(from Fair Grounds report)
Ailalea, clearly best in Aqueduct’s Tempted Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 7 in the final start of her juvenile campaign, is the lukewarm 3-1 morning line choice for the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), the March 26 showcase event for 3-year-old fillies each season at the Crescent City oval.
Starlight Partners’ Ailalea drew the far outside post in the field of 11 3-year-old fillies set to run 1 1/16 miles. The Fair Grounds Oaks winner during four of the last five seasons has gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) later in the spring. A year ago, that string wJody Slewas extended by Stonestreet Stable and Harold McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra, who went on to Horse of the Year honors.
Conditioned by Todd Pletcher, Ailalea finished sixth in her only start this winter in Gulfstream’s Forward Gal Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 31, but that seven-furlong test followed an extensive layoff. Javier Castellano, who shipped in to ride for Pletcher during Louisiana Derby Preview Day Feb. 20, will be aboard Ailalea.
Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper, second by a nose in Fair Grounds’ Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20, is the 7-2 morning line second choice. Trained by Dale Romans, Quiet Temper was fifth in the Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds Jan. 23 but won a $50,000 allowance optional claiming affair over the track Jan. 3. She captured the Delta Princess Stakes (gr. III) at Delta Downs on Dec. 4. Defending Fair Grounds riding champion Robby Albarado gets the mount.
Martin Racing Stable’s Jody Slew, who won both of the first two legs of Fair Grounds’ sophomore series by taking the $75,000 Tiffany Lass and the Silverbulletday, is the third choice in the morning line at 5-1. Although she could become the first filly in Fair Grounds to sweep the series by winning the Fair Grounds Oaks, her status for the filly fixture is somewhat tentative after she was cast in her stall less than a week ago and lost some training time. Regular rider Miguel Mena is listed astride the Bret Calