A history-making 138th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack on Friday, May 4, concluded with record total wagering, near-record attendance of 112,552 and an historic victory by jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rode Brereton C. Jones’s Believe You Can to victory to become the first woman to win America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies.
JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Broadway’s Alibi, second) – “I think she handled the track OK but the first time over a track, she paddles a lot. She lost some momentum. The ground broke away from her. I don’t think the distance hurt her, I think the track didn’t help. She still ran a huge race.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (Grace Hall, third) – “The track was playing for speed today. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me. They didn’t come back to me. I was third best today.”
ROSIE NAPRAVNIK (Jockey) – "It's unbelievable. I'm just so happy and so grateful to be here. There's a lot of people that are a big part of me getting to this and winning this race and I just can't thank everybody enough.
"I cried a little but I don't think I'm done crying yet.
"Dream trip, absolutely.
Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max went to the front early and never was threatened in winning the 21st running of the $238,200 American Turf Presented by RAM (Grade II) by 2 ¾ lengths over Travel Advisory on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Dale Romans, Silver Max won his third consecutive race on turf, including a score in the Transylvania (GIII) last month at Keeneland.
Morton Fink’s Successful Dan wore down Fort Larned in deep stretch to win the ninth running of the $337,800 Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (Grade II) by a length in track record time Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Successful Dan ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:41.04 to break the track record of 1:41.27 established by Brass Hat on July 8, 2007 and shattered the stakes record of 1:42.32 established by Limehouse in 2005.