2015 Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria returns in the Delaware Oaks. <br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/AtTheRaces-1/At-the-Races-2015/i-24F9wKQ">Order This Photo</a>

2015 Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria returns in the Delaware Oaks.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Lovely Maria Returns for Delaware Oaks

Longines Kentucky Oaks winner has been training at Delaware Park.

Brereton Jones' Lovely Maria, winner of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) in her previous start, is set to run July 11 in the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park.

Trained by Larry Jones, Lovely Maria is a back-to-back grade I winner, having taken the Central Bank Ashland Stakes at Keeneland about a month before the Kentucky Oaks. The 3-year-old Majesticperfection  filly also finished second in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, where she won her 2015 debut in allowance company.

Lovely Maria has been training like clockwork at Delaware Park. She most recently worked five furlongs in 1:00 on a fast track July 6.

"She is here and she is ready to go," Larry Jones said July 7. "Everything looks good right now. I am not saying we got her cranked up to 110% or anything, but surely we think she is ready and good to go.

"We are ready to kick off the second half of the year campaign starting right here. From here, we are thinking the Alabama, and from the Alabama, if we are still doing well, we are just going try to figure out how to get to the Breeders' Cup."

The Alabama Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies will be run Aug. 22 at Saratoga Race Course. The Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) will be held at Keeneland, where Jones usually races in the fall, in late October.

The Delaware Oaks, at 1 1/16 miles, is one of 12 races on a Saturday card that begins a 1:15 p.m. EDT. It attracted a field of eight.

Lovely Maria, to be ridden as usual by Kerwin Clark, drew post 5 and is the 122-pound highweight. The other seven fillies will carry 117 pounds.

Jones also entered Calumet Farm's White Clover, a daughter of Exchange Rate who captured the one-mile-and-70-yard Our Mims Stakes at Delaware Park in her last start. She'll be ridden by Michael Ritvo from post 6.

White Clover, who now has back to back wins at the track, defeated grade I winner Peace and War—she won the grade I Darley Alcibiades Stakes on dirt at Keeneland last fall—in the Our Mims.

Peace and War, second in her first start for trainer Graham Motion, also is entered in the Delaware Oaks. Qatar Racing's Peace and War, by War Front , will be ridden by John Velazquez from post 8.

Entries: Delaware Oaks (G3)

Delaware Park, Saturday, July 11, 2015, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:45 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Hip Hop N Jazz (KY)Brian Pedroza116Thomas F. Proctor-
22Milaya (KY)Kendrick Carmouche116Michael Dilger-
33Bar of Gold (NY)Alex Cintron116John C. Kimmel-
44Danzatrice (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTrevor McCarthy118Cathal A. Lynch-
55Lovely Maria (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKerwin D. Clark122J. Larry Jones-
66White Clover (KY)Michael Ritvo116J. Larry Jones-
77Calamity Kate (KY)Edgar S. Prado116Kelly J. Breen-
88Peace and War (FL)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez116H. Graham Motion-