(Edited Oak Tree notes)
Barry Abrams plans an unprecedented first when the Oak Tree Racing Association hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on Nov. 6 and 7.
The 55-year-old trainer, noted for successfully running his horses at uncommonly close intervals, intends to start Lethal Heat in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on Pro-Ride Friday, Nov. 6, and, if all goes well, run her again in the $1 million Turf Sprint at about 6 1/2 furlongs against males on Saturday, Nov. 7.
"I’m going to run Lethal Heat in the Ladies’ Classic on Friday and down the hill on Saturday," said Abrams, apparently not expecting Zenyatta to defend her crown in the Ladies’ Classic. "They do it in other countries. Lethal Heat ran twice last week and finished second both times, once against males in the California Cup Classic, and then against Zenyatta, and she’s a great horse.
Lethal Heat, a 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat, finished second to the undefeated champion mare Zenyatta at equal weights in the Lady’s Secret Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday. Overall, Lethal Heat has a 6-2-5 record from 16 career starts, with earnings of $655,988 for owners Barry Abrams, Madeline Auerbach or Ron McCauley.
"She’s unbeatable," Abrams said of Zenyatta. "My horse got in a little trouble in the Lady’s Secret and still finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the champion. She got blocked in a very important part of the race and had nowhere to go. She was climbing over horses. If she’d have gotten through, she would have been closer, but I don’t know if she’d have beaten Zenyatta."