Trainer Todd Pletcher's domination of East Coast preps for the Kentucky Oaks continued Saturday when My Miss Sophia led throughout in winning the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle at Aqueduct by an emphatic 7 1/4 lengths.
Arnold Zetcher LLC and Michael B. Tabor's Fashion Plate continued to make a name for herself on the West Coast, adding a front-running victory in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,500 Santa Anita Oaks to her resume with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Steven in the irons.
Despite the relentless winter, Grade 1-winning filly Sweet Reason never missed a single scheduled breeze at Belmont Park, according to trainer Leah Gyarmati.
Following a successful return to the races on March 7 after four months on the sidelines, the daughter of Street Sense is now ready to begin what Gyarmati hopes will be a major campaign, starting Saturday with the 119th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle for three-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks will see one filly trying to validate her past Grade 1 triumph and another looking for a return to the form that saw her win last November's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. The race is also the ticket for one filly to earn a guaranteed berth in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, offering up 100 points to the winner.
A baker's dozen of sophomore fillies has been entered to go 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland's Polytrack on Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland. The race is part of Churchill Downs' Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, and will award points to the top four on a 100-40-20-10 scale toward a starting berth in the May 2 Oaks.
Sugar Shock, Euphrosyne, Please Explain and Kiss Moon crossed the wire in that order on March 8 in Oaklawn Park's Honeybee, and on Saturday the quartet will line back up against one another in the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy going 1 1/16 miles. The race is worth 100 points to the winner as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.
Sugar Shock, who was disqualified from first and placed second in the Honeybee, moved one step closer to possible redemption in the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy on April 5 by breezing five furlongs over Oaklawn Park's fast dirt Sunday in 1:02 1/5 under regular rider Channing Hill.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's homebred Untapable continued to put on a show at Fair Grounds Saturday when romping home a 7 3/4-length winner of the Grade 2, $384,000 Fair Grounds Oaks under jockey Rosie Napravnik. The duo were sent off the heavy 1-2 favorite and paid $3 for finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.
Wertheimer and Frere's homebred In Tune captured her stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks after a stretch-long duel with Davona Dale runner-up House Rules. The pair duked it out through the lane, with In Tune just getting her neck in front on the line to move her career record to an unbeaten three-for-three.
Among the chief contenders in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks is House Rules, who will be making her fifth start of the Champions Meet for owner Joseph V. Shields Jr. and trainer Allen Jerkens.
Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks lost its favorite when Davona Dale and Forward Gal winner Onlyforyou fatally broke down in a recent workout. Trainer Todd Pletcher will instead send out the promising but untested In Tune in the 1 1/8-mile test.
Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks drew only a field of five but there is plenty of excitement surrounding the 1 1/16-mile event due to the presence of Untapable and Unbridled Forever, who will meet for the first time.
Kaleem Shah Inc.'s Awesome Baby outclassed her rivals on Sunday in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks to earn another 50 points and move on top of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with 110 total points.
Aurelia's Belle faced stakes rivals on on three occasions prior to Saturday, reputing herself well with placings each time, but it took returning to the synthetic Polytrack for the bay miss to finally break through with her first black-type victory in Turfway Park's Grade 3, $126,000 Bourbonette Oaks.
Awesome Baby, a wire-to-wire winner of the Santa Ynez and Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita this season, will be heavily favored to give Bob Baffert his fourth consecutive win in Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks and his sixth over the past eight years.
Churchill Downs donates $50,000 to kick-off Pink Out fundraiser
LOUISVILLE, KY (Tuesday, March 18, 2014) – Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced the opening of public nominations and voting for participants in the 2014 Survivors Parade Presented by Kroger, and a new partnership with Bright Pink®, a national organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer and while providing support for high-risk individuals.
Unbeaten three-year-old filly Onlyforyou was euthanized on Saturday after suffering multiple fractures while galloping out from a workout at Palm Meadows Training Center. She was timed in 1:02 for five furlongs over the fast dirt prior to the tragic incident.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Thank You Marylou swept past Whomping Willow and 2-5 favorite Sweet Whiskey to return a convincing winner in Sunday's $75,000 Any Limit Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Unraced since placing in a roughly-run Adirondack at Saratoga last August, the Mike Maker filly showed no rust as she drew off by 2 1/2 lengths.
Charles Fipke's Unbridled Forever, who emerged as the 8-1 third choice in the wagering when the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager closed earlier this month, breezed six furlongs Saturday morning in 1:12 2/5 in preparation for the upcoming Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day March 29 at Fair Grounds.