- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Inny Minnie headed to FG Oaks with Avie's Sense defection
New York-born trainer Steve Margolis breezed Ballis's three-year-old filly Inny Minnie in 1:01 1/5 during training hours at Fair Grounds on Sunday and is now planning on running the Hard Spun filly in Saturday's Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks due to the late withdrawal of Avie's Sense.
Tall Oaks Farm's Avie's Sense, who was the early second choice for the Fair Grounds Oaks, was not entered Sunday for Fair Grounds' feminine fixture due to an unspecified setback, trainer Josie Carroll confirmed when reached by phone on her way to Florida.
"Yes, we've had a little setback," Carroll said. "We're not quite 100 percent 'bang on' with her right now, and I think in a race like this you need to be. We're going to back off this one and give her a little more time."
Avie's Sense, a daughter of 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, broke her maiden with an eye-opening 5 3/4-length tally at Fair Grounds on January 5. That race impressed the trainer enough to jump her into stakes competition for her next start, where she finished second by a length to favored Summer Applause in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on February 25.
Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner, also reacted quickly to the news that Avie's Sense was not entered in the Fair Grounds Oaks by naming a promising maiden filly to the field.
Lukas entered a daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker named Colonial Empress to the 1 1/16-mile contest.
Colonial Empress has made two starts in her career, finishing fourth in Oaklawn's Martha Washington Stakes in her career debut and then coming back to run third in the Grade 3 Honeybee at the same venue.