SOUTH / QUIET TEMPER GRINDS OUT VICTORY IN FAIR GROUNDS OAKS – Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper wore down stubborn front-runner Champagne d’Oro in the final yards to win Friday’s $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) and become a leading contender for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) on April 30 at Churchill Downs.
The Dale Romans-trained Quiet Temper is schedule to head to the Louisville track on Monday for a bid to become the third straight winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks, and the fifth in six years, to win both the 1 1/16-mile race at Fair Grounds and then win America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs. Eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra completed that sweep a year ago.
Robby Albarado, seven times the leading jockey at the New Orleans track, scored his first victory in the Fair Grounds Oaks as he allowed the winner to settle just off the pace set by Champagne d’Oro, then swung out with an eighth of a mile to wear down that rival.
rode a great filly today,” said Albarado. “They’ve done a great job with her.”
Four horses were in very close proximity at the finish as Sheer Beauty and Seeking the Title rallied strongly in the stretch to finish in a dead-heat for third, just a head behind the runner-up. Quiet Temper covered the distance in 1:44.55.
The top four finishers are expected to point toward the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks.
KENTUCKY / ORCHESTRATOR HOLDS OFF AGE OF HUMOR IN BOURBONETTE OAKS – Koolmen Racing Stable LLC’s Orchestrator battled through the stretch with Age of Humor before she held on to win Saturday’s $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park by a neck – but the big effort might not have earned the daughter of Bernstein a run in the Kentucky Oaks.
The winner covered one-mile over the synthetic Polytrack surface in 1:38.29 as she won for the second time in four races over synthetic footing. But trainer Ken McPeek would not commit to a bid for the Kentucky Oaks, which will be run over traditional dirt on April 30 at Churchill Downs.
“She ran super,” he said. “I’m not sure about the Kentucky Oaks. I’d prefer to run her on the synthetic somewhere.”
Orchestrator’s career record improved to 3-2-0 in eight races with earnings of $159,096.
WEST / BLIND LUCK WORKS TOWARD FANTASY – Las Virgenes (GI) winner Blind Luck tuned up for an out-of-state trip with a six-furlong work over Santa Anita’s training track on Saturday. The daughter of Pollard’s Vision covered the distance in 1:15.20 for trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer in preparation for the $250,000 Apple Blossom (GII) on Friday, April 2 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
Blind Luck was third to Crisp as a heavy favorite last time out in the Santa Anita Oaks (GI).
HARISSA WINS SUNLAND PARK OAKS – Southern California-based Harissa flew past pacesetter Hayley’s Halo in the stretch on her way to a 3 ½-length victory in Sunday’s $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks.
Tyler Baze rode the daughter of Afleet Alex, who is trained by David Hofmans. Harissa improved her career record to 2-2-1 in seven races. Favored Queen Greeley finished third.