SOUTH / JODY SLEW LIKELY FOR TODAY’S FAIR GROUNDS OAKS – Martin Racing Stable’s Jody Slew, winner of Fair Grounds’ Silverbulletday (GIII) and Tiffany Lass, is expected to be in the starting gate with 10 other 3-year-old fillies in Friday’s 44th running of the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) at New Orleans’ Fair Grounds.
Jody Slew has been bothered by soreness following a mishap in her stall last week and trainer Bret Calhoun has been assessing her condition day-by-day. Calhoun liked what he saw when the filly trained over the New Orleans oval on Thursday and pronounced her “likely” for the Fair Grounds Oaks.
"She looked good,” Calhoun said. “If it’s status quo tomorrow (Friday), we plan to run.”
Jody Slew is bidding to become the first horse to sweep Fair Grounds’ trio of stakes races for 3-year-old fillies. She is the third choice at 5-1 in the morning line odds for the Fair Grounds Oaks behind Starlight Partners’ Ailalea (3-1), the Todd Pletcher-trained winner of the Tempted (GIII) at Aqueduct, and Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper (7-2), the Dale Romans-trained winner of the Delta Princess (GIII) and runner-up in the Silverbulletday.
Ailalea, who breaks from the outside post, will be ridden by Javier Castellano, while Quite Temper will break from the rail under Robby Albarado.
Last year’s Fair Grounds Oaks winner was eventual Horse of the Year and 3-year-old filly champion Rachel Alexandra, who became the fourth filly in five years to win the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) after taking the Fair Grounds Oaks.
KENTUCKY / HELEN BELEN, AGE OF HUMOR TOP TURFWAY’S BOURBONETTE – Desk Farm’s Helen Belen, a runaway winner of the Valdale Stakes at Tufway Park, and Twin Creeks Racing’s Age of Humor, third in the Silverbulletday (GIII), at Fair Grounds, head a field of 10 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at 1 1/16 miles at Turfway Park.
Helen Belen was a front-running 14 ¾-length winner for trainer Billy Denzik Jr. in the one-mile Valdale, Turfway’s top prep for the Bourbonette Oaks. The daughter of Five Star Day has won three of her four career starts, all over the synthetic Polytrack course at Turfway. Sal Gonzalez Jr. will ride.
Age of Humor won the Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct before her run behind Jody Slew and Quiet Temper in the Silverbulletday. Russell Baze will be aboard the daughter of Distorted Humor.
Other contenders in Saturday’s race include Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Lisa’s Kitten, who had a troubled journey in the Valdale in her debut on a synthetic racing surface, and Cascading, the Josie Carroll-trained winner of the Glorious Song at Woodbine. She returns to a synthetic track after finished 10th in her debut on traditional dirt in her most recent start in the Forward Gal (GII) at Gulfstream Park.
WEST / BAFFERT’S ELLAFITZ BIDS FOR SUNLAND OAKS – D & E Racing’s Ellafitz carries the hopes of trainer Bob Baffert into Sunday’s $200,000 Sunland Oaks, a race Baffert won last year with future Grade I stakes winner Gabby’s Golden Gal.
Ellafitz, a daughter of Tiznow, scored an impressive win last time out in a Santa Anita allowance race at the 1 1/16-mile Sunland Oaks distance.