BLIND LUCK (winner) – Friday’s Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner Blind Luck came out of her race in fine shape and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer now can set his sights on a second half of 2010 goal for his star filly. Blind Luck captured the Oaks by a nose with a furious finish under Rafael Bejarano.
“She’s doing just fine and looking good after the race,” Hollendorfer said Saturday morning. “She’ll fly back to California either tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday. We met our spring goal now, which was to get her to the Kentucky Oaks and now it’s time to set out a plan for the rest of the year. I would think she’ll run at least once in New York at some point. We would like for her to be healthy enough and doing well enough to make it back to Churchill Downs in the fall for the Breeders’ Cup.”
The Kentucky Oaks win for Hollendorfer was his third, following Lite Light in 1991 and Pike Place Dancer in 1996. Only three trainers have won the Oaks’ lilies more times: Woody Stephens (five), Ben Jones (four) and D. Wayne Lukas (four). The victory marked Bejarano’s first in the Oaks.
EVENING JEWEL (second) – “I can’t believe how good she’s doing this morning after a race like that. I wished I would have run her in the Kentucky Derby.”
Trainer Jim Cassidy only had his tongue halfway in his cheek when he stated the above about his 3-year-old filly Evening Jewel as he was boarding an airplane at Louisville International Airport Saturday morning heading back to California. His dead-game daughter of Northern Afleet had been beaten a nose in Friday’s Grade I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs following an all-out stretch battle with winner Blind Luck.
Evening Jewel picked up a check for $106,343 for her Oaks efforts and pushed her bankroll to $516,943, built on a record that has seen her run first or second in eight of her nine races.
Following her demanding race on Friday, Cassidy said he was surprised to see how well Evening Jewel had come out of it.
“She was just bouncing, feeling good at the barn this morning,” he said. “She’s something. I’ve got a plane for her for Monday morning and I’ll probably pick out a race for her at Hollywood (Park) in five or six weeks.”
TIDAL POOL (third) – Westrock Stables’ Tidal Pool, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, came out of her third-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks in good order according to Lukas.
“She’s fine,” Lukas said Saturday.
Lukas said no plans have been made for her next start.
BEAUTICIAN (fourth) – A proud trainer Ken McPeek reported Saturday morning that Beautician exited her fourth-place Oaks effort in good health.
“She ran very well and vindicated herself with a placing in the Kentucky Oaks, we’re very proud of her,” McPeek said. “I haven’t looked far enough ahead to map out a campaign or anything. We’ll take it from here and look at all options.”
Beautician will remain at Churchill Downs with the McPeek stable throughout the spring-summer meeting.
AILALEA (fifth) – Trainer Todd Pletcher’s assistant, Mike McCarthy, known to one and all as “Whitey,” reported Saturday morning that all was good with Starlight Partners’ Ailalea, who pulled in fifth in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks after a mostly uneventful journey under John Velazquez.
“She ate up and is doing super,” McCarthy said. “She’s doing fine and so are our Derby horses.”
The Pletcher stable will be busy this afternoon, sending out four of the 20 contenders in the field for Kentucky Derby 136 – Devil May Care, Discreetly Mine, Mission Impazible and Super Saver.
Pletcher had indicated that he did not know what was next in the cards for Ailalea, who finished just under seven lengths behind Oaks heroine Blind Luck.
AMEN HALLELUJAH (sixth) – IEAH Stables and Whizway Farms’ Amen Hallelujah was reported to have come out of her sixth-place Oaks finish in good order.
The Rick Dutrow-trained filly, who was sent to post as the 5-1 second choice, encountered a little crowding on the first turn after breaking from the No. 13 post position. She recovered to enter contention on the turn for home while saving ground before flattening out in the stretch under jockey Julien Leparoux.
CRISP (seventh) – Michael Talla’s Crisp, seventh-place finisher in the $584,300 Kentucky Oaks after an overland journey in the nine-furlong headliner, was safe and sound and “doing fine” back at Barn 42 on the Churchill Downs backstretch Saturday morning.
