Blind Luck cemented her status as the one to beat in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with an authoritative come-from-behind victory in the $300,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn Park April 2.
With Rafael Bejarano riding for owners Mark DeDomenico, John Carver, Peter Abruzzo, and Jerry Hollendorfer, her trainer, Blind Luck overcame a moderate pace and strong, loose front-runner to take the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy in a spritely 1:42.56 on a fast track. She paid $3 to win in the four-horse field.
Tidal Pool and jockey Calvin Borel grabbed the early lead and set fractions of :24.19 for the opening quarter-mile and :47.88 for a half-mile as Blind Luck, a confirmed off-the-pace type, lagged in last. Tidal Pool picked up the tempo with six furlongs in 1:11.61, and on the far turn Blind Luck appeared to lose a little ground.
Bejarano asked her for run, however, and Blind Luck delivered. She accelerated to catch the field, swung four-wide at the top of the lane, wore down Tidal Pool, and pulled away late to win by an easy 2 1/2 lengths. Tidal Pool held very well for second, followed by No Such Word and All Due Respect.
Hollendorfer has said Blind Luck would go to the April 30 Kentucky Oaks, not the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the following day.
Blind Luck, by Pollard's Vision out of the Best of Luck mare Lucky One, was bred in Kentucky by Fairlawn Farm. The Fantasy marked her sixth victory in nine career starts.
The Fantasy kicked off the Racing Festival of the South at Oaklawn, which will host the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 9 and Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 10, closing day of the meet. A crowd of more than 11,000 was on hand for the Fantasy program.