Daily Oaks Notes: April 23
A TO THE CROFT – Koolmen Racing Stable’s A to the Croft galloped after the renovation break Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs.
Third in a two-turn allowance race at Keeneland on April 13, A to the Croft broke her maiden here last summer. Trainer Ken McPeek plans to work the daughter of Menifee on Saturday.
Calvin Borel has the riding assignment.
AWESOME CHIC – Springs Stable’s Awesome Chic galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break with Ariel Carrasquillo up.
Carrasquillo said that trainer Rafael Ramos was scheduled to be in Louisville later Wednesday and would be here for the Awesome Again filly’s scheduled work Friday with Robby Albarado up.
BSHARPSONATA – Cloverleaf Farm’s Bsharpsonata tuned up for her engagement in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (GI) by working five furlongs in :59.80 with jockey Eric Camacho up.
The move was the third fastest of 30 at the distance over a “fast” track.
Splits for the work were :11.80, :23.40, :35.80, :47.60 with a gallop out time of 1:12.60.
“She did it very easy and handled the track well for the most part,” said Camacho, who never has ridden at Churchill Downs.
Working at the same time was Oaks competitor Golden Doc A, who broke off behind Bsharpsonata.
“She ranged up to my flank but she wouldn’t let her pass,” Camacho said. “I asked her about the 16th pole and she kicked away. She tried to pass us galloping out and she never got by.”
John Salzman, who is overseeing the filly’s training for his son Tim, liked what we saw from the work.
“I wanted to go in about a minute and he hit 59 and change,” Salzman said. “That’s perfect.”
GOLDEN DOC A – Trainer Barry Abrams was looking for a workmate for Golden Doc A on Wednesday morning.
“I just want her to get some dirt in her face,” Abrams said of his filly who has raced exclusively on synthetic tracks or grass.
He found a willing helper in the same barn as John Salzman was going to work Bsharpsonata five furlongs at the same time.
The end result was a bullet work in :59 with Kent Desormeaux aboard for the first time. Splits on the work were :11.80, :23.20, :35.20 with a gallop out time of 1:11.80.
Golden Doc A, owned by Ron McCauley, broke off behind Bsharpsonata and remained to the outside of that filly as they went about their drills.
“We got what we were looking for and as long as she comes back good, we are ready to go,” Abrams said. “It’s in her hands now.”
Desormeaux was ecstatic with the work.
“She handled it (the dirt) like a superstar,” Desormeaux said. “I am not worried about it a bit. That, I think, is mission accomplished. She never altered stride and stayed smooth without bobbing her head. They’ve got her to beat; she’s ready.”
The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider conceded it was not your average work, having Bsharpsonata working just ahead of Golden Doc A.
“I think if you were out there, you just got a treat because those two little fillies were flying down the lane,” Desormeaux said. “They are multi-talented and I had a lot of fun.”
HIGHEST CLASS – Trainer Neil Howard said Wednesday morning that Briarwood Stable’s Highest Class remains a possible for the Kentucky Oaks.
Third in the Bonnie Miss (GII) in her most recent start, Highest Class arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Tuesday afternoon and galloped under Annie Finney on Wednesday morning.
“She is going to work in a few days and then we’ll make a decision on which way we will go,” Howard said.
HONEST PURSUIT – Trainer Dallas Stewart said Overbrook Farm’s Honest Pursuit remained on the fence on Wednesday regarding a possible bid for the 134th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Stewart said Overbrook officials were still looking over options for the daughter of Storm Cat out of Honest Lady, who finished as the runner-up to Kona Gold in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) at Churchill Downs in 2000.
Honest Pursuit is expected to work at Churchill Downs on Thursday. Stewart said exercise rider and retired jockey Kenny Bourque would be in the saddle for the move, which is scheduled after the break for track maintenance.
The Overbrook Farm filly has a record of 2-2-0 in five races and is coming off a 6 ½-length victory in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race over Polytrack at Keeneland last time out.
PURE CLAN – Trainer Bob Holthus was back in Louisville after spending a few days at the horse sales in Ocala, Fla., and on hand to watch IEAH Stables, Lewis Lakin and Pegasus Holding Group Stables’ Pure Clan go through her paces Wednesday morning.
With Steve Schmelzel in the saddle, Pure Clan galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break. Holthus said Pure Clan would work five furlongs Friday morning with new rider Edgar Prado up.
Pure Clan closed out 2007 with a victory in the Golden Rod (GII) here in November. At that time, Holthus mapped out a schedule for 2008 that has been met.
“She had a good winter and never missed a work,” Holthus said. “We planned on two races at Hot Springs starting with the Honeybee (on March 16) and got them. The only bad thing was I didn’t like the trip she got in the Fantasy.”
That was Pure Clan’s most recent start, a third-place finish behind Eight Belles.
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