John Liviakis' homebred MIGHTY CAROLINE (Stormy Atlantic) overhauled pacesetter River Kiss (Awesome Gambler) in midstretch and drew clear to a 1 1/4-length victory in Friday's $150,000 Sorrento S. (G3) at Del Mar. Joel Rosario had the mount for trainer Melody Conlon, and the two-year-old gray filly completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15 3/5 on the Polytrack.
In a hard-fought stretch duel, George Bolton and Stonestreet Stables' MY MISS AURELIA (Smart Strike) was able to hold off Matron S. (G2) winner Millionreasonswhy (Grand Slam) by a mere neck in the $150,000 Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga Sunday. Guided by Julien Leparoux, the Steve Asmussen trainee stopped the clock in 1:17 in the 6 1/2-furlong battle on the fast track, making her a perfect two-for-two following her successful debut at the Spa.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has another good-looking juvenile to have fun with at Saratoga this summer. The filly GEORGIE'S ANGEL (Bellamy Road) was a prompt 4-5 winner of the $100,000 Schuylerville S. (G3) at Saratoga on Friday, the opening day of the Spa's 40-day meet.
Sagamore Farm's MILLIONREASONSWHY (Grand Slam) went three wide into the stretch of Sunday's $150,000 Matron S. (G2) at Belmont Park and pulled off to secure the two-length victory under jockey John Velazquez.
Barry L. King's FLASHY LASSIE (Flashy Bull) registered an upset in Saturday's $109,300 Debutante S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, rallying from far back to win as the 17-1 longest shot among seven two-year-old fillies. A smart nine-length debut winner over $20,000 maiden claimers on May 13, the Gary Simms-trained filly remained unbeaten while taking the steep class hike, receiving a picture-perfect ride from jockey Kent Desormeaux.
PLUM PRETTY – Assistant trainer Jim Barnes reported that Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty came back “super good” from her impressive score in Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Medaglia d’Oro filly got a perfect trip for rider Martin Garcia, fired well clear at the head of the lane, then had enough in the tank to hold off the fast-closing St. John’s River by a neck.
Future plans for Plum Pretty – who picked up a first prize of $570,400 after covering nine furlongs in 1:49.50 – had yet to be made.
A crowd of 110,122, the third-highest Kentucky Oaks attendance in history, gathered under sunny spring skies at Churchill Downs to witness Plum Pretty capture the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies.
Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty, ridden by Martin Garcia, took command in the middle of the far turn and then held off a late charge along the rail from St. John’s River to win the 137th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) by a neck before the third-largest Oaks Day crowd of 110,122 on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Plum Pretty, who entered the Oaks off a 25-length victory in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks on March 27, is trained by Bob Baffert, who also won the Oaks in 1999 with Silverbulletday.
Peachtree Stable's PLUM PRETTY (Medaglia d'Oro) settled just outside of the early pace in Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), took over in midstretch and just held off the game late rush of St. John's River (Include) to post a neck victory in the 1 1/8-mile event. Last seen dominating the Sunland Park Oaks by 25 lengths, the Bob Baffert trainee finished up in 1:49 2/5 on Churchill Downs' fast track to return $14.60, $7 and $4.60 under jockey Martin Garcia.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s two-prongedKentucky Oaks (GI) entry of Street Storm and Bouquet Booth went to the track early and late, respectively, on a bright, clear Thursday morning at Churchill Downs.
Street Storm, who will be ridden Friday by Shaun Bridgmohan, jogged before the renovation break alongside a pony with exercise rider Williams Cano up. Street Storm will break from post position 10 in the Oaks.
BOUQUET BOOTH/STREET STORM – Right Time Racing’s Kentucky Oaks duoof Bouquet Booth and Street Storm galloped a mile and a half after the morning renovation break on a chilly Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs over a fast track.
Alex Castanon was aboard Bouquet Booth and Williams Cano was on Street Storm, longshot chances in the Oaks with morning line odds of 20-1 and 50-1, respectively.
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 shedrowat 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 TimeRacing 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 millionKentucky 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 Fantasy (GII) runner-up Arienza worked fivefurlongs 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.