08/24/2003 11:00PM

Mineshaft slight favorite


Mineshaft, the winner of two Grade 1 races in 2003, was made the 5-1 morning-line favorite for the second installment of the Breeders' Cup Classic future bet on Monday.

The Breeders' Cup Classic future bet will be conducted this weekend along with three other future bets on Breeders' Cup races: the Turf, Sprint, and Distaff. Wagering opens at 1 p.m. Eastern on Friday and closes at 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Sept. 1, after a busy weekend of racing across the U.S.

Mineshaft was installed the favorite in the Classic field over 23 other btting interests, including Pacific Classic winner Candy Stripes, the second choice on the morning line. Empire Maker - the 3-year-old winner of the Belmont who scratched from the Travers Stakes last weekend because of an illness - was made the third choice at 8-1.

All four races offered this weekend were also offered on July 25-27.

This round will include a total of 23 new betting interests, led by the Classic field, which has seven new horses. Four horses in the Distaff field were replaced, and six horses each in the fields for the Turf and the Sprint were replaced.

The minimum bet for the future wager is $2, and no refunds will be awarded. Takeout is 15 percent, the statutory rate for win bets in California, where the Breeders' Cup will be held on Oct. 25.

Future betting for the Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Filly and Mare Turf, and Mile will be held Sept. 19-21. Only one round of future bets will be available on those four races.

In the Turf, the morning-line favorite is Alamshar, followed by the field. In the first installment of the Turf future wager, the order was reversed: Alamshar was the second choice, while the field ended up a 6-1 favorite.

In the Sprint, Shake You Down's recent defeat in the Vanderbilt Handicap on a sloppy Saratoga track did not measurably impact the morning-line odds. Shake You Down, who would need to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup in order to start, is listed as the 6-1 favorite.

In the Distaff, Azeri, winner of 11 straight races, was made the 2-1 favorite. Azeri was 3-1 when betting closed in the first Breeders' Cup future wager pool.