Trainer Larry Jones revealed May 11 he would likely point Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Believe You Can to the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 23.
“Time between sure doesn’t hurt her,” Jones said. “She’s already raced four times (this year) and if we’re going to have her around come Breeders’ Cup time, we’ve got to kind of space her out a little bit.
“So (she’ll probably run in) the Mother Goose, and the main objective now after we’ve got the Kentucky Oaks is the (Betfair TVG) Alabama (gr. I, Aug. 18), but what we do to get her to the Alabama is the question. I’m going to say the Mother Goose, and then whether we do the (Betfair TVG) Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I, July 21) or just go straight to the Alabama from there, we just have to see what happens.”
Saratoga Race Course hosts both the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama. Believe You Can, who carries the colors of former Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones, is now riding a two-race win streak having taken the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 31 en route to the Kentucky Oaks.
The daughter of Proud Citizen was ridden to victory in both races by Rosie Napravnik, who became the first female jockey in history to win the Kentucky Oaks. The Joneses also teamed up to win the race in 2008 with Proud Spell.
“It just was great,” Larry Jones said of Oaks Day. “Of course, I’m from Kentucky, and we all think the Kentucky Oaks is the second-best horse race in the world. The Derby is the only thing better than that for an old Kentucky boy. People tell me that winning the Derby, or winning the Oaks, a lot of people can do it once. But, if you win it twice, maybe you really do deserve to do it. So that gives you a little bit of logic that maybe the first time wasn’t pure luck! You’ve got to get lucky, but hopefully it’s more than just luck.
“To be able to do it with Rosie, her being the very first (female) Oaks winner, also to do it on Ladies’ Day, with the lady, and then what better for the women that are trying to survive cancer than to Believe You Can?” Jones continued. “Everything fell into the spot…it kind of makes you think it was meant to be.”