Bluegrass Hall's Colonial Empress clocked a half-mile in :48 2/5 after the renovation break on Wednesday at Churchill Downs over a track labeled as good. With jockey Ramon Vazquez aboard and working on her own, the Empire Maker filly posted fractions of :12 and :24 in the move that was the third fastest of 35 at the distance.
Colonial Empress is winless in three career starts, but picked up $22,500 in graded stakes money with a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Honeybee and a fifth-place run in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. Those earnings place the dark bay miss 15th on the list of fillies under consideration for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks that is limited to the top 14 graded money earners that pass the entry box."We are not in yet," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "She will run in either the Oaks or the Eight Belles."
The Grade 3 Eight Belles will be run on Oaks Day, May 4, at seven furlongs.
Trainer Bob Baffert said his two Oaks hopefuls -- Jemima's Pearl and Mamma Kimbo -- came out of their Tuesday's works fine and will return to the track Thursday morning.
Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes victress Mamma Kimbo, an undefeated filly by Discreet Cat, worked five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 on Tuesday and will have Mike Smith in the irons for the Oaks. Fantasy third Jemima's Pearl turned five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 while going in company with Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister. Joe Talamo will have the mount in the Oaks aboard the daughter of Distorted Humor.
Baffert's third Oaks contender, Grade 1 heroine Eden's Moon, galloped 1 1/2 miles after the renovation break Wednesday under exercise rider George Alvarez. Third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks last out, the Malibu Moon filly will be ridden in the Kentucky Oaks by Martin Garcia.
In other Oaks news:
Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks winner Believe You Can also galloped after the morning renovation break, touring a mile with trainer Larry Jones in the saddle. The Proud Citizen lass is scheduled to work Sunday.
Dual Grade 2 queen On Fire Baby visited the paddock before galloping 1 1/2 miles under Joe Johnson early Wednesday morning. Trained by Gary Hartlage, the Smoke Glacken gray miss is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday depending on weather.
Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes diva Summer Applause galloped 1 1/2 miles under Jeff Lopez shortly after the track opened at 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The Bret Calhoun-trained daughter of Harlan's Holiday is scheduled to work Friday.
Karlovy Vary, winner of the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes to earn a berth in the Oaks starting gate, galloped 1 3/8 miles under exercise rider Marty Metcalf early Wednesday morning. Trained by Rusty Arnold, the Dynaformer filly arrived at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Tuesday afternoon and is scheduled to work Saturday.
Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes vixen Yara galloped 1 1/2 miles Wednesday prior to the renovation break at Churchill Downs' Trackside Training Center under regular exercise rider Mario Diaz. Trainer Jose Garoffalo plans to bring the Put It Back miss to Churchill Downs on Friday to breeze beneath the Twin Spires following the renovation break.