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.
Awesome Baby, a gate-to-wire winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez going 6 1/2 furlongs on January 4, heads a field of eight three-year-old fillies entered in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Santa Anita.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable (#23) has turned a dazzling romp in last Saturday’s Grade III Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds into status as the co-favorite with the always popular Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others”, for Churchill Downs Racetrack’s only 2014 pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (“KOFW”), which opens its three-day run on Thursday, Feb. 27.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable looked like a winner as soon as the field of sophomore fillies entered the stretch in Saturday's Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra, and all the Steve Asmussen pupil did the rest of the way was increase her advantage.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's Untapable threw in a subpar eighth two starts back in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, then finished a one-paced third in the Hollywood Starlet over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track on December 7.
Owners and trainers of horses being pointed toward the 140th running of the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) on Friday, May 2 at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) face an early nomination deadline of Saturday, Feb. 22 to make their horses eligible to compete in the 2014 renewal America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies scheduled for Friday, May 2.
Trainer Todd Pletcher holds a strong hand in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park, with undefeated Onlyforyou and stablemate Stopchargingmaria looming as the class of the eight-filly field. The local stepping stone to the March 29 Gulfstream Oaks, the 1 1/16-mile affair offers 50 Kentucky Oaks points to the winner.
"They are two nice fillies," Pletcher said. "I hate to run them against each other."
Ria Antonia, elevated to first in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, will make her three-year-old debut at Fair Grounds Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra, a 1 1/16-mile prep for next month's Fair Grounds Oaks.
Brereton Jones' Divine Beauty and Fox Hill Farms' Cassatt will not run in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Rachel Alexandra, trainer Larry Jones advised Sunday morning during training hours at Fair Grounds.
The Rachel Alexandra is Fair Grounds' designed prep for the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks, to be run on Louisiana Derby Day, March 29, on the penultimate day of the current racing season in New Orleans.
Trainer Todd Pletcher may enter as many as three horses for next Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for three-year-old fillies.
"Right now, I'm planning to enter Onlyforyou, Stopchargingmaria and Got Lucky is also under consideration for here and the (Grade 3, $200,000) Rachel Alexandra (at Fair Grounds on the same day)," Pletcher said Saturday morning.
Arnold Zetcher LLC and Michael B. Tabor's Fashion Plate handed even-money favoriteStreaming her first loss when holding that rival by a half-length to wire Saturday's Grade 1, $300,500 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita.
Ivan Dalos' Aragorn Ami survived a claim of foul from Channing Hill, rider of runner-up Euphrosyne, after coming in on that rival during the stretch run of Saturday's $100,000 Martha Washington to take her stakes debut in the one-mile race and move her record to a perfect two-for-two.
Trained by Josie Carroll and ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., the bay filly was sent off the 13-1 seventh choice but ran like a favorite to reward her backers with a $28.80 win payout.