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Arienza Dazzles, But Still on Fence for Kentucky Oaks 137, Three More Oaks Fillies Work and Summer Soiree Gallops at Churchill
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza worked five furlongs in :59.40 over a track labeled as “fast” matching Kentucky Derby hopeful Archarcharch for the fastest time of 58 at the distance Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
With retired jockey Larry Melancon up, Arienza clicked off fractions of :11.80, :23.20 and :34.40.
“It was a good work,” trainer Dan Peitz said. “I got her last three-eighths in :35 and 2 and maybe a tick faster on the final time than what the clockers got her in.
“I am probably leaning toward the (Grade III $100,000) Eight Belles (Presented by ACS at seven furlongs on May 6). I’ll see how she comes out of the work and how everybody else is doing but if Larry (Jones with Joyful Victory) and Todd (Pletcher with R Heat Lightning) are sitting on go, we may wait.”
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth worked five furlongs in 1:02.20 under jockey Robby Albarado after the renovation break over a track labeled as “fast.”
Fractions for the move were :12.80, :25.60, :38.20 and :50.60 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:16.60.
“Robby let her roll from the sixteenth pole home and we did not want to overdo it six or seven days out,” trainer Steve Margolis said. “She had her major work last week (five furlongs in 1:00.40 on April 21).”
Bouquet Booth enters the Oaks off a fourth-place finish in the Central Bank Ashland (GI) at Keeneland on April 9.
“I am a realist and I know it is a tough spot,” Margolis said. “I know she might be the sixth or seventh choice, but she has proved herself with these type horses and deserves a shot. She is training well and if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t run.”
Street Storm, also owned by Right Time Racing, walked the shedrow a day after working five furlongs in 1:03 and according to Margolis is most likely headed to the $100,000 Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance on May 6 on the grass.
DAISY DEVINE – James Miller’s Daisy Devine galloped a mile and a quarter after the renovation break under jockey James Graham.
Daisy Devine is trained by Andrew McKeever.
DELIGHTFUL MARY – John Oxley’s Delightful Mary worked five furlongs in company in 1:01.60 after the renovation break under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.
Working with Exclusive Love, Delightful Mary was clocked in fractions of :25.60, :37.20, :49.20 and out six furlongs in 1:15.60.
“It was fine. We had two clocks on her and we got her a second faster, but that really doesn’t matter,” trainer Mark Casse said of Delightful Mary, who ran third here last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) in her only start on dirt. “I was watching some of the other workers and it seemed like some of them struggled with the track, but she didn’t.”
HER SMILE/R HEAT LIGHTNING – With her special Oaks saddle towel on order, Bobby Flay’s Her Smile went through her 1 ½-mile morning exercise wearing a “Work Mate” saddle towel.
“Where’s your workmate,” a clockers’ stand observer shouted to exercise rider Kevin Willey.
“It’s just me,” Willey said with a grin.
Mike McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said Her Smile would work Saturday or Sunday. The filly did not arrive in the Pletcher barn until Thursday afternoon.
No rider has been confirmed for Her Smile.
R Heat Lightning, owned by the E. Paul Robsham Stable, galloped a mile and a half under Hector Ramos. R Heat Lightning, who will be ridden in the Oaks by John Velazquez, is scheduled to work Saturday morning.
HOLY HEAVENS – K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman’s Holy Heavens galloped a mile and three quarters after the renovation break under exercise rider Manuel Huerta Castro.
Trainer Benard Chatters said the filly “would probably do something Sunday or Monday” to complete her major preparation for the Kentucky Oaks. Kent Desormeaux is slated to have the Oaks mount.
JOYFUL VICTORY -- Trainer Larry Jones was aboard as Fox Hill Farms’ Joyful Victory galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break.
The gray filly, a decisive winner of the of the Honeybee (GIII) and Fantasy (GII) in her past two starts is scheduled to work five furlongs Sunday morning in company under jockey Gabriel Saez.
“All is well,” Jones said. “We’re happy.”
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the Oaks riding assignment.
KATHMANBLU – Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu galloped a mile and a half after the renovation break under exercise rider Jose Lopez.
Winner of the Golden Rod (GII) here last fall, Kathmanblu is scheduled to work Saturday morning with jockey Julien Leparoux up for trainer Ken McPeek.
LILACS AND LACE – James Covello, Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel’s Lilacs and Lace had some light exercise under exercise rider Eliel DeJesus following the renovation break at Churchill Downs Friday morning.
“She galloped a mile today because she’s scheduled to breeze tomorrow,” said Reynaldo Abreu, assistant to trainer John Terranova, who’ll be on hand Saturday to supervise the Kentucky Oaks hopeful’s workout.
Lilacs and Lace has run all but one of her eight races on turf or synthetic surfaces. She most recently captured the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (GI) over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface. The daughter of Flower
Alley, who hasn’t raced on a dirt track since finishing seventh in her debut, has impressed Abreu with her action while galloping over Churchill’s surface.
"She’s been handling the track as good as you could want,” Abreu said.
PLUM PRETTY – Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Peter Hutton during the period reserved for Oaks and Derby horses following the renovation break
Trainer Bob Baffert said weather will determine which morning he will send the filly out for her final breeze prior to the race.
Plum Pretty, a 25-length winner of the $200,000 Sunland Oaks, will be ridden by Martin Garcia in the Kentucky Oaks.
ST. JOHN’S RIVER – Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River walked the shedrow at Barn 43 for a half-hour early Friday morning, a day after working five furlongs in 1:00.80 under jockey Rosie Napravnik.
“It looks like she came out of the work fine,” trainer Andy Leggio said. “She’ll have tomorrow off and then go back to the track Sunday.
SUAVE VOIR FAIRE – Fleur De Lis Racing’s Suave Voir Faire worked five furlongs in :59.80 at the HighPointe Training Center under exercise rider Frederick Carmouche. The move was the fastest of six at the distance over a track rated as “fast.”
“It was a good move. I got her last quarter in :23 and 4 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13,” trainer Speedy Smithwick said. “I thought the track was a little heavy this morning. I thought it might be more ‘wet-fast.’ ”
Smithwick may take Suave Voir Faire out for light exercise Saturday and then give her Sunday off depending on the weather, which has a forecast that calls for rain on Sunday. Smithwick plans to bring Suave Voir Faire to Churchill Downs most likely on Monday.
SUMMER SOIREE – Trainer Graham Motion watched Team Valor International’s Summer Soiree gallop a mile and a half Friday morning after the renovation break.
The War Front filly is scheduled to work again on the weekend, probably on Sunday, depending on the weather. Motion likely will miss the work because he will be at Fair Hill Sunday morning overseeing Derby candidate Toby’s Corner’s breeze.
“I’ve watched her work the last two weekends,” Motion said. “I’ve seen enough. She’s been very impressive in the morning. I don’t need to see anymore.”