- Road to the Kentucky Derby
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Joyful Victory Works Sharply; Three Contenders to Work Tuesday
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza galloped early Monday morning over a sloppy track under exercise rider Eva Jansson.
Trainer Danny Peitz also is considering the $100,000 Eight Belles Presented by ACS (GIII) on May 6 for Arienza.
“We’re here,” Peitz said of the Oaks. “We’ll see how she trains and see how everybody else is doing and see how things take shape.”
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth and Street Storm both galloped after the morning renovation break for trainer Steve Margolis.
Winner of the Delta Princess (GIII) and Silverbulletday, Bouquet Booth is scheduled to work Friday. Robby Albarado has the Oaks riding assignment.
Street Storm, most likely headed to the $100,000 Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance on grass on May 6, is scheduled to work on the turf Thursday morning.
DAISY DEVINE – James Miller’s Daisy Devine, winner of three of five career starts and most recently the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), galloped after the renovation break under former jockey Larry Melancon for trainer Andrew McKeever.
“She’s going to work at 6 in the morning,” McKeever said. Jockey James Graham is scheduled to handle the work.
DELIGHTFUL MARY – John Oxley’s Delightful Mary jogged two miles under exercise rider Melanie Giddings before the renovation break.
HOLY HEAVENS – Trainer Benard Chatters opted to wait another day to work Holy Heavens, owned by K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman.
“We are just going to gallop today and hope it gets better and work tomorrow,” Chatters said prior to the filly’s morning exercise.
Chatters has lined up Kent Desormeaux to ride Holy Heavens in the Oaks and Desormeaux is slated to be aboard for the work Tuesday. Desormeaux, seeking his first victory in the Oaks, never has ridden Holy Heavens.
JOYFUL VICTORY – Fox Hill Farms’ Joyful Victory, who figures to vie for favoritism in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) with R Heat Lightning and Kathmanblu, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 on her own over a sloppy track under jockey Gabriel Saez.
Fractions for the work were :12.20, :24, :36, :48.60 and out six furlongs in 1:16.40.
“It was a good work on this track,” trainer Larry Jones said. “She was just loping along. Gabe thought she went slower.”
Jones had planned to work Joyful Victory in company with graded-stakes winner Winslow Homer, who is nominated to the $300,000 Alysheba (GIII) Presented by Besilu Stables.
“With the track the way it was, I decided not to (work them together),” Jones said. “I wanted to make sure they didn’t pressure themselves into doing too much. They will do something serious Sunday.”
Mike Smith, who has been aboard Joyful Victory for her two victories in 2011, has the mount in the Oaks.
KATHMANBLU – Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu jogged a mile and galloped a mile under exercise rider Will Aldana after the renovation break.
Trained by Ken McPeek, Kathmanblu closed out her 2010 campaign with an 8 ½-length victory in the Golden Rod (GII) here under Julien Leparoux, who has the Oaks riding assignment.
Kathmanblu’s final work for the Oaks is scheduled to be Saturday.
PLUM PRETTY – Peachtree Stable’s Kentucky Oaks contender Plum Pretty galloped over sloppy going under Peter Hutton during the training period for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders.
Trainer Bob Baffert said Plum Pretty would work Tuesday morning during the same 8:30 a.m. training period.
Plum Pretty finished third to Oaks 137 contender Zazu and multiple Grade I winner Turbulent Descent in Santa Anita’s Las Virgenes (GI), then rolled to a 25-length victory in the $200,000 Sunland Oaks at New Mexico’s Sunland Park.
R HEAT LIGHTNING – E. Paul Robsham Stables’ R Heat Lightning, the likely favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, galloped Monday for trainer Todd Pletcher in her second day on the track following a Saturday work at Churchill Downs.
Regular exercise rider Hector Ramos was in the saddle aboard the daughter of Trippi who scored a runwaway win in her most recent start in the Gulfstream Oaks (GII) at Gulfstream Park.
John Velazquez will ride R Heat Lightning in Kentucky Oaks 137.
ST. JOHN’S RIVER – Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River galloped a mile and seven-eighths after the renovation break under exercise rider Robert Wright.
Runner-up in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) in her most recent start, St. John’s River is scheduled to work Thursday with jockey Rosie Napravnik up according to trainer Andy Leggio.
SUAVE VOIR FAIRE – Fleur De Lis Stable’s Suave Voir Faire was luckier than most contenders for Kentucky Oaks 137 on Monday as she spent part of Monday morning training under a covered facility at Highpointe Training Center near LaGrange, Ky., a few miles east of Churchill Downs.
Trainer Daniel “Speedy” Smithwick said by telephone that Suave Voir Faire jogged on the quarter-mile synthetic Polytrack surface in Highpointe’s indoor jogging facility before she ventured outside for a gallop over the facility’s Uphill Gallop, which also has a Polytrack surface.
Smithwick said the daughter of Suave, who finished third to fellow Oaks contender Summer Soiree in the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park, would probably work on Friday at Highpointe. He has not secured a jockey for her planned run in the Kentucky Oaks.