A field of 11 three-year-old fillies was entered on Wednesday for Saturday's $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3), the highlight of the Spiral S. (G2) undercard at Turfway Park, and the winner just may earn a spot in the starting gate for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Now that winter has passed, it’s time to start planning for the springtime’s most extravagant and glamorous sports party: the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Oaks (G1) lost a starter on March 5 following TURBULENT DESCENT's (Congrats) victory over ZAZU (Tapit) in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). However, it's not the loser who has bowed out. Turbulent Descent's connections indicated that she would bypass the first Friday in May and instead point for a summer campaign in New York. Her main goals at this point appear to be the June 11 Acorn S. (G1) and August 6 Test S. (G1).
Trainer Steve Margolis will likely run both LITTLE MISS HOLLY (Maria's Mon) and SWITCHING GEARS (Tapit) in the March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
The Margolis filly who might have been expected to take part, BOUQUET BOOTH (Flower Alley), will skip the Fair Grounds Oaks after finishing fourth in the February 19 Rachel Alexandra S. (G3). Bouquet Booth had previously won the Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds and the Delta Downs Princess S. (G3).
KENTUCKY OAKS FUTURE WAGER / POOL ENDS WITH KATHMANBLU AS SOLID FAVORITE – The single pool of Churchill Downs’ 2011 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”) looked very much like a wide open affair heading into the three-day betting pool, but Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stable’s Kathmanblu (#11) turned the race for the role of favorite in the pool into a runaway.
Fox Hill Farms' JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit) was content to track behind the early pace in Saturday's $125,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, but asserted her superiority in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile test. Coming wide around the turn, the gray lass quickly took command and easily drew off to be 8 3/4 lengths clear on the wire while stopping the clock in 1:44 4/5 in her three-year-old bow.
Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer's WYOMIA (Vindication) settled off the pace through the early part of Saturday's $55,500 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs, angled in to split horses in midstretch, and just ran down Devilish Lady (Sweetsouthernsaint) by a head on the wire.
Local rider Frederic Lenclud picked up the mount on the Curtis Garrison trainee in the mile-and-40-yard test and guided Wyomia to finish up in 1:39 4/5 over the fast dirt.
Nine will line-up on Saturday for the $125,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park, the final local prep for that track's April 10 Fantasy S. (G2), and the 1 1/16-mile test features the return of Demoiselle S. (G2) heroine DIXIE CITY (Dixie Union) and Frizette S. (G1) third JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit).
The connections of Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) have all but ruled out a bid at the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and will instead point the filly toward shorter races, trainer Mike Puype told Daily Racing Form on Tuesday.
Turbulent Descent captured the Santa Anita Oaks last Saturday by a neck over Zazu (Tapit), a rival that beat her two starts back in the Las Virgenes S. (G1).
Blinkers On Racing Stable et al's TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) gained a measure of revenge on Saturday when holding the late rush of Zazu (Tapit) to take the $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1). The last time the two met, Zazu handed Turbulent Descent her first career loss in the Las Virgenes S. (G1), but Saturday's contest saw their roles reversed as Turbulent Descent got the jump on her rival to post a neck victory under jockey David Flores.
R HEAT LIGHTNING (Trippi) returned to form when trouncing her Davona Dale S. (G2) rivals last Saturday at Gulfstream Park and is looking good for this year's Kentucky Oaks (G1). DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit) gained a measure of revenge against POMEROYS PISTOL (Pomeroy) when holding that rival to third by a head in the one-mile test, but neither could withstand the Lightning strike.
Besides the Davona Dale, last week didn't yield much in the way of Oaks contenders, though a nice new maiden winner did pop up at Gulfstream on Wednesday.