Four-year-old filly took the Azeri Stakes in her 2014 debut. More
Favored at odds of 3-5 and making her first start of the season, Juddmonte's 4-year-old First Defence filly galloped wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile test, taking rider Joel Rosario straight to the winner's circle March 15.
It will be fun to watch some (future) stars shine at likely low prices. read blog
Don't Tell Sophia has sailed through the early part of 2014, but faces a stout test March 15 in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) against multiple grade I winner Close Hatches, On Fire Baby, and Flashy American.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Racing, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky, Mid-Atlantic
Eight stakes were elevated in or to graded status and 11 were downgraded for 2014 during the meeting of the American Graded Stakes Committee Dec. 4 in Lexington.
Purse increases to 19 of 31 stakes races and the creation of a Racing Festival of the South Preview Day are among the highlights of Oaklawn's 2014 stakes schedule.
Evan Hammonds examines the Rebel Stakes and Azeri Stakes. watch video
Tiz Miz Sue upset the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park last year at odds of 8-1, and this season she did it again. The Cresran homebred ran down top contenders My Miss Aurelia and Don't Tell Sophia to get the job done.
Champion juvenile filly of 2011 My Miss Aurelia is scheduled to begin her 4-year-old season in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 16 at Oaklawn Park.
Tiz Miz Sue, making her third start of the Oaklawn Park meet, finally broke through with Joe Rocco Jr. aboard, posting an 8-1 upset in the $147,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Absinthe Minded, who has dominated Oaklawn Park's older filly and mare division this meet, takes on a new challenge from Fair Grounds invader Joyful Victory in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17.
Fox Hill Farms' reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace continued her string of sharp works with a six-furlong drill in 1:11 2/5 at Fair Grounds March 5 in preparation for her 2012 debut in the New Orleans Ladies March 17.
Fox Hill Farms' Havre de Grace, the Horse of the Year in 2011, will make her first start of the year in the Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 17, owner Rick Porter announced Feb. 22.
Steve and Lenny discuss the Rebel Stakes, Life At Ten, the Azeri Stakes, Blink Luck vs Havre de Grace and remember Cathy Roby. Watch Video
Havre de Grace had no problem downing her bitter rival Blind Luck, as she took over approaching the quarter-pole and streaked home a 3 1/4-length winner in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 19 at Oaklawn Park
Blind Luck and Havre de Grace clashed four times last year as they became finalists for the Eclipse Award as the nation's top 3-year-old filly. They renew their rivalry in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Havre de Grace is getting her mind on business for trainer Larry Jones, prompting him to solidify plans to launch her 2011 campaign in the $100,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 19.
In a race likely to produce a couple of contestants for the much-anticipated Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I) April 9, front-running Freedom Star dominated the $149,750 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 6.
Gone Astray will make his season debut March 6 in the $150,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park and face a good field that includes 8-year-old Jonesboro, who won the 1 1/16-mile event back in 2008.
Helen Alexander and Helen Groves' rising star Acoma notched her third consecutive graded stakes victory March 8 at Oaklawn Park, coming from off the pace to score a five-length win in the $144,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III).
Acoma, who bagged consecutive graded stakes on the turf to close out her sophomore season, makes her 4-year-old debut against seven rivals in the $150,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 8 at Oaklawn Park.
Back on a fast dirt track for the first time since last summer, the grade I winner Hystericalady left her rivals in the Oaklawn Park dust while winning the $171,500 Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. III) on March 9.
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