As rain fell on the start of Kentucky Derby Day, Larry Benavidez, the assistant to Crisp’s trainer, John Sadler, reported that all was good with the daughter of El Corredor who had finished 7 1/2 lengths behind winner Blind Luck.
“She ate up and all is good,” Benavidez said. “We’ve got a plane going back to California Tuesday and she might be on it. We’ve got to see how some of our horses run today and that will help us decide.”
The Sadler stable brought nine horses from California and have already won two races, including The Cliffs Edge Derby Trial (GIII) with Hurricane Ike. They will run four more horses on the Derby Day card, including the pair of Line of David and Sidney’s Candy in Kentucky Derby 136 itself.
QUIET TEMPER (eighth) -- Following a performance described as “flat” by her trainer, Dale Romans, and jockey, Robby Albarado, Quiet Temper showed no negative effects after her eighth-place finish in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks.
“She’s doing fine today, she just didn’t run her race for whatever reason,” Romans said Saturday morning. No plans are in store for her next start at this time.
IT’S TEA TIME (ninth) – Alex Campbell Jr.’s It’s Tea Time came out of the Oaks well according to Jack Bohannan, assistant to trainer Rusty Arnold.
“She ate up, cooled out well. Everything after the race was fine,” Bohannan said. “She was buried down on the inside and never had the opportunity to get out and run. It was nobody’s fault; that’s just the way it went. She got beat by some nice horses.”
Arnold had said before the Oaks that it was possible he would back off the filly for six or seven weeks “and you’d probably see her again toward the end of the meet.”
“She will probably go back to Keeneland in the next day or two,” Bohannan said. “She has a lot of upside to her and we are fortunate she came out of the race in good order.”
JOANIE’S CATCH (10th) – Trainer Barry Rose reported that Joanie’s Catch was fine and halfway back to her Calder Race Course base Saturday morning. The Rose Family Stable’s homebred filly, who broke from the No. 14 post position, finished 10th after racing wide throughout the race under jockey Paco Lopez.
“She didn’t have a very relaxing trip,” Rose said after just driving over the Tennessee border in driving rain Saturday morning. “We’ll try to find a couple of softer spots to get her confidence back up.”
CHAMPAGNE D’ORO (11th) – Southern Equine’s Champagne d’Oro will head to Louisiana Downs in Shreveport, La., by van on Monday, trainer Eric Guillot said. The Medaglia d’Oro filly broke slowly in the Oaks and was never as close to the pace as expected.
“She took about five pounds of mud in her face,” Guillot said. “She was really tired after the race. She’s just not a mile-and-an-eighth horse. Now we know. We’ll concentrate on races at seven-eighths or a mile.”
AGE OF HUMOR (12th) – Bluegrass Equine Center, Sky Chai Stable and Twin Creeks Farm’s Age of Humor sat close to the pace in the Oaks, but fell out of contention after the opening half-mile. Trainer Mike Maker, preparing two entrants for today’s Kentucky Derby, reported via text message that Age of Humor came back from the Oaks in good order and will van back to his Trackside Training Center base Sunday morning.
JODY SLEW (13th) – Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan’s Jody Slew never threatened in the Oaks. Dennis “Peaches” Geier, assistant to trainer Bret Calhoun, reported Saturday that “everything is good” and the Slew City Slew filly “seemed fine this morning.” Jody Slew will remain with Calhoun’s Churchill Downs string. “I don’t know what’s next for her but she’ll definitely stay here,” Geier said.
BELLA DIAMANTE (14th) – Lone Star Stables’ Bella Diamante was always outrun in the Oaks. Trainer Allen Milligan said the Lost Soldier filly came back fine and will return to Lone Star Park where she will remain in training. One possibility could be Lone Star’s $100,000 Cinemine Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on the Lone Star Million program set for Memorial Day, May 31.