Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs

Anne M. Eberhardt

KY Oaks Notes for Week of April 12

Four contenders for the April 30 races recently worked at Churchill.

Edited Churchill Downs notes

Four contenders for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs April 30 turned in workouts at Churchill Downs over the past three days.
Age of Humor – The daughter of Distorted Humor, a narrowly-beaten runner-up to Orchestrator in Turfway Park’s Bourbonette (gr. III) on March 27, worked a half-mile on April 10 in preparation for a planned run in the Kentucky Oaks.  The Mike Maker-trained filly covered the distance in :49 over a “fast” track in a move that ranked fourth of 15 at the distance.

Jody Slew– Silverbulletday (gr. III) winner Jody Slew, seventh in her most recent outing in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs in :50.20 April 9 and is on course for a run in the Oaks.

Jody Slew’s dull run at Fair Grounds came after she had suffered a minor injury in her stall caused her to miss some pre-race training, but trainer Bret Calhoun said by telephone that he’s happy with her progress since she returned to Churchill Downs.

“She’s doing very well,” Calhoun said.  “We knew we had a little problem heading into the race at Fair Grounds and she was just not a very happy horse that day.  But running that day was a means to get her to the Kentucky Oaks.  She just wasn’t quite there for the Fair Grounds Oaks, but I’ve got her back 100% fit and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

Quiet Temper – Trainer Dale Romans said Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper is doing well following her victory in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 26.  The filly is scheduled to work at Churchill Downs on each of the next two Fridays in preparation for the Oaks.

Sheer Beauty – Trainer and co-owner Bernie Flint said Sheer Beauty, a dead-heat third in the Fair Grounds Oaks at odds of 56-1, is doing well as she prepares for a planned run in the Kentucky Oaks.  Flint said he was unsure when he would work the gray/roan daughter of Mizzen Mast, but said the filly would not do a lot before the race.  Sheer Beauty won the Caressing Handicap on turf last fall at Churchill Downs.

Seeking the Title – The daughter of Seeking the Gold, a dead-heat third in the Fair Grounds Oaks, breezed four furlongs in :48.80 over a “fast” surface at Churchill April 10.  The move ranked eighth of 45 at the distance for the filly trained by Dallas Stewart, who won the Kentucky Oaks in 2006 with Lemons Forever.

“She’s just doing great,” said Stewart.  “We’re very happy with her and the way she’s progressed.  She had a really good work (Saturday) and came out of it excellent.  We’re just hoping that we get in the race.”

The Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 starters and, like the Kentucky Derby, preference is given to fillies with the highest earnings in graded stakes races.

Stewart said Seeking the Title would have two more pre-Oaks works, one at five furlongs and another at a half-mile.

Evening Jewel -- The Oaks sits atop the agenda of the owners of Evening Jewel, winner of the April 3 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. But co-owner Tom Braly told Daily Racing Form that a trip to Churchill Downs is no cinch.

The 72-year-old Braly, who owns the California-bred daughter of Northern Afleet with his wife Marilyn, said it was a thrill to watch Evening Jewel hold off runner-up It's Tea Time and reigning 2-year-old filly champion She Be Wild to take the Ashland.  But Tom Braly suffers from cancer and said health concerns will be a factor in the decision with trainer James Cassady on a possible return trip to Kentucky from Evening Jewel’s Southern California base.

“The horse has been the greatest therapy,” said Braly. “The trip (to Kentucky) was pretty hard on me personally, so we need to decide in a week or two.”

Another option for Evening Jewel could be a run in the $150,000 Melair for California-bred 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park April 24, followed by a move to the grass for the filly.