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She suffered a surprising defeat earlier in the day at the hands of Crisp in the Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I), but Blind Luck remained a solid 9-2 favorite to win the 136th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) as the second of three days betting concluded late Saturday in Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”).
Michael Talla's CRISP (El Corredor) returned to the same distance over which she won the Santa Ysabel S. (G3) in January to take Saturday's $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) by a diminishing neck under jockey Joel Rosario. Closely tracking the pace set by All Due Respect (Value Plus), the John Sadler charge moved up to challenge the leader in the lane and got her neck in front of that one while 1-2 favorite Blind Luck (Pollard's Vision) came charging to just miss. Crisp stopped the clock in 1:43 2/5 for 1 1/16 miles over the Pro-Ride to move her record to 5-3-0-1.
Thriving on a trip that found him three- and four-wide much of the way, Peter Johnson Sr. and Teresa McWilliams' ALPHIE'S BET (Tribal Rule) had plenty in reserve through the stretch to wear down the speed and draw away as much the best in Saturday's $150,000 Sham S. (G3) at Santa Anita, a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep that had been postponed one week due to a water-logged track. Under Alex Solis, who guided The Pamplemousse to victory in the same race a year ago, Alphie's Bet drove home an 8-1 winner by 2 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:48 3/5 over the Pro-Ride.
Mrs. Susan Roy and Vinery Stables' AWESOME ACT (Awesome Again) had never raced on dirt before, but the English invader took to the surface like a natural with a convincing victory in Saturday's $250,000 Gotham S. (G3) at Aqueduct. In a fine training performance by Jeremy Noseda, the royally-bred chestnut was plenty fit for his sophomore debut, despite enduring the vagaries of a frigid winter in Newmarket.
'All Others' A Strong Favorite Over Lookin At Lucky, Eskendereya After Opening Session of Second Derby Futures Pool
Uncertainty surrounding the prospects of contenders for the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) was evident during the opening hours of betting in second pool of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) as the mutuel field, or “all others”, was the strong fans’ choice over favored individual horses Lookin At Lucky and Eskendereya.
Las Virgenes (Grade I) winner Blind Luck, a heavy favorite to score the fourth Grade I victory of her career in Saturday’s Santa Anita Oaks, was the clear people’s choice on Friday’s opening day of betting in Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW).
CALIFORNIA / TWO NEW NAMES IN SATURDAY’S RESHAPED SHAM – The weather-delayed $150,000-added Sham Stakes (Grade (III) at Santa Anita picked up two new names when entries were dropped for a second time for the 1 1/8-mile prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) that is now set for Saturday, March 6.
But the overall makeup of the race looks very familiar as 10 3-year-olds are set to enter the starting gate and only one is a stakes winner. The race was postponed for a week because of continued drainage problems in Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride course.
CALIFORNIA / BLIND LUCK FAVORED IN SANTA ANITA OAKS – Blind Luck, the favored individual filly in this week’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, figures to be a strong fans’ choice when she faces seven rivals in Saturday’s $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks (Grade I).
The royal blue silks of Godolphin were carried to an impressive victory in Thursday's $250,000 Al Bastakiya at Meydan, but not by Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Vale of York (Ire) (Invincible Spirit), who ran evenly in fifth. Instead, it was the lightly-raced MENDIP (Harlan's Holiday), a nominee to the American Triple Crown, who stormed to a 6 1/4-length triumph in his stakes debut. The Saeed bin Suroor colt extended his record to a perfect three-for-three, and in the process, stamped himself as a major player for the March 27 U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2).