Westrock Stables LLC's Secret Compass upset the field by a head in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,500 Chandelier Stakes as the 10-1 second longest shot on the board and paid her supporters $23.40 to win in a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race for the Juvenile Fillies.
Winchell Thoroughbreds's homebred Untapable bided her time on the inside early in Saturday evening's Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs before putting in a sustained drive down the stretch to just get up under jockey Rosie Napravnik for the half-victory over 8-5 favorite Stonetastic. Sent off the 5-1 third choice in the eight-filly field, she paid $13.60 to win.
The Grade 2, $150,000 Pocahontas for two-year-old fillies, one of four stakes on Saturday's "Downs After Dark" program, kicks off the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" series that determines eligibility for the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks on May 2, 2014. A field of eight will contest the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.
As part of the "Prep Season" portion of the scoring system, the Pocahontas awards points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.
PRINCESS OF SYLMAR / UNLIMITED BUDGET / DREAMING OF JULIA / SILSITA – The report on the four Kentucky Oaks (GI) fillies out of the Todd Pletcher barn was all positive Saturday morning following their major impact on the rich 3-year-old filly classic.
Princess of Sylmar (the winner), Unlimited Budget (third), Dreaming of Julia (fourth) and Silsita (10th) “came out of the race well,” Pletcher said. “They all pulled up in good order.”
Friday’s attendance was surpassed only by the 116,046 that attended in 2010. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Mike Smith, Princess of Sylmar covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:49.17. It was the first Oaks victory for Smith and the third for Pletcher, who won the 2004 running with Ashado and in 2007 with Rags to Riches.
Trained by Chad Brown, Noble Tune covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:41.63. The victory in the race was the second for Castellano, who won the American Turf in 2005 with Rey de Café.
Trained by Pat Byrne and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Take Charge Indy covered the mile and a sixteenth on a fast main track in 1:41.47.Cyber Secret, ridden by Robby Albarado, finished second, but was placed eighth by the stewards for interference into the run to the first turn. Hynn Book, who finished a length behind Cyber Secret, was elevated to second and Bourbon Courage was moved up to third.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Joel Rosario, Kitten’s Dumplings covered the 1 1/16 miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:41.24. Kitten’s Dumplings gave the Ramseys their second consecutive victory on the Edgewood, having won with Stephanie’s Kitten last year.
Fox Hill Farm owner Rick Porter invited the Normandy veterans to attend the 2013 Kentucky Derby as his guests, and Porter will welcome the group for visit with Normandy Invasion at Churchill Downs’ Barn 42 at 8:30 a.m.
Although infield revelers are not permitted to bring personal coolers to the infield for this weekend’s celebrations of the 139th runnings of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will offer an affordable alternative to those fans once they’ve entered the infield admission gates.
BLACK ONYX – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx galloped 1 ½ miles during the Derby and Oaks session while under regular exercise rider Aurelio Gomez. Trainer Kelly Breen was concerned that with the largest throng of morning onlookers yet his Spiral Stakes (Grade III) winner might finally get fazed by all the attention. Turned out, there was nothing to worry about.
Charles Cella’s Cyber Secret, runaway winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (Grade II) in his most recent start, and WinStar Farm and Chuck and Maribeth Sandford’s Take Charge Indy, winner of the 2012 Florida Derby (GI), head a field of nine for Friday’s 10th running of the $300,000-added Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (GII).
The top 3-year-old fillies from all corners of the country, headed by Dreaming of Julia, the 21 ¾-length winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII), and Eclipse Award winner Beholder passed the entry box Tuesday morning for Friday’s 139th running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I).
BLACK ONYX (No. 11) – Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx jogged one mile under exercise rider Aurelio Gomez during the Derby and Oaks session. The Rock Hard Ten colt is officially dark bay or brown but appears black.
Sterling Racing’s Black Onyx walked the shedrow at Barn 41 the morning after working a half-mile in :48.60. Exercise rider Aurelio Gomez reported that the Spiral Stakes (Grade III) winner came out of the work “good” and likely would return to the track Monday during the portion of training hours dedicated to Derby and Oaks contenders from 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. (all times Eastern).