The two-year-old action is starting to heat up so now is a good time to look forward to the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Whether next year’s Oaks queen has already put hoof to track or is waiting for an opportunity to shine at Saratoga, this weekly report will keep fans apprised of some up-and-coming fillies.
Kicking off this chronicle will be SHACKIN UP, who made her debut just three weeks after the 142nd Kentucky Oaks was declared official.
The Larry Rivelli-trained lass impressed with an 8 3/4-length wire job in the 1ST race at Arlington on May 28. The chestnut daughter of 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford took command of the 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight from the start and never looked back, drawing off with every stride to finish in :52.46 under jockey Jose Valdivia Jr.
Shackin Up is out of the Untuttable mare Into Reality, making her a half-sister to stakes winner Meadowood. Rivelli is eying the $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill on July 2 for his juvenile charge, though a trip to Saratoga is also possible.
TRICKY ONE comes from the same connections that brought us 2014 Kentucky Oaks heroine Untapable – owner/breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen.
And like that champion, Tricky One began her racing journey under the Twin Spires in June. The Unbridled’s Song filly started in the 2ND race at Churchill on June 3 and ran off a 4 1/2-length victress under jockey Florent Geroux.
Tricky One dueled with the early leader in that five-furlong affair before grabbing the lead and pulling away to stop the clock in :58.19.
The dark bay lass is out of Grade 3-placed stakes winner Simplify, who is by Pulpit and also raced for Winchell/Asmussen, and counts as her fourth dam Grade 1 queen Lilac Hill. Tricky One is a half-sister to stakes winner Simple Surprise.
With a name like “BODE’S DREAM,” one might think this two-year-old filly is trained by Bode Baffert’s father, Bob Baffert.
Alas, that would be a losing bet as the gray miss comes from the shedrow of Todd Pletcher and derives her name from sire Bodemeister, who finished second in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1), and dam Frolic’s Dream, a Grade 2-winning Smoke Glacken mare.
Bode’s Dream actually became her sire’s first winner when breaking her maiden by 3 3/4 lengths in the 2ND race at Gulfstream Park on May 11, but didn’t rest on her laurels. The Kentucky-bred miss returned a month later to move her mark to a perfect two-for-two in the June 9 Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park.
On that occasion, the gray lass set the pace while three wide under a snug hold from jockey John Velazquez. Bode’s Dream angled over to the rail rounding the turn and stayed there until being challenged by a rival. She then shifted to the two path and drew off to a 2 3/4-length victory in 1:03.66 for 5 1/2 furlongs on Belmont’s fast main track.
This past week actually saw a trio of notable two-year-old filly runners.
YOU KNOW TOO romped by six lengths while making her debut in the 4TH race at Delaware Park on June 23 after being sent off the 9-2 fourth choice against six rivals.
The Michael Gorham trainee quickly moved up to set the pace and was never threatened as she continued to pull away to finish 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.
You Know Too is by 2008 Travers Stakes (G1) hero Colonel John, who finished sixth in that year’s Kentucky Derby after capturing the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The Kentucky-bred filly is out of the unraced Pulpit mare Palais Versailles, who is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Versailles Treaty and half-sister to Grade 1 victor George Vancouver and Grade 2 hero Saarland.
This is the female family of Exclusive Native, sire of 1978 Triple Crown king Affirmed.
CHALON also took to the track for the first time on June 23, breaking her maiden in the 3RD race at Santa Anita Park by 2 1/4 lengths at 9-1 odds.
From the first crop of 2011 Florida Derby (G1) winner Dialed In, the Kentucky-bred miss dueled early under jockey Tyler Baze before inching away rounding the turn and drawing off to stop the clock in :57.26.
The Peter Miller-trained Chalon is out of the Menifee mare Fall Fantasy, who is a half-sister to Grade 3-placed stakes winner Boston Park. Most important, though is the fact that Chalon’s fifth dam is dual champion and Broodmare of the Year Misty Morn.
PROUD OF MY HONEY made her debut in the 6TH race at Gulfstream Park on June 24, a five-furlong maiden claimer, which isn’t very encouraging.
However, the Ramon Morales pupil set the pace while battling early with the 3-5 favorite before finishing up two lengths clear of that rival in a time of :59.80. She was sent off the 5-1 third choice against six foes, four of whom had already made their racing bows.
Proud of My Honey is by Proud Citizen and is the first registered winner out of her dam, the Vindication mare Timetobegone. That one is a half-sister to Grade 2 victor Icecoldbeeratreds and Grade 2-placed placed stakes heroine Controlled, herself the dam of Canadian champion Bear Now.