The 3-year-old Majesticperfection filly is being pointed to the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles July 11, Jones said June 25. Lovely Maria will be coming off back-to-back grade I victories; she also won the Central Bank Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
"As of right now, that's the plan," Jones said of the Delaware Oaks. "We gave her a little time off after the Kentucky Oaks because she needed a break. If we want her to be around for the Breeders' Cup, we couldn't keep racing her (through the spring).
"We kept her in training; we just made her training days a lot lighter. She'll have a couple more works (before the Oaks). She is doing good."
Lovely Maria last worked June 22 with a five-furlong drill in :59 1/5 at Delaware Park.
Lovely Maria, who made her career debut a winning one at Delaware Park in early September 2014, has earned $973,000 thus far in her career.
Her 3-year-old filly stablemate, I'm a Chatterbox, who won the grade II Fair Grounds Oaks and subsequently finished third to Lovely Maria in the Kentucky Oaks, is training toward the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles July 26 at Saratoga Race Course.
Jones indicated the Munnings filly owned by Grayson Farm is well along in her training since the Kentucky Oaks, and said I'm a Chatterbox could go in the Delaware Oaks if for some reason Lovely Maria doesn't make the race.
The trainer also said Fox Hill Farm's 5-year-old Tapit horse Normandy Invasion , who hasn't raced since finishing 10th in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in June 2014 at Belmont Park, continues on the comeback trail with a series of regular works at Delaware Park. He most recently worked one mile in 1:38 3/5 June 22.
"He has been training well, but we have nothing pointed out for him yet," Jones said.
Previously trained by Chad Brown, Normandy Invasion finished second in the grade II Remsen Stakes at 2, the grade I Wood Memorial Stakes at 3, and the grade II New Orleans Handicap last year as a 4-year-old.