Brereton Jones’ homebred filly Believe You Can, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in her most recent start, posted a bullet five-furlong workout, covering the distance in :59 over a fast track the morning of April 22 under jockey Rosie Napravnik.
The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I)-bound daughter of Proud Citizen worked during the post-renovation break training session reserved for candidates for the Oaks and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Working in company with the 3-year-old filly Young and Lovely, an allowance winner, Believe You Can started the work about two lengths back and on the outside of Young and Lovely and finished the move two lengths in front. Fractions for Believe You Can were :12 1/5, :23 4/5, :35 1/5, :47 1/5, and out six furlongs in 1:13 2/5.
The five-eighths time was the best of 31 at the distance with Young and Lovely, who was ridden by Larry Melancon, credited with a :59 4/5 time.
“She rated very kindly,” said Napravnik, who was back at Churchill Downs for the first time since finishing ninth in last year’s Kentucky Derby on Pants On Fire. “She bursts off when she is asked.”
Napravnik, now riding in New York, said she would return to Louisville to ride on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day. In the Derby, she has the call on Mark Valeski, who is also owned by Jones.
Trainer Larry Jones was happy with the filly’s work.
“When you work here, you wonder how they will handle the racetrack and both of them did in their works today,” Jones said, referring to the works of both Believe You Can and Mark Valeski. “I picked both of them up and neither of them was breathing excessively.”
Larry Jones said Believe You Can’s final work for the Oaks most likely would be April 29 with exercise rider Jen Brasser handling the work.
Believe You Can picked up her first graded stakes score in the Tempted (gr. III) as a 2-year-old at Belmont Park. Bred in Kentucky, she launched her sophomore campaign with an additional victory in the Jan. 21 Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots before finishing fourth to fellow Oaks contender Summer Applause in the Rachel Alexandra (gr. III) at the New Orleans track.
Believe You Can, who is out of the El Prado mare El Fasto, will enter the Oaks with earnings of $495,284.