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Anne M. Eberhardt

Rosalind Gets Maintenance Work in Oaks Prep

Trainer Ken McPeek says the filly is fit and ready for May 2 test at Churchill Downs.

Nothing riveting was expected from Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) contender Rosalind in her work over the Churchill Downs main track April 26.

The goal was to maintain the sharp edge the daughter of Broken Vow  has had since a dead-heat win with Room Service in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland three weeks ago. The chestnut filly worked four furlongs in :49 2/5 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 3/5.

"All we want to do is maintain an even keel," said trainer Ken McPeek afterward. "Her last work at Keeneland I wasn't completely thrilled with; I thought she went a little quick."

Working April 19 in company with War Dancer , who finished second April 25 in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (gr. II), Rosalind went :58 and change instead of a desired 1:00 and change.

"She just didn't need that much," McPeek said. "All her foundation is there. I want her going over there with some energy."

Owned by Ray Struder's Landaluce Educe Stables, which is Latin for "Landaluce remembered,"  Rosalind shouldn't be considered a lock in the Oaks and may even be better suited to turf than dirt, McPeek said. But he believes she has the talent to be among the top three.

The filly has fared well on dirt, having won at Ellis Park in her first start by 2 1/2 lengths, then finishing third to anticipated Kentucky Oaks favorite Untapable and Stonetastic in the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. She also finished a good third in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.

Rosalind has made two starts so far this yeara third in a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park and her dead-heat victory in the Ashland.

McPeek has already mapped out a plan beyond the Oaks and it involves a trip overseas. Rosalind has been nominated to the Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I), which will be run June 6. Because the filly, bred by Hurstland Farm in Kentucky, is out of grass winner Critics Acclaima daughter of top grass sire TheatricalMcPeek believes Rosalind deserves a shot against Europe's best female sophomores.

"At this point she will go to Europe for her next couple of starts," he said. "I am leaning toward the English Oaks or the Coronation or maybe even the Ribblesdale."

The Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) will be run June 19 at Royal Ascot over 1 1/2 miles, while the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) will be run at Ascot June 20 at a mile.