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John Asher's Kentucky Oaks 136 Update for Friday, March 19
FLORIDA / AMEN HALLELUJAH, CHRISTINE DAAE MEET IN BONNIE MISS – The role of favorite for the 136th running of the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on April 30 at Churchill Downs could be determined on Saturday when Davona Dale (GII) winner Amen Hallelujah meets highly regarded, but unproven, Christine Daae in the $200,000 Bonnie Miss (GII).
Amen Hallelujah invaded from California to score an emphatic 6 ¼-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux in the one-mile Davona Dale. Owned by IEAH Stables’ and Whizway Farms, the Rick Dutrow-trained Amen Hallelujah stretches out to the Kentucky Oaks distance of 1 1/8 miles in Saturday’s race.
Michael Imperio and Kona Stables Christine Daae has attracted many admirers as she won two of her three career races and will make her stakes debut for trainer Patrick Biancone in the Bonnie Miss. Biancone scratched Christine Daae from the Davona Dale in favor of a run in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race the following day and the daughter of Giant’s Causeway responded with an easy 2 ¾-length win under jockey Corey Nakatani.
Others in the field of six include Glencrest Farm’s Devil May Care, winner of last fall’s Frizette (GI) at Belmont Park; C.R.K. Stables Switch, a California invader who finished third to Blind Luck in the Las Virgenes (GI) at Santa Anita; the steady Joanie’s Catch and Danny’s Friend.EAST / BICKERSONS BACK IN RESCHEDULED CICADA – The race was delayed a week because of weather conditions, but the landscape of the $100,000 Cicada (GIII) at Aqueduct is unchanged.
Bickersons, winner of the Gulfstream Park’s Forward Gal (GII), remains the filly to beat.
The Kelly Breen-trained filly finished a well-beaten fourth to Amen Hallelujah in the Davona Dale last time out and is the 7-5 choice over six rivals in Saturday’s six-furlong Cicada.
SOUTH / JODY SLEW AIMS FOR FAIR GROUNDS SWEEP – Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew is days away from a bid to make history in March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII). A victory in the race would make her the first filly to sweep Fair Grounds’ trio of stakes races for 3-year-old fillies.
The Bret Calhoun-trained Jody Slew edged Quiet Temper to win the Silverbulletday (GIII) on Feb. 20 after opening the year with a victory in the Tiffany Lass. Quiet Temper is also expected to run in next week’s race, along with Florida invaders Mambo Fever and Ailalea.
RAGS TO RICHES DELIVERS COLT – Rags to Riches, the 2007 Kentucky Oaks winner who later defeated Horse of the Year Curlin in the Belmont Stakes (GI), delivered a colt by Henrythenavigator in Ireland on March 17. She will bred this year to European sire Galileo.