Special Kentucky Oaks Only Tickets Put On Sale

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.

Miguel Mena To Ride Suave Voir Faire; Her Smile Joins Oaks Picture for Flay, Pletcher; St. John's River to Work Thursday

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.

Barn Notes - April 26: Daisy Devine, Plum Pretty, Holy Heavens Work

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.

Joyful Victory Works Sharply; Three Contenders to Work Tuesday

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.”

Joyful Victory Set for Work; Holy Heavens Waits Out Rain Delay

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.

Kathmanblu, R Heat Lightning Work In Sloppy Going

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.

Kentucky Oaks prospective field swells to 16

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.

Kentucky Oaks Report

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.

Jackson, owner of Curlin and Rachel, dies at 81

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.

Kentucky Oaks 137 Update for April 18

EAST (Maryland, New York) / POSSIBLE OAKS FAVORITE R HEAT LIGHTNING SHARP IN FINAL NEW YORK WORK, HEADS TO CHURCHILL DOWNS ON MONDAYE. Paul Robsham StablesR Heat Lightning, the possible favorite for the 137th and richest running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on May 6 at Churchill Downs, turned heads with a “bullet” half-mile work on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Kentucky Oaks Report

Three new shooters have added their names to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) after the late nomination period closed on Wednesday. ARIENZA (Giant's Causeway), ST. JOHN'S RIVER (Include) and STREET STORM (Stormy Atlantic) were all made eligible to run on the first Friday in May after their connections paid the $1,500 fee.

Arienza, St. John's River Among Late Nominees to $1 Million Oaks

A trio of 3-year-old fillies headed by Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza, runner-up to Joyful Victory in Oaklawn Park’s Fantasy (Grade II), and Dede McGehee’s Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) runner-up St. John’s River make up the roster of late nominees that are now eligible to compete in the 137th running of the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Oaks (GI) on Friday, May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Oaks 137 Update for April 15

 MIDWEST (Illinois, Kentucky) / GRADE I WINNERS TURBULENT DESCENT, TELL A KELLY RETURN SUNDAY IN KEENELAND’S BEAUMONT – Sunday’s $150,000 Beaumont Stakes (Grade II) at Keeneland attracted a power-packed field of six 3-year-old fillies headed by Grade I winners Turbulent Descent and Tell a Kelly, but the race is not expected to generate any starters for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.

Wednesday, April 13 is Deadline For Late Nominations to Kentucky Oaks

Wednesday, April 13 is the deadline for the first late nominations to Churchill Downs’ 137th running of the $1 million guaranteed Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and the 25th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI).

Kentucky Oaks 137 Update for April 11

MIDWEST (Illinois, Kentucky) / CALIFORNIA EXPORT LILACS AND LACE STUNS ASHLAND FIELD AT 48-1 – Lilacs and Lace, dismissed at odds of 48-1 despite stakes success in Northern California, led most of the way and held off Wyomia in the stretch to score a major upset in Keeneland’s 74th running of the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (Grade I) and earned a start in Churchill Downs$1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI).  

Joyful Victory runs away with Fantasy

Fox Hill Farm's JOYFUL VICTORY (Tapit) patiently bided her time in third on the backstretch of Sunday's $285,000 Fantasy S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park, put in a three-wide rally rounding the turn and easily drew off from the highly regarded Arienza (Giant's Causeway) to take her second straight graded contest for trainer Larry Jones. With Mike Smith aboard, the gray dynamo cruised under the wire seven lengths the best while finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44 3/5 over the fast dirt.

Lilacs and Lace bound for Oaks; Wyomia on the fence

When James Covello bought a majority interest in LILACS AND LACE (Flower Alley), trainer John Terranova said they "wanted to get a good filly to bring back east."

Consider it mission accomplished.

Lilacs and Lace scored a front-running victory in Saturday's Ashland (G1) and earned the right to move on down the road to Louisville, Kentucky, and a shot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6.

In her first start for Terranova, Lilacs and Lace finished fourth in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park on March 26 after a nearly three-month layoff.

Lilacs and Lace wires Ashland

James Covello, Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel's LILACS AND LACE (Flower Alley) dueled for the early lead in Saturday's $400,000 Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland, took over prior to the backstretch and held the late runs of both Wyomia (Vindication) and 2-1 favorite Kathmanblu (Bluegrass Cat) to score by one-length on the wire. Jockey Javier Castellano guided the John Terranova pupil through 1 1/16 Polytrack miles in a final time of 1:42 3/5.

Hot Summer heats up Comely

Harold L. Queen's HOT SUMMER (Malibu Moon) tracked the pace while saving ground on the rail in Saturday's $150,000 Comely S. (G3) at Aqueduct, scooted through coming into the stretch and pulled away to record a 2 1/4-length victory under jockey Luis Saez. The David Fawkes trainee was sent off the 6-1 fourth choice and returned $14, $6.90 and $4 for earning her first stakes victory.

Kentucky Oaks Report

Since 2000, only four runnings of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) have featured full 14-horse fields. In fact, Rachel Alexandra only faced six rivals in her record-setting Oaks victory in 2009. When the year opened, the 2011 edition of the "Run for the Lilies" appeared destined not to fill all the stalls on the first Friday in May.