A trio of 3-year-old fillies headed by Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza, runner-up to Joyful Victory in Oaklawn Park’s Fantasy (gr. II), and Dede McGehee’s Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) runner-up St. John's River make up the roster of late nominees that are now eligible to compete in the 137th running of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 6.
The fillies were made eligible to run in the Oaks during its first late nomination period that raised the total of Oaks nominations to 120. The 117 original nominees to the 1 1/8-mile Oaks became eligible through the payment of a $200 fee on or before the Feb. 19 early nomination deadline. The late nomination period, which ended April 13, required payment of a $1,500 fee. Supplemental entries to the Kentucky Oaks, which would require payment of a $50,000 fee, will be accepted at the time of entry on Tuesday, May 3.
Arienza, a daughter of Giant's Causeway out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, possesses a compelling pedigree. She scored impressive victories in her first two starts at Oaklawn Park for trainer Dan Pietz before her runner-up finish in the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy.
St. John’s River, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Include , established her Kentucky Oaks credentials when she rallied from eighth to finish a close second to Daisy Devine in the Fair Grounds Oaks March 26. She has a record of 1-2-1 in four starts for trainer Andrew Leggio Jr.
The list of late nominees to the Oaks is rounded out by Right Time Racing’s Street Storm, winner of the Mardi Gras, a mile and 70 yard event that was moved from turf to the main track at Fair Grounds on March 8. The daughter of Stormy Atlantic is trained by Churchill Downs-based Steve Margolis.
The 2011 Kentucky Oaks will be televised live from 5-6 p.m. on NBC’s VERSUS cable network.