Farrell is in full command of the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with rival Unique Bella sidelined with a shin injury. Her reign could come to an end with five preps left on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races, but she’s the one to beat right now.
While five preps are left, four took place in the past two weeks, introducing some new candidates to the Run for the Lilies.
Bourbonette Oaks (G3) – Turfway Park – March 25, 2017
The Bourbonette Oaks (G3) took place over the synthetic Polytrack at Turfway and ended up going to a filly who isn’t even nominated to the Kentucky Oaks.
That filly would be PURELY A DREAM, who was swift from the gate and moved up to stalk the early pace in the second flight behind Delphinia and I’mluckysgirl. The chestnut filly found herself three wide outside Jenna J and Gilded Lily down the backstretch.
Purely a Dream kicked into high gear entering the turn and easily sailed past the early leaders. She opened up in the lane under jockey Robby Albarado and held sway under her own power while being shown the whip late. She earned a 91 BRIS Speed rating for taking her stakes bow by two lengths.
Purely a Dream’s connections have time to get the Pure Prize filly in the Kentucky Oaks via a late nomination period that closes April 15. It would require a fee of $1,500, but that is still better than if they waited to supplement her for $30,000 to the race.
The same applies to the runner-up and fourth-place finisher in the Bourbonette Oaks – Awesome Boss and Gilded Lily, respectively. The only one of the top four finishers nominated to the Kentucky Oaks is third-place runner Darkwingsoverdubai.
Sunland Park Oaks – Sunland Park – March 26, 2017
Like the Bourbonette Oaks, not all of the top four finishers in the Sunland Park Oaks are nominated to the Kentucky Oaks.
GHALIA was content to let the majority of the field race on in front of her once the gates opened on the Sunland Park Oaks. She had only one beat entering the backstretch and slowly made her way forward to ease up between rivals heading into the turn.
Kell Paso had taken command by this point and was dueling with What What What, but the latter couldn’t keep up or withstand Ghalia’s late run. The diminutive filly hooked up with a tenacious Kell Paso nearing the wire and just got the win by a neck on the line.
Ghalia moved her record to a perfect three-for-three by taking her stakes debut here, and earned a 91 BRIS Speed rating. She and third-place runner What What What are nominated to the Kentucky Oaks, but Kell Paso and fourth-place finisher Conquest Slayer are not.
Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) – Fair Grounds – April 1, 2017
FARRELL has now captured her last four races thanks to yet another easy victory at Fair Grounds, this time in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), which kicked off races worth 100-40-20-10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.
The dark bay lass broke well and headed straight to the front while accompanied by Vexatious to her inside. Daria’s Angel got the jump on both of them and led the way through the opening six furlongs while Channing Hill settled Farrell into a perfect stalking spot three wide.
The Malibu Moon filly tugged her way closer rounding the turn and was on even terms with the other two hitting the stretch before pulling away. Hill had to shake the reins at her a few times to keep Farrell’s mind on the business at hand, but she was never threatened while scoring by 3 1/4 lengths.
Farrell has yet to break 100 in terms of BRIS Speed figures, and didn’t do so with this win either, garnering a 92 rating. The Wayne Catalano trainee padded her Kentucky Oaks points with the winner’s share of 100 and is now poised to attract most, if not all, the attention come Kentucky Oaks Day, barring any truly phenomenal performances in the remaining races.
Gulfstream Park Oaks – Gulfstream Park – April 1, 2017
With Joel Rosario aboard, the Mark Casse trainee gradually made her way forward on the backstretch, steadily picking off runners. Meanwhile, Nonna Bella was setting all the pace up front while stalked by Modacious and Jordan’s Henny.
It was that latter filly who moved up to challenge Nonna Bella on the turn, but Salty suddenly came flying up to their outside. The Quality Road lass cruised on past and headed for home down the center of the track, crossing under the wire 4 1/4 lengths better than Tequilita, who rallied fast to take second.
Salty earned 100 points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks but, like so many in this report, is currently not nominated to the race. However, Casse made it plain after the Gulfstream Park Oaks she would be.
Despite the ease with which she won in this spot, the Kentucky-bred filly only earned a 90 BRIS Speed rating. However, she garnered a 97 and 96 in her prior two starts and no one can deny the talent Salty showed in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.