John Liviakis' homebred MIGHTY CAROLINE (Stormy Atlantic) overhauled pacesetter River Kiss (Awesome Gambler) in midstretch and drew clear to a 1 1/4-length victory in Friday's $150,000 Sorrento S. (G3) at Del Mar. Joel Rosario had the mount for trainer Melody Conlon, and the two-year-old gray filly completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15 3/5 on the Polytrack.
In a hard-fought stretch duel, George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables' MY MISS AURELIA (Smart Strike) was able to hold off Matron S. (G2) winner Millionreasonswhy (Grand Slam) by a mere neck in the $150,000 Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga Sunday. Guided by Julien Leparoux, the Steve Asmussen trainee stopped the clock in 1:17 in the 6 1/2-furlong battle on the fast track, making her a perfect two-for-two following her successful debut at the Spa.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has another good-looking juvenile to have fun with at Saratoga this summer. The filly GEORGIE'S ANGEL (Bellamy Road) was a prompt 4-5 winner of the $100,000 Schuylerville S. (G3) at Saratoga on Friday, the opening day of the Spa's 40-day meet.
Sagamore Farm's MILLIONREASONSWHY (Grand Slam) went three wide into the stretch of Sunday's $150,000 Matron S. (G2) at Belmont Park and pulled off to secure the two-length victory under jockey John Velazquez.
Barry L. King's FLASHY LASSIE (Flashy Bull) registered an upset in Saturday's $109,300 Debutante S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, rallying from far back to win as the 17-1 longest shot among seven two-year-old fillies. A smart nine-length debut winner over $20,000 maiden claimers on May 13, the Gary Simms-trained filly remained unbeaten while taking the steep class hike, receiving a picture-perfect ride from jockey Kent Desormeaux.
PLUM PRETTY – Assistant trainer Jim Barnes reported that Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty came back “super good” from her impressive score in Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Medaglia d’Oro filly got a perfect trip for rider Martin Garcia, fired well clear at the head of the lane, then had enough in the tank to hold off the fast-closing St. John’s River by a neck.
Future plans for Plum Pretty – who picked up a first prize of $570,400 after covering nine furlongs in 1:49.50 – had yet to be made.
A crowd of 110,122, the third-highest Kentucky Oaks attendance in history, gathered under sunny spring skies at Churchill Downs to witness Plum Pretty capture the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies.
Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty, ridden by Martin Garcia, took command in the middle of the far turn and then held off a late charge along the rail from St. John’s River to win the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) by a neck before the third-largest Oaks Day crowd of 110,122 on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Plum Pretty, who entered the Oaks off a 25-length victory in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks on March 27, is trained by Bob Baffert, who also won the Oaks in 1999 with Silverbulletday.
Peachtree Stable's PLUM PRETTY (Medaglia d'Oro) settled just outside of the early pace in Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), took over in midstretch and just held off the game late rush of St. John's River (Include) to post a neck victory in the 1 1/8-mile event. Last seen dominating the Sunland Park Oaks by 25 lengths, the Bob Baffert trainee finished up in 1:49 2/5 on Churchill Downs' fast track to return $14.60, $7 and $4.60 under jockey Martin Garcia.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s two-pronged Kentucky Oaks (GI) entry of Street Storm and Bouquet Booth went to the track early and late, respectively, on a bright, clear Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.
Street Storm, who will be ridden Friday by Shaun Bridgmohan, jogged before the renovation break alongside a pony with exercise rider Williams Cano up. Street Storm will break from post position 10 in the Oaks.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Kentucky Oaks duo of Bouquet Booth and Street Storm galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break on a chilly Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs over a fast track.
Alex Castanon was aboard Bouquet Booth and Williams Cano was on Street Storm, longshot chances in the Oaks with morning line odds of 20-1 and 50-1, respectively.
The $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) is the nation’s premiere race for three-year-old fillies. Six of the past 10 winners were crowned divisional champion at the end of the season, and Friday’s 137th renewal highlights a dynamite card at Churchill Downs that includes six stakes. Probable favorite R Heat Lightning dropped out of consideration earlier in the week due to a knee injury, but a strong field of 13 remains in the “Run for the Lilies.”
The Oaks will be televised live on VERSUS from 5-6 p.m. (EDT).
The return of 2010 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winner Blind Luck in a rematch with Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (GI) winner and 2010 Clark Handicap (GI) winner Giant Oak highlight a top class roster of runners entered Tuesday for five stakes races on the 12-race Kentucky Oaks Day racing card on Friday, May 6.
The five stakes, four of them graded, begin at 1:26 p.m. (all times Eastern) and lead up to the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. First post time Friday is 10:30 a.m. with the Oaks at 5:45 p.m.