WEST / ASHLAND WINNER EVENING JEWEL NOT DEFINITE FOR KENTUCKY OAKS – The $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies, sits atop the agenda of the owners of Evening Jewel, the winner of Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (GI). But co-owner Tom Braly told Daily Racing Form that a trip to Churchill Downs is no cinch.
The 72-year-old Braly, who owns the California-bred daughter of Northern Afleet with his wife Marilyn, said it was a thrill to watch Evening Jewel hold off runner-up It’s Tea Time and reigning 2-year-old filly champion She Be Wild to take the Ashland. But Tom Braly suffers from cancer and said health concerns will be a factor in the decision with trainer James Cassady on a possible return trip to Kentucky from Evening Jewel’s Southern California base.
“The horse has been the greatest therapy,” said Braly. “The trip (to Kentucky) was pretty hard on me personally, so we need to decide in a week or two.”
Another option for Evening Jewel could be a run in the $150,000 Melair for California-bred 3-year-old fillies on April 24 at Hollywood Park, followed by a move to grass for the filly.
EAST / TOUCHING BEAUTY TAKES COMELY – Gainesway Stable and Joseph Cornacchia’s Touching Beauty rallied from just off the pace to edge Speightful Affair by a half-length in Saturday’s $100,000 Comely (GIII) at Aqueduct.
The Jimmy Jerkens-trained daughter of Tapit covered a mile over a “fast” track in 1:37.90 under jockey Mike Luzzi as she scored her first stakes victory. The win was her second in three starts in 2010.
Favored She’ll Be Doggone stumbled badly at the start and finished seventh of eight.
SOUTH / LUKAS’ DECELERATOR TAKES INSTANT RACING – Westrock Stable’s Decelerator, winner of the Debutante (GIII) last spring at Churchill Downs, held off Vertical Vision to score her third stakes victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained winner, the odds-on favorite, had jockey Terry Thompson in the saddle as she covered a mile over a “fast” track in 1:38.20. Bell’s Shoes finished third.
CANADA / CO-CHAMP BIOFUEL SHARP IN RETURN – Biofuel, honored with Negligee as co-champion 2-year-old filly in Canada in 2009, was impressive in an easy win in her season debut in the $157,000 Star Shoot Stakes over the synthetic Polytrack surface at Toronto’s Woodbine.
Owned by former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, Biofuel won her first start since a troubled fourth-place finish to She Be Wild in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Santa Anita. Biofuel won by an easy two lengths and covered six furlongs in 1:10.01.