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Kentucky Oaks 137 Update for April 15
MIDWEST (Illinois, Kentucky) / GRADE I WINNERS TURBULENT DESCENT, TELL A KELLY RETURN SUNDAY IN KEENELAND’S BEAUMONT – Sunday’s $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (Grade II) at Keeneland attracted a power-packed field of six 3-year-old fillies headed by Grade I winners Turbulent Descent and Tell a Kelly, but the race is not expected to generate any starters for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.
The Beaumont will be contested over Keeneland’s Beard Course, which measures seven furlongs and 184 feet.
Blinkers On Racing, William Strauss and Robert Butler’s Turbulent Descent emerged as one of the top 3-year-old fillies in American racing with four wins in five races that included the Hollywood Starlet (GI) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI). She defeated Kentucky Oaks contender Zazu in the latter to avenge her only career loss, which had been inflicted to that rival in Santa Anita’s Las Virgenes (GI). But afterward trainer Mike Puype announced that Turbulent Descent was not a Kentucky Oaks candidate and would focus on a campaign of races at one-turn distances. The Beaumont is the first of those.
Regular rider David Flores will be aboard the daughter of Congrats in Sunday’s race.
Dawn and Ike Thrash’s Tell A Kelly, third to Turbulent Descent in the Hollywood Starlet and winner of last summer’s Darley Del Mar Debutante (GI), finished seventh to champion Awesome Feather in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) last fall at Churchill Downs. Chad Brown now trains Tell A Kelly and Julien Leparoux will ride on Sunday.
The rest of the Beaumont field includes Aide, Coax Liberty, Gran Lioness and Honey Chile.
Oaks Status Unclear for Bouquet Booth – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth, winner of the Delta Princess (GIII), returned to training at Keeneland on Thursday following her fourth-place run in last Saturday’s Central Bank Ashland (GI) and was scheduled to take a van ride to trainer Steve Margolis’ Churchill Downs barn on Friday.
Margolis said Bouquet Booth’s owners have not made a decision on a possible bid for the Kentucky Oaks. She is also nominated to Churchill Downs’ Eight Belles (GIII) on the Oaks undercard and the Edgewood on turf on Kentucky Derby Day.
SOUTH (Arkansas, Louisiana) / INSTANT RACING ATTRACTS DIXIE CITY, HEARTS ON FIRE, MAY DAY ROSE – Last week’s $300,000 Fantasy (GII) was Oaklawn Park’s major prep for the Kentucky Oaks, but the $100,000 Instant Racing on Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (GI) undercard has attracted a very solid field of 3-year-old fillies.
The nine filllies in the one-mile Instant Racing are headed by Kaleem Shah’s May Day Rose, winner of the Santa Ysabel (GIII) at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. The daughter of Rockport Harbor has a record of 3-1-0 in seven races, but is coming off a disappointing last-place finish to Turbulent Descent in the Santa Anita Oaks. She is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
Dixie City (2-1), winner of Aqueduct’s Demoiselle (GII) last fall but third to Fantasy winner and Kentucky Oaks contender Joyful Victory in the her 3-year-old debut in Oaklawn’s Honeybee (GIII), is the second choice at 2-1. Ramon Dominguez will be aboard trainer Tony Dutrow’s Virginia-bred daughter of Dixie Union.
The top home team hope could be Nolan Creek Farm’s Hearts on Fire (5-1), whose only loss in three races for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel was a runner-up finish to Kentucky Oaks contender Summer Soiree in an Oaklawn allowance race.