Plum Pretty works at Churchill Downs.

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Plum Pretty works at Churchill Downs.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Daisy Devine, Plum Pretty Have Final Works

The Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopefuls worked at Churchill Downs May 2.

Daisy Devine and Plum Pretty both had their final drills at Churchill Downs May 2 in preparation for the May 6 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) .

Under Larry Melancon, Daisy Devine covered three furlongs in :35 4/5 and was the fastest of five horses at that distance. Starting at the quarter pole, she reeled off splits of :12 1/5 and :23 3/5. She galloped out four furlongs in :49 1/5.

Daisy Devine previously posted a bullet work at Churchill April 26, when she covered five furlongs in :59 3/5. A daughter of Kafwain—Devil’s Dispute, by Devil’s Bag, Daisy Devine most recently captured the March 26 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) for owner James Miller and trainer Andrew McKeever. She was bred in Kentucky by Reiley McDonald.

“Perfect,” trainer Andrew McKeever said after Daisy Devine's May 2 work. “I told Larry to let her do what she wants to do. I wanted a little decent work because she’s going to have to run hard and she looked good. She really quickened up at the eighth pole when he asked her to, so it was perfect. And she came back happy.”

Daisy Devine was outfitted in blinkers, as she has been for her past four starts, in which she is 4-3-1-0.

“We were just looking to keep her focused and try to keep her sweet and happy until she runs,” McKeever said.

A surface saturated with water from several days and nights of rain did not seem to affect the Kafwain filly, who has only raced on fast tracks but now has two bullet moves over Churchill slop.

“It doesn’t seem to matter to her,” McKeever said. “As long as it’s a dirt track she seems to like it, similar to the Fair Grounds, and we know she liked that.”

Daisy Devine, who will be ridden by James Graham in the Oaks, likely will make an appearance Wednesday during the Oaks-Derby training session.

“She trains herself and whatever she wants to do she can do,” McKeever said. “If she wants to go gallop, she can gallop; if she wants to jog, she can jog. Normally she prefers to get out there, even if it’s just to walk and stretch her legs.”

With jockey Alan Garcia in the irons, Plum Pretty drilled four furlongs in :48 1/5. Trained by Bob Baffert for John Fort’s Peachtree Stables, her splits were :12 2/5, :24 4/5, and :36 4/5. She galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 3/5.

“I was really with the way she went today,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “She likes the slop. She loves that stuff.”

Plum Pretty worked over a wet surface on April 27, but Baffert said the conditions were better Monday.

“The track was in pretty good shape today. We got enough rain,” Baffert said. “The last time I worked these horses it didn’t rain enough and the track was sort of drying out heavy and mucky. I was really happy with the way they worked today because they went over it well.”

Martin Garcia will ride the filly in the Kentucky Oaks.

Plum Pretty, the 25-length winner of the March 27 Sunland Park Oaks, previously worked seven furlongs in 1:28 2/5 on April 26. The filly, who also finished third in both the Santa Ynez (gr. II) and Las Virgenes (gr. I) earlier this year, was bred in Pennsylvania by Silent Indy Stables and DDS Stables. She is by Medaglia d'Oro , out of the A.P. Indy mare Liszy. 

In other Oaks news, Her Smile, a daughter of Include  who is trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, is still questionable for the May 6 race.

“I’m going to talk to Bobby (Flay) today and we’ll come to a decision,” Pletcher said. “I think Bobby wants to run; he seems to be leaning that way. And I’ve seen nothing from her (Her Smile) to say that we couldn’t.

“Of course, the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II, at Pimlico) is two weeks later and one would think it would be an easier spot. So we’ll see.”

Should Her Smile run in the Kentucky Oaks, which appears to be assured of a maximum field of 14 with or without her, jockey Garrett Gomez would have the call.

Meanwhile, Dan Glick and Steve Gowers, two of the partners in Right Time Racing, are considering a Kentucky Oaks run with their filly Street Storm, who is also under consideration for the May 6 Edgewood Presented by Kentucky National Insurance on the Churchill turf.

“She has improved so much and we are chewing on it,” Glick said of a possible Oaks run from Street Storm. “I am going to call (racing secretary) Ben (Huffman) this afternoon to see if we can get in.”

Street Storm has no graded stakes earnings and the Oaks is limited to 14 starters with the highest amount of graded earnings. Not counting Street Storm, 13 fillies were considered as probable for the races with two others possible, all with graded earnings.

“This partnership has three horses and one of them is a 2-year-old we just bought,” Glick said of the group that has eight partners, all Louisvillians or with Louisville ties. “It might be a once in a lifetime chance.”

“They’ve got two bullets,” trainer Steve Margolis said of Right Time Racing, which owns other Oaks hopeful Bouquet Booth. “And both are doing good.”