Trainer Gary Hartlage said April 5 that owner Anita Cauley wants a “fresh horse” for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 4, so their multiple graded stakes winner On Fire Baby will not run in either the Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) April 11 or the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 14.
Both races had been under consideration since the 3-year-old Smoke Glacken filly won the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) impressively on March 10.
“This was completely Anita’s decision,” said Hartlage. “She wants a fresh horse for the Kentucky Oaks and that’s what she’s going to get. I know I can get her ready. I already know she can get the distance. She’s fine. Everything is okay. We have just decided to train up to the Oaks.”
On Fire Baby became one of the favorites for the Kentucky Oaks last fall when she won both the Pocahantas (gr. II) and Golden Rod (gr. II) stakes at Churchill Downs. In addition to her win against her own sex in the Honeybee, she also finished third in the Jan. 16 Smarty Jones Stakes against males.
Entries for the Fantasy Stakes will be taken April 6.