Serengeti Empress took the lead soon after the start of Friday’s 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and never looked back en route to scoring under jockey Jose Ortiz.
There was a scary moment at the start when Positive Spirit appeared to clip heels and went down. Both she and jockey Manny Franco regained their feet.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Serengeti Empress set splits of :23.25, :46.65, 1:11.26 and 1:36.70 while chased by first Motion Emotion and then Liora. In the lane, the dark bay daughter of Alternation turned back a game run from Liora to finish up 1 1/8 miles over the fast Churchill Downs oval in 1:50.17.
Finishing third was Lady Apple, who was followed under the wire by Champagne Anyone and 9-5 favorite Bellafina. Completing the order of finish were Jaywalk, Street Band, Chocolate Kisses, Motion Emotion, Jeltrin, Out For a Spin, Flor de La Mar and Restless Rider.