With the Kentucky Oaks Championship series of races underway, now would be a good time to go back and review the Prep Season contests that have led up to this point.
There were a total of 16 races during the Prep Season offering points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. All but one of those races offered points on a 10-5-2-1 scale to the respective top four finishers. The exception was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), which awarded points on a 20-8-4-2 basis.
One of only two non-U.S. based races on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, the Mazarine took place over the synthetic Polytrack at Woodbine. Gamble’s Ghost prevailed by three parts of a length after running near the back of the short field early. The Ghostzapper dark bay stayed in the rear nearly the entire race and appeared beaten entering the stretch as Swoop and Strike took over. Suddenly, Gamble’s Ghost kicked into gear and split rivals under jockey Luis Contreras, who lost his whip at the same time. That didn’t stop Gamble’s Ghost from continuing her late run under a vigorous hand ride to score.
Songbird wrapped up two-year-old filly champion honors in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Everyone was excited to see if the popular runner could remain unbeaten in the race while racing outside of California for the first time, and Songbird didn’t disappoint. She led every step of the way under a loose rein from jockey Mike Smith. She began pulling off under her own power, with Smith still standing tall in the saddle, and eventually crossed under the wire 5 3/4 lengths clear. Rachel’s Valentina tracked just behind Songbird under a strong hold and proved best of the rest while never challenging the winner. Dothraki Queen ran in last and rallied up the rail to just miss second from a visibly leg-weary Rachel’s Valentina.
Jet Black Magic bumped with Learning Curve coming out of the gate in the Delta Downs Princess and settled into last early. Jockey Robert Morales moved the Hold Me Back filly over to the rail entering the first turn and the duo maintained their ground saving spot until midstretch, when coming out a bit. Jet Black Magic angled out even more to go around rivals on the final bend and kicked into high gear to draw off for the 4 1/4-length score over a muddy, sealed track. La Appassionata was a romping winner over Jet Black Magic in the My Trusty Cat S. prior to the Delta Downs Princess, but proved no match in this spot while 7 1/4 lengths better than Above Fashion in third.
As the even-money favorite, Lewis Bay was expected to win the Demoiselle and the bay Bernardini filly lived up to expectations while stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for the first time. She found herself tracking down on the rail early as Lost Raven led the way up front. Thrilled and Mo d’Amour battled it out just to her outside and everyone maintained those spots down the backstretch. Entering the turn, Disco Rose ranged up on the outside of Mo d’Amour to join the fray but Lewis Bay appeared to be dropping back. Jockey Irad Oritz Jr. began urging Lewis Bay on and angled her to the outside on the far turn. She ended up widest of all on the bend and lost some ground, but rallied down the center of the track to triumph by 1 3/4 lengths. It was a tightly packed group behind her, with Thrilled getting second by a length over Disco Rose and Flora Dora rallying for fourth just a neck farther back.