The Fantasy is the 3-year-old filly highlight of Oaklawn’s Racing Festival of the South, which culminates with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 16. The 1 1/16th-mile Fantasy will be the 10th of 11 live races with a post of 5:47 p.m. CDT and will stamp one filly’s ticket to the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 6.
Fox Hill Farm’s Joyful Victory (1-1) enters the Fantasy off a spectacular win in the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) for trainer Larry Jones. Making her second start of the year in the Fantasy, Joyful Victory showed promise as a 2-year-old with a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and third in the Frizette (gr. I). The Tapit filly will once again have the riding services of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza (6-5) brings not only a perfect record into the Fantasy but also carries the distinction of being out of 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) winner Azeri. The Dan Peitz trainee will take her first step up against stakes company and cement her chances for the Kentucky Oaks. Arienza will once again get a new jockey with Ramon Dominguez taking the call this time.
The entry of Holy Heavens and Explosive Disco race for owners K.K and Vilasini Jayaraman. Holy Heavens, who won the Martha Washington Stakes earlier in the meet, is exiting a second-place finish in the Honeybee.
Explosive Disco will be looking to regain her winning form after breaking her maiden early in the meet against Arkansas breds by 9 ½ lengths. She will be adding blinkers this time out.
Jerry Jamgotchian’s Jelly Cable will be making her first start on dirt after a pair of races on polytrack at Turfway Park, her last in the Valdale Stakes where she finished third.
The field for the Fantasy, from the rail out (with rider and morning line odds), is as follows: Holy Heavens (Israel Ocampo, 4-1), Explosive Disco (Jon Court, 4-1), Joyful Victory (Mike Smith, 1-1), Jelly Cable (Michael Baze, 10-1), and Arienza (Ramon Dominguez, 6-5).