Racing News

Carroll readying cousins Ami's Holiday, Aragorn Ami for Oaklawn series

  • Ami's Holiday (WEG/Michael Burns Photography)

Add Mother Nature to the list of challenges facing the talented Harlan's Holiday colt Ami's Holiday, who is being pointed to Oaklawn's series of graded races for three-year-olds and then a potential Triple Crown campaign.

"He just had his first work," trainer Josie Carroll noted of Ami's Holiday's half-mile breeze over the fast Oaklawn strip in :50 2/5 on Thursday. "Unfortunately right when he came in was when we had the bad weather and it put me a little behind where I really wanted to be with him. Hopefully, we'll be able to catch up.

"As for the work, he did it easily and didn't get too tired. I had just brought him in from the farm in Florida and I would have left him there if I'd known we were going to have that interruption in training because it makes it tough, but we got a fair amount done with him in the barn area. Hopefully we're not set too far back and we can catch up."

Ami's Holiday already has 10 points in the Kentucky Derby entry standings with a victory in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine last October, and could possibly earn more in either the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel going 1 1/16 miles on March 15 or the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby scheduled for nine furlongs on April 12.

The bay colt was bred in Canada by owner Ivan Dalos' Tall Tree Farm and he shares bloodlines with another accomplished runner in Carroll's Oaklawn String, Aragorn Ami. The duo's dams are full sisters by Victory Gallop out of the Secret Claim mare Secret Ami.

Aragorn Ami, also a Dalos homebred, won the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn in her first start of the year after surviving a steward's inquiry on February 1. Carroll said that despite getting a little tired and drifting in inside the eighth-pole, the bay miss came out of that race in good order. The undefeated Aragorn filly worked five furlongs in 1:01 Saturday at Oaklawn, the second fastest of 54 at the distance on the fast track.

"We were fortunate with her with the timing of the interruption of training," Carroll said. "It fit in properly with her work pattern and we didn't lose too much time."

Aragorn Ami remains on schedule for the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee sending three-year-old fillies 8 1/2 furlongs on March 8.

"Their owner is very excited about them, especially since it's the culmination of a lot of generations of breeding," Carroll noted. "That always makes it even more special for an owner when they've put in all of those years of developing their bloodlines."