Hard Not to Like

Hard Not to Like

Michael Burns

Hard Not to Like All Set for Kentucky Oaks

Woodbine-based Ashland runner-up posts five-furlong work in 1:01 3/5; ships May 1.

Hard Not to Like put in her final work for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), breezing five furlongs in a handy 1:01 3/5 at Woodbine April 27 and earning a “very, very good” report from her trainer Gail Cox.
The workout, the second fastest of 13 at the distance, came over Woodbine’s Polytrack under jockey Luis Contreras. Her trainer was at Keeneland, where she will run a horse on Friday’s closing-day card.

“The work was just what I wanted,” Cox said. “She’s doing very well. She’s really, really special.”

Hard Not to Like comes into the Oaks off just one start in 2012, a runner-up effort in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) over Keeneland's Polytrack April 7. She has two published workouts at Woodbine since that effort, in which she finished three-quarters of a length in front of front-running Karlovy Vary.

The May 4 Oaks will be the second race at Churchill Downs for Hard Not to Like. Owned by Hillsbrook Farms, the Ontario-bred daughter of Hard Spun  out of Like a Gem, by Tactical Cat was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) last November at the Louisville oval.

She has won three of six lifetime starts with one second while earning $380,035. The gray/roan filly won the Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine prior to the Breeders' Cup.

Hard Not to Like will van to Louisville from Woodbine May 1. Robby Albarado has the call for the Oaks.