bets. Next is Wild Spirit at 12-1 and then Bird Town at 15-1.

In the Sprint, Shake You Down, the former $65,000 claimer who has won five consecutive victories in fast times, was made the 4-1 favorite. Aldebaran is second at 6-1, and the field is third at 10-1.

CLASSIC

PRG.HorseMorning Line Odds

1Azeri15-1

2Congaree12-1

3Dollar Bill50-1

4Empire Maker8-1

5Evening Attire30-1

6Eye of the Tiger50-1

7Funny Cide15-1

8Harlan's Holiday30-1

9Iron Deputy50-1

10Kudos50-1

11Medaglia d'Oro5-1

12Milwaukee Brew15-1

13Mineshaft6-1

14Moon Ballad20-1

15Peace Rules30-1

16Perfect Drift15-1

17Saarland30-1

18Sky Mesa30-1

19Soto30-1

20Ten Most Wanted30-1

21Volponi20-1

22Wando30-1

23Wild and Wicked50-1

24Field15-1

DISTAFF

PRG.HorseMorning Line Odds

1Affluent50-1

2Atlantic Ocean50-1

3Azeri8-5

4Bare Necessities50-1

5Bird Town15-1

6Cee's Elegance*50-1

7Elloluv30-1

8Got Koko20-1

9Hennie's Song50-1

10Imperial Gesture20-1

11Lady Tak30-1

12Mandy's Gold50-1

13Roar Emotion50-1

14Santa Catarina20-1

15Sightseek10-1

16Sister Girl Blues30-1

17Smoke 'n Frolic50-1

18Spoken Fur15-1

19Summer Colony30-1

20Take Charge Lady20-1

21Wild Spirit**12-1

22Yell50-1

23You30-1

24Field15-1

SPRINT

PRG.HorseMorning Line Odds

1Aldebaran6-1

2Beau's Town30-1

3Bluesthestandard*30-1

4Captain Squire15-1

5Congaree12-1

6Crafty C.T.30-1

7Disturbingthepeace30-1

8Ghostzapper30-1

9Gygistar20-1

10Hombre Rapido*30-1

11House Party50-1

12Joey Franco*30-1

13Kona Gold20-1

14Midas Eyes12-1

15Mountain General50-1

16My Cousin Matt20-1

17Oasis Dream30-1

18Peeping Tom30-1

19Posse20-1

20Publication30-1

21Shake You Down*4-1

22State City30-1

23Valid Video30-1

24Field10-1

TURF

PRG.HorseMorning Line Odds

1Alamshar*15-1

2Ange Gabriel*20-1

3Ballingarry30-1

4Balto Star30-1

5Dalakhani12-1

6Denon20-1

7Dr. Brendler50-1

8Falbrav*15-1

9High Chaparral8-1

10Honor in War20-1

11Islington20-1

12Johar30-1

13Kris Kin12-1

14Nayef10-1

15Perfect Drift20-1

16Requete20-1

17Senor Swinger50-1

18Storming Home12-1

19Strut the Stage50-1

20Sulamani15-1

21The Great Gatsby20-1

22The Tin Man50-1

23Vespone*20-1

24Field12-1