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.
Euphrosyne finished second in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park, but was presented with the win following the disqualification of Sugar Shock by the stewards. Sent off the 8-1 fourth choice, the bay daughter of Harlan's Holiday paid $19.20 with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons.
Sweet Reason, a dominating winner of the Spinaway at Saratoga last summer, made a successful sophomore debut at Aqueduct Friday, taking a $67,620 nonwinners-of-three allowance for three-year-old fillies by a half-length.
The first of five Grade 1 stakes held during Keeneland's Spring Meet is the $500,000 Ashland, and a total of 133 sophomore fillies have been nominated to the April 5 feature. Contested at 1 1/16 miles, the Ashland historically showcases classic-bound fillies, with the winner earning 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Please Explain and Taris will face off Saturday as part of an 11-filly field entered in the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile contest is the final steppingstone to the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy on April 5, and is also worth 50 points to the winner toward a berth in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
A 9 1/2-length romp by Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable (#23) in last week’s Rachel Alexandra (Grade III) at Fair Grounds made her a rising star on the road to the 140th running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), and the authority of that victory left such a strong impression that the daughter of Tapit closed as the narrow overall favorite among 24 wagering interests in Churchill Downs’ 2014 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”).
Kaleem Shah Inc.'s Awesome Baby has proven to be a horse of a different color this season, wiring the Santa Ynez in her three-year-old debut on January 4 and duplicating that effort Saturday with a 2 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita Park.
The names of 121 3-year-old fillies – including 17 from the sprawling stable of six-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher – are included on the roster of nominees to compete in the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies scheduled to be run for the 140th consecutive year at Churchill Downs on Friday, May 2.
Godolphin's Ihtimal, a dominant winner of the February 6 U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas, turned the classic double by an even more emphatic margin in Thursday's Group 3, $250,000 U.A.E. Oaks at Meydan. Asserting her superiority at the top of the stretch, the Saeed bin Suroor pupil widened her advantage to a record 10 lengths at the wire.