Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s International Star, whose victory in the Louisiana Derby (Grade II) completed a sweep of Fair Grounds’ trio of Kentucky Derby prep races, took a brief van ride to Churchill Downs Saturday for a five-furlong work over the one-mile dirt course that will host the 141st Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands in two weeks.
Churchill Downs Racetrack, in conjunction with TwinSpires.com, will provide live online streaming of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks workouts when the exclusive 8:30-8:45 a.m. (all times Eastern) training window begins Saturday in earnest.
Miss Ella (Exchange Rate) ran her career line to a perfect two-for-two on Sunday when taking the $250,000 Beaumont S. (G2) at Keeneland by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Rajiv Maragh.
Hronis Racing LLC's Stellar Wind (Curlin) overcame a bobbling start to earn her third straight victory with a 5 1/4-length score in the $400,500 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Brereton C. Jones' Lovely Maria (Majesticperfection) earned her first stakes victory on Saturday when taking the $500,000 Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland by 3 1/4 lengths as the 9-5 favorite.
The Larry Jones-trained filly not only earned her first stakes score, she gave jockey Kerwin Clark his first career Grade 1 win after decades in the saddle.
Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and The Elkstone Group LLC's Condo Commando (Tiz Wonderful) earned her third straight stakes victory, as well as 100 points toward a guaranteed starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1), when capturing Saturday's $300,000 Gazelle S. (G2) at Aqueduct with jockey Joel Rosario aboard.
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Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's homebred I'm a Chatterbox (Munnings) earned her third straight stakes victory on Saturday when recording a 2 1/2-length victory in the $396,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) under jockey Florent Geroux.
Maybellene (Looking at Lucky) finished second by a neck to stablemate Callback (Street Sense) in the $200,240 Sunland Park Oaks, but ended up inheriting the victory on Sunday after her barnmate was disqualified for interfering with pacesetter Fancy and Flashy (Zensational).
The duo are both trained by Bob Baffert, and Maybellene earned 50 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) with the win, which was also her first stakes score.
Pin Oak Stable's homebred Don't Leave Me (Lemon Drop Kid) captured Saturday's $147,675 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) at Turfway Park by three parts of a length under jockey Jose Lezcano.
Joe Ragsdale's Sarah Sis (Sharp Humor) drew off by a wide margin in the stretch of Saturday's $150,000 Honeybee S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park before being geared down for a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Julio Felix.
Racing fans had some difficulty in separating the major contenders for this year’s running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) during Churchill Downs’ 2015 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), so they settled on the “Mutuel Field” (#24), or “All Others”, as a mild favorite over individual stars I’m A Chatterbox (#4), champion Take Charge Brandi (#22) and Condo Commando (#4) at Sunday evening’s conclusion of three days of betting.
Stellar Wind (Curlin) cruised to a 2 3/4-length victory while making her stakes debut in Saturday's $100,500 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) at Santa Anita Park, and in the process earned 50 points toward a starting berth in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Willis D. Horton’s reigning juvenile champion Take Charge Brandi is the brightest star among 154 horses on the roster of early nominations to the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies scheduled for its 141st running on Friday, May 1 at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”).
Streaking Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Take Charge Brandi is a narrow choice as the favored individual horse, but the ever-popular Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies,” will again be a solid favorite in the morning line odds for Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), which opens a three-day run on Friday, Feb. 27 and concludes on Sunday, March 1.
With just over nine weeks remaining until the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), uncertainty surrounds some of the Derby’s major contenders and it is reflected in the morning line odds for this week’s third of four pools of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”), which launches its three-day run on Friday, Feb. 27 and concludes on Sunday, March 1.