10/27/2004 12:00AM

Softer spot for Ouija Board

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Ouija Board, the horse to beat in the Filly and Mare Turf, visits the track at Lone Star Park for the first time Wednesday morning.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Despite having officially given first preference to the Turf, the connections of Ouija Board opted to enter their 3-year-old in the Filly and Mare Turf, and she was immediately established the 8-5 favorite by track linemaker Rick Lee at Wednesday's Breeders' Cup post position draw.

Lord Derby, who owns Ouija Board, and her trainer, Ed Dunlop, indicated earlier this week they were leaning toward the Filly and Mare Turf for several reasons - not the least of which was the condition of the Lone Star turf course. Heavy rains earlier this week had softened the grass, and the prospects of less-than-firm ground on Breeders' Cup Day was a concern to the filly's connections.

Ouija Board was shipped to York, England, for a race earlier this year, but then scratched on race day when the course came up boggy. Dunlop said that will not be the case Saturday.

"We wouldn't be averse to running her on softer ground, but we've avoided it up to this point for obvious reasons," said Dunlop.

Ouija Board visited the racetrack Wednesday for the first time since arriving in the U.S., but did little more than walk once around the main course with a brief stop in the paddock.

"I'm delighted with the way she's traveled," said Dunlop. "She was spot-on ready when she left home."

Ouija Board is one of six members of the 12-horse Filly and Mare Turf field who are supplemental nominations - although Megahertz has a credit for running in the race last year. As a result, the purse will be $1,410,000, the highest in the six-year history of the race. The other supplemental nominees are Super Brand, Aubonne, Katdogawn, and Moscow Burning. Super Brand is a 20 percent supplemental nominee, which means her owners must put up $200,000 to start.

Naturally, the decision to run Ouija Board in the Filly and Mare Turf came as a disappointment for the connections of her 11 rivals, who were hoping they might avoid her.

"Clearly, I'd rather the 8-5 shot have been taken out," said Graham Motion, who will start Film Maker in the Filly and Mare Turf.

Film Maker was one of two members of the field to train on the turf on Wednesday, along with Moscow Burning.

"The course was pretty squelchy this morning," said Motion. "But even being wet it's in fantastic shape and should be very safe on Saturday."

Light Jig figures to go off as second choice in the betting, and is one of two horses trainer Bobby Frankel has in the Filly and Mare Turf, along with Megahertz. Trainer James Cassidy also has two, the uncoupled entry of Katdogawn and Moscow Burning.

Yesterday, who finished third in this race last year, and Wonder Again took the worst of the post position draw, and will begin on the outside in posts 11 and 12, respectively. Yesterday will race in blinkers for the first time.

Filly & Mare Turf (Grade 1) 1 3/8 miles, turf Purse: $1,410,000

PPHORSETRAINERCOMMENTODDS
5Ouija BoardE. DunlopDuplicate of her Arc third would bury these7-5
8AubonneE. LibaudHad brutal trip when fifth in the Flower Bowl20-1
7Light JigR. FrankelDidn't beat much at SA; did it the right way4-1
11YesterdayA. O'BrienThird in this last year; rounding to top form8-1
10MegahertzR. FrankelHas big late kick, but absent for five months10-1
9RiskaverseP. KellyRan well in Flower Bowl; show me again8-1
12Wonder AgainJ. TonerCan contend if able to deliver her best effort10-1
4Moscow BurningJ. CassidyClose to the best, but has yet to beat them15-1
3Film MakerH. G. MotionExpected her to have a better year this year20-1
1Super BrandK. McLaughlinExits the Galaxy, which wasn't a tough prep30-1
2KatdogawnJ. CassidyThe distance, company, are issues for her30-1
6ShaconageM. ShirotaHas never been competitive at this level50-1

- Listed purses do not include supplemental fees
- Odds and commentary by Mike Watchmaker.