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.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – While Street Storm walked the shedrow at trainer Steve Margolis’ barn on a cool and wet Tuesday morning, her immediate racing future was being hashed out by Dann Glick, head of the partnership of Right Time Racing that owns the filly.
Fox Hills Farms’ Joyful Victory, runaway winner of Oaklawn Park’s Honeybee (Grade III) and Fantasy (GII) in her past two starts, tops a stellar cast of 13 3-year-old fillies entered to compete in Friday’s 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) at Churchill Downs.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth galloped a mile and half under Alex Castanon over a sloppy track after the renovation break, as did stablemate Street Storm under Williams Cano.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza is no longer under consideration for Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and will most likely run in Friday’s$100,000 Eight Belles (GIII) Presented by ACS, trainer Danny Peitz said Sunday morning , before adding, “unless (Todd) Pletcher’s filly (R Heat Lightning) and (Larry) Jones’ filly (Joyful Victo
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s lightly raced Arienza walked the shedrow at Barn 37 Saturday morning, a day after working a bullet five furlongs in :59.40.
She came out of the work real good and ate up, which is good to see when she worked as fast as she did,” trainer Dan Peitz said.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza worked five furlongs in :59.40 over a track labeled as “fast” matching Kentucky Derby hopeful Archarcharch for the fastest time of 58 at the distance Friday morning at Churchill Downs.
With retired jockey Larry Melancon up, Arienza clicked off fractions of :11.80, :23.20 and :34.40.
The Kentucky Oaks (G1) is fast approaching, and this week will be the final Report before the race. I'll finish my analysis of the runners, starting with the bottom five of my Top 10 list and continuing with the rest of the prospective field, including recent defectors.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza galloped a mile and a half under exercise rider Eva Jansson before the morning renovation break when the track was labeled as “good.”
Trainer Dan Peitz plans to work Arienza five furlongs after the break Friday morning.
Churchill Downs has launched a free Kentucky Derby 137 mobile application for smartphones and tablets that run the iPhone and Android operating systems.
The new Kentucky Derby mobile app will allow users to access many interactive features on their mobile devices such as:
Thanks to a special partnership among three groups associated with the “Ladies First” theme of Kentucky Oaks Day, a select number of one-day only tickets for Friday, May 6 in Section 125 were put on sale for $74 on Wednesday afternoon. The tickets are available exclusively online on a first-come, first-serve basis at www.churchilldowns.com/oaksonly.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza visited the starting gate and then galloped Wednesday morning under exercise rider Eva Jansson.
Trainer Danny Peitz has a Friday work scheduled for Arienza in what would be her second breeze at Churchill Downs following the Fantasy.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza visited the paddock and then galloped a mile and half Tuesday morning under exercise rider Eva Jansson.
Trainer Danny Peitz, who is also considering the $100,000 Eight Belles Presented by ACS (GIII) on May 6 for Arienza, plans to work the filly on Friday.
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza galloped early Monday morning over a sloppy track under exercise rider Eva Jansson.
Trainer Danny Peitz also is considering the $100,000 Eight Belles Presented by ACS (GIII) on May 6 for Arienza.
“We’re here,” Peitz said of the Oaks. “We’ll see how she trains and see how everybody else is doing and see how things take shape.”
ARIENZA – Robert and Lawana Low’s regally bred Arienza galloped a mile before the renovation break under exercise rider Eva Jansson for trainer Dan Peitz.
Peitz, who also is considering the $100,000 Eight Belles (GIII) to be run May 6 for Arienza, said the daughter of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri by Giant’s Causeway probably would work again on Friday. Arienza worked a half-mile in :49.40 here last Friday.
Two fillies likely to be among the top betting choices for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) -- E. Paul Robsham’s R Heat Lightning, winner of the Gulfstream Oaks (GII) and the likely Kentucky Oaks favorite, and Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Golden Rod (GII) and Rachel Alexandra (GIII) winner Kathmanblu – braved a steady rain and sloppy track conditions just after the track maintenance break for Saturday workouts at Churchill Downs.
The prospect of an overflow field for the 137th and richest running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) appeared more likely on Friday when the names of Fleur De Lis Stable's SUAVE VOIR FAIRE (Suave) and Palides Investment's ROYAL DELTA (Empire Maker) were added to the list of possible contenders.
Suave Voir Faire breezed five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 on Friday at Highpointe Training Center in LaGrange, Kentucky, and trainer Daniel "Speedy" Smithwick Jr., who is among the co-owners of the dark bay, said she would likely be entered in the Oaks.
Since 2000, only four winners of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) were not named champion three-year-old filly. That puts the odds squarely on the side of this year's winner to be honored with an Eclipse at the end of the year, but first the race needs to be run. Just two weeks remain until we find out who will be crowned Queen of the Lilies.
The final prep for the Kentucky Oaks was run last Sunday, if one can even call it a prep. No one in the about seven-furlong Beaumont S. (G2) is expected to line up in the nine-furlong Oaks, but I'll give a brief recap of the race anyway.
Jess Stonestreet Jackson, a pioneering architect of the ascendant American wine industry, and more recently famed as the owner of Horses of the Year Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, died Thursday at his Geyserville, California, home after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 81.
The proprietor of Kendall-Jackson winery, Jackson campaigned his horses under the banner of Stonestreet Stables. Those silks are due to be carried by former Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful ASTROLOGY (A.P. Indy) in Saturday's Jerome H. (G2) at Aqueduct.