- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Miguel Mena To Ride Suave Voir Faire; Her Smile Joins Oaks Picture for Flay, Pletcher; St. John's River to Work Thursday
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza visited the starting gate and then galloped Wednesday morning under exercise rider Eva Jansson.
Trainer Danny Peitz has a Friday work scheduled for Arienza in what would be her second breeze at Churchill Downs following the Fantasy.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth and Street Storm both galloped after the renovation break with Jose Castanon on Bouquet Booth and Williams Cano on Street Storm.
“I am going to work Street Storm five-eighths rain or shine tomorrow with Robby (Albarado),” trainer Steve Margolis said. “There is probably no way they will work on the turf tomorrow.”
Margolis said an Oaks run by Street Storm has not been officially ruled out.
“The partners (in Right Time Racing) are still deciding in case something happens,” Margolis said. “More than likely she will run in the Edgewood (Presented by Kentucky National Insurance on May 6).”
Bouquet Booth is scheduled to work five furlongs on Friday with Albarado up.
DAISY DEVINE – James Miller’s Daisy Devine walked the shedrow a day after working a bullet five furlongs in :59.60.
"She is fine this morning and will go back to the track in the morning,” said Ronald Clark, assistant to trainer Andrew McKeever.
DELIGHTFUL MARY – John Oxley’s Delightful Mary was one of the first horses on the track on a rainy Wednesday morning, galloping a mile and a half under exercise rider Melanie Giddings.
Trained by Mark Casse, Delightful Mary is scheduled to work Friday.
HOLY HEAVENS – K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Holy Heavens walked the shedrow at Barn 43 after working five furlongs in 1:03.60 under jockey Kent Desormeaux.
“She came out of the work fine,” trainer Benard Chatters said. “She will go back to the track in the morning.”
JOYFUL VICTORY – Fox Hill Farms’ Joyful Victory galloped a mile and quarter after the renovation break under exercise rider Robert Cline.
Trained by Larry Jones, Joyful Victory is scheduled to have her final work for the Oaks on Sunday.
KATHMANBLU – Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Will Aldana before the renovation break.
Trained by Ken McPeek, Kathmanblu is scheduled to work Saturday.
LILACS AND LACE – James Covello, Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel’s Lilacs and Lace galloped after the renovation break under exercise rider Eliel DeJesus.
Reynaldo Abreu, assistant to trainer John Terranova, said the winner of the Central Bank Ashland (GI) in her most recent start, would work during a Friday-Sunday window depending on weather. Terranova is scheduled to be here Friday.
PLUM PRETTY – Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty, winner of the Sunland Oaks by 25 lengths for trainer Bob Baffert, walked under the shedrow on the morning after her seven-furlong workout on Tuesday.
She covered the distance over a good track under jockey Martin Garcia in 1:28.40.
Assistant trainer Jim Barnes said Plum Pretty was well on the morning after the work.
HER SMILE/R HEAT LIGHTNING – The E. Paul Robsham Stables’ R Heat Lightning jogged after the renovation break under exercise rider Hector Ramos.
The two-time Grade II winner this year at Gulfstream Park, R Heat Lightning is scheduled to have her final work for the Oaks on Saturday. John Velazquez has the Oaks mount.
Pletcher has picked up a second Kentucky Oaks hopeful in Her Smile, a recent purchase by celebrity chef Bobby Flay who is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs on Thursday.
The daughter of Include finished second to Hot Summer in the recent Comely (GIII) at Aqueduct and won the Donna Freyer Stakes at Philadelphia’s Parx Racing. She has a record of 3-2-1 in seven races and earnings of $126,360. She has $30,000 in graded stakes earnings.
Pletcher has won the Oaks twice with Ashado in 2004 and Rags To Riches in 2007.
R Heat Lightning could kick off a big weekend for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also will send out Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty the following day in Kentucky Derby 137.
Only two trainers have won the Oaks and Derby in the same year in the history of the races that date back to 1875. H.J. “Dick” Thompson won the 1933 Oaks with Barn Swallow and the 1933 Derby with Brokers Tip.
Ben Jones accomplished the feat twice: in 1949 with Wistful and Ponder and in 1952 with Real Delight and Hill Gail.
Bob Baffert and Graham Motion are the only trainers other than Pletcher to have a shot at the double this year. Baffert, who won the Oaks in 1999 with Silverbulletday will send out Plum Pretty in the Oaks and Midnight Interlude in the Derby. Motion, seeking his initial victory in either race, has Animal Kingdom and Toby’s Corner for the Derby and Summer Soiree for the Oaks.
ST. JOHN’S RIVER – Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River, a fast-closing second in her most recent start in the March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), galloped a mile and seven-eighths after the renovation break under Robert Wright.
Trained by Andy Leggio, St. John’s River is scheduled to work Thursday at 8:30 with jockey Rosie Napravnik up.
SUAVE VOIR FAIRE – Fleur De Lis Racing’s Suave Voir Faire galloped on the indoor Polytrack arena at the Highpointe Training Center under exercise rider Frederick Carmouche.
“The arena is right next to our barn and she didn’t even have to get wet,” trainer Speedy Smithwick said. Smithwick plans to work Suave Voir Faire at Highpointe on Friday.
Smithwick said that Miguel Mena would have the mount on Suave Voir Faire in the Oaks.
“He’s a good young jock and he has done well for me in the past,” Smithwick said.
Mena never has ridden Suave Voir Faire, who comes into the Oaks off a third-place finish in the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park on March 26.
SUMMER SOIREE – Barry Irwin, chief executive officer of Team Valor International, notified Churchill Downs officials that Summer Soiree, the 10 ¾-length winner of the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park on March 26, would train at Keeneland on Thursday morning and then van to Churchill Downs that afternoon.
Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Gabriel Saez, Summer Soiree is scheduled to breeze a half-mile on Saturday or Sunday according to Irwin.