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John Asher's Kentucky Oaks 136 Update for Monday, March 15
SOUTH / NO SUCH WORD SURPRISES FOR CINDY JONES IN HONEYBEE – No Such Word, an improving 3-year-old filly owned and bred by former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, launched a strong outside stretch rally under jockey Terry Thompson to upset Peter Callahan’s heavily favored Beautician by 2 ½ lengths in Saturday’s $125,000 Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn Park.
The daughter of Canadian Frontier was the third consecutive Honeybee winner for a trainer named Jones, with Cindy Jones saddling No Such Word. Her husband, retired trainer Larry Jones, won the 2008 Honeybee with ill-fated Kentucky Derby (GI) runner-up Eight Belles and took the race a year ago with Just Jenda, who was owned by Cindy.
Martha Washington winner Decelerator finished third for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
No Such Word won for the third time in eight races and is expected to run next in the $300,000 Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park on April 2. Beautician, the Ken McPeek-trained runner-up to champion She Be Wild in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI), will remain at Oaklawn for the Fantasy.
Brereton Jones was the owner/breeder of 2008 Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner and Eclipse Award 3-year-old filly champion Proud Spell, who was trained by Larry Jones.
FLORIDA / DIVA DELITE STRETCHES WIN STREAK TO FIVE IN FLORIDA OAKS – Local hero Diva Delite completed a sweep of Tampa Bay Downs’ three stakes races for 3-year-old fillies and extended her winning streak to five races with a victory in the $200,000 Florida Oaks (GIII).
Rosemary Homeister Jr. was aboard the winner as she improved her record to8-4-2 in 15 starts. Trainer David Vivian said she is not likely to be pointed to the April 30 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.
Right now I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do, but she’s had some hard races” said Vivian. “She looks excellent, though, so I’m just going to play it by ear.”
C C’s Pal finished second to Diva Delite, while Mallory Square was third.
SHE BE WILD SCRATCHED FROM FLORIDA OAKS – Trainer Wayne Catalano scratched reigning 2-year-old filly champion She Be Wild from Saturday’s Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, which had been scheduled as a prep for her planned start in the Ashland Stakes (GI) at Keeneland on April 3.
Catalano told Daily Racing Form he scratched She Be Wild because of concerns about the condition of the track after heavy rain hit the Tampa area on Friday. The course was “fast” for the race.
CHRISTINE DAAE WORKS – Highly-regarded 3-year-old filly Christine Daae breezed a sharp six furlongs 1:11 at Gulfstream Park on Sunday in preparation for an expected run in the Bonnie Miss (GII) for 3-year-old fillies. The Giant’s Causeway filly is also nominated to the Florida Derby (GI).
Christine Daae, a winner of two of three races who has yet to run in a stakes race, is nominated to the Kentucky Oaks, but trainer Patrick Biancone also nominated her to the Triple Crown.
EAST / WEATHER SCRAPS CICADA – Weather conditions prompted the cancellation of Saturday racing at Aqueduct and the $100,000 Cicada for 3-year-old fillies was rescheduled for March 20. Forward Gal (GII) winner Bickersons was the strong favorite for the six-furlong Cicada before the weather delay.