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On Fire Baby to train up to Ky Oaks
Trainer Gary "Red Dog" Hartlage said Thursday morning that owner Anita Cauley wants a "fresh horse" for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 4, so the decision has been made not to start their multiple Grade 2 winner On Fire Baby in either the Grade 2 Fantasy on April 11 or the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 14. Both races had been under consideration since the Smoke Glacken filly won the Grade 3 Honeybee at Oaklawn on March 10.
"This was completely Anita's decision," Hartlage said. "She wants a fresh horse for the Kentucky Oaks, and that's what she's going to get. I know I can get her ready. I already know she can get the distance. She's fine. Everything is OK. We have just decided to train up to the Oaks."
On Fire Baby became an early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks last fall when she won both the Grade 2 Pocahantas and Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. In addition to her win against her own sex in the Honeybee, she also finished third in the January 16 Smarty Jones Stakes against males.
Entries for the Fantasy Stakes will be taken Friday.