Last year, trainer Richard Dutrow entered the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with hot favorite Sis City and walked away in defeat. Out to erase the memory of 2005, he is back again for another run for the lilies with two talented, but less heralded runners in Last Romance and Wonder Lady Anne L.
"It's certainly a lot less pressure this year than it was last," said Michele Nevin, who has served as Dutrow's assistant for the past five years. "They are all three very talented fillies."
Nevin is overseeing the conditioning of Last Romance and Wonder Lady Anne L until Dutrow arrives at Churchill Downs later in the day.
Last Romance and Wonder Lady Anne L both worked three furlongs Wednesday morning. Last Romance covered the distance in :37.90 and Wonder Lady Anne L went in :38.20.
"They had a nice move and everything went well," she said. "I think they are ready."
Last Romance will break from post 13 under jockey Rafael Bejarano and is listed at 15-1 on the morning line. Wonder Lady Anne L will have the services of jockey Edgar Prado and will break from post seven as the 8-1 third choice.
"I guess we're happy enough with the post for 'Lady,' but we're not that happy about Last Romance's place. But I guess somebody had to be there," Nevin said.
Last Romance, a daughter of Wild Rush owned by Sanford Goldfarb, Michael Dubb, and Bunch of Characters Stable, has won three of seven lifetime starts. In three races at Aqueduct this year she was second in the Busanda, fourth in the Busher, and won the Wayward Lass, all ungraded stakes.
Wonder Lady Anne L, owned by IEAH Stables and Joseph Plumeri, completed her 2-year-old season with a victory in the grade II Demoisell at Aqueduct. This year at Gulfstream Park, the daughter of Real Quiet
was third in the Davonna Dale and second in the Bonnie Miss, both grade II stakes.
Sis City is also returning to action during the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) weekend. Nevin said the 4-year-old would start in the Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile (gr. I) on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
The Distaff Turf Mile will mark the daughter of Slew City Slew
's first start since finishing fourth in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) last August at Saratoga.