Jill Baffert’s Contested swept past Good Deed in upper stretch and romped to a 4 ¾-length victory in stakes record time to win the 57th running of the $110,000 Eight Belles Presented by Xerox (Grade III) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Contested, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Arch mare Gold Vault, ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.19. The previous stakes record was established by Roxelana (1:21.97) in 2000.
William S. and Graydon Patterson’s Juanita ran past 2-5 favorite Plum Pretty at the head the stretch and then held off St. John’s River by two lengths to win the 27th running of the $327,000 La Troienne Presented by Steelcase and ORI (Grade II) for fillies and mares Friday afternoon.
BELIEVE YOU CAN – Brereton Jones’ homebred Kentucky Oaks heroine Believe You Can came out of the race in great shape, trainer Larry Jones said while accepting congratulations at his barn early on Kentucky Derby Day.
“Boy, she’s wanting treats and she thinks she deserves some reward!” Jones said as his filly poked her head out of her stall. “She gets all kind of peppermints, carrots, sweet potatoes, you name it. Whatever she wants she’s pretty well going to get.
AMIE’S DINI – While she may be a blue-collar $3,000 sales purchase, Oaks contender Amie’s Dini is a bit of a princess. Following today’s 1 ½ mile gallop, the Ron Moquett trainee hit the spa and was bedded down for breakfast.
“She really enjoys the spa,” Moquett said. “Actually, she likes all the finer things, the spa, the respiratory treatments, the massages. She likes all the things a lady likes.”
Jon Court will have the mount in Friday’s Oaks from post 13.
AMIE’S DINI – Co-owner Mike Walker said the Fantasy Stakes (GII) runner-up Amie’s Dini had an easy jog this morning after the renovation break and will school in the paddock during Thursday’s program at Churchill Downs. The $3,000 sales purchase drew post 13 of 14 for the Oaks.