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John Asher's Kentucky Oaks 136 Update for Monday, March 8
CALIFORNIA / CRISP REBOUNDS TO UPSET BLIND LUCK IN SANTA ANITA OAKS – A third straight Grade I stakes victory by Blind Luck In Saturday’s Santa Anita Oaks (GI) would have made the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee a near-prohibitive favorite for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, at Churchill Downs on April 30.
But the race provided another reminder of why races are contested on track and not on paper.
With the favorite and jockey Rafael Bejarano far behind a dawdling pace, Michael Talla’s Crisp assumed a stalking position behind pacesetter All Due Respect and won a long stretch duel with that rival to win by a neck under jockey Joel Rosario. Blind Luck rallied late to finish a neck back in third, another neck in front of late-running Warren’s Jitterbug.
Trainer John Sadler’s filly avenged a loss to Blind Luck in her previous start in Feb. 13 Las Virgenes (GI). Sadler added blinkers Saturday and hoped the new equipment would sharper her speed.
“We were hoping to lay a little closer today because it looked like there wasn’t a lot of speed in here,” said Sadler. “There was no pace that day and she put in a good run and couldn’t get there.”
Bejarano said Blind Luck was a victim of poor racing luck.
“When we came into the stretch, those fillies in front of me tightened up and my hole closed,” he said. “We just ran out of time – she was really running.”
Sadler said Crisp, who had won the Santa Ysabel (GIII) at Santa Anita earlier in the year, would be pointed to the Kentucky Oaks. Crisp, like Blind Luck, is nominated to the Kentucky Oaks and also to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the Triple Crown.
FLORIDA / AMEN HALLELUJAH BOUND FOR BONNIE MISS – The final Kentucky Oaks prep for Davona Dale (GII) winner Amen Hallelujah will come in Gulfstream Park’s Bonnie Miss (GII) on March 20, a race that would be her first at a two-turn distance.
“She’s got a ton of confidence in herself right now,” trainer Rick Dutrow told Daily Racing Form. “Nothing went her way in the race the other day, and she beat those fillies easily. I’d hate to be running against her next time.”
She Be Wild, Beautician Work – The 1-2 finishers in last fall’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Santa Anita – 2-year-old filly champion She Be Wild and Beautician – worked at Gulfstream Park on Friday.
She Be Wild breezed five furlongs over a fast track in 1:01.20, Trainer Wayne Catalano is unsure the next race for She Be Wild, who finished a disappointing fifth last out in the Forward Gal (GII).
Beautician worked in company with Noble’s Promise, a Ken McPeek-trained stablemate and contender for the Kentucky Derby, and covered five furlongs in 1:00.61. McPeek said his filly could make her 2010 debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn Park.
Khancord Kid held off Apple Charlotte to win Saturday’s $150,000 Herecomesthebride (GIII) on the Gulfstream Park turf. Rajiv Maragh rode the John Kimmel trainee to her third win in six career races.
Neither of the top two finishers is nominated to the Kentucky Oaks.