Ginger Brew Favored in Woodbine Oaks
The 1 1/8-mile Oaks will be run on the Woodbine Polytrack. A full field of 12 Canadian-bred fillies have been entered. The second leg of the filly Triple Tiara will be June 29 in the Bison City Stakes, also at Woodbine.
Ginger Brew has been near-perfect in five lifetime starts, winning three times while finishing runner-up twice, both by less than a length. She broke her maiden on the Woodbine Polytrack last October before heading to Florida for the winter.
Trained by Brian Lynch, Ginger Brew was close to the pace early in the nine-furlong Calder Oaks, then came three-wide around the final turn under Javier Castellano to take the lead into the stretch. She edged away to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The 3-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew also has a two-turn allowance win at Gulfstream Park on her résumé this season.
"She certainly appears to be the real deal," Lynch said. "You knew that right from the start. She was mature and as level-headed as can be. With her, you couldn't help but think about the Oaks right from the very beginning. She's training extremely well and she will just love the distance. She's gone toe-to-toe against some really nice horses."
Castellano will get the mount again on the 8-5 morning-line favorite. They will break from post two.
Stronach and Lynch will also send out another homebred hopeful in Money My Honey. The chestnut filly is a daughter of 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet. She also has never been off the board in five starts, producing a 2-2-1 mark. Money My Honey (8-1) enters off a one-length allowance score May 19 at Woodbine.
Stronach scored his lone Oaks victory in 1999 with Touch Dial.
The second choice is Victura Farm’s Shilla (6-1), who enters off a neck victory in the April 27 Fury Stakes at Woodbine. The Marquetry filly stalked the pace in the seven-furlong event and prevailed under David Clark after a long stretch duel.
Trained by Nick Gonzalez, Shilla comes in with an impressive 5-0-2 mark from seven starts, including three stakes wins. But this will be her first two-turn test.
"I'm really happy (with post three)," Gonzalez said. "I wouldn't have been concerned with anything inside post eight. If there's one thing that isn’t a concern, (the distance) would be it."
A two-time Oaks winner, Clark will have the mount on Shilla once more.
Trainer Mark Casse and jockey Patrick Husbands will attempt to claim a third consecutive Oaks, this time with lightly-campaigned Gloriously. The Woodford Racing-owned daughter of Indian Charlie has taken two of her three starts, all this year. She broke her maiden at Fair Grounds March 1, won an allowance contest April 5 at Keeneland, then just missed winning the Fury Stakes at Woodbine, dropping a neck decision to Shilla. This will also be her first route try.
"She likes to go and go fast," Casse said. "There's a lot of speed in this race. She's a really talented horse. But she's got a big task in front of her. I'm sure she has never been better in her life than right now. She's a much better horse today than when Shilla beat her five weeks ago."
Gloriously is 10-1 on the morning line.
Each of the other eight rivals are double-digit odds in the wide-open contest. Post time is 5:05 p.m. EDT.
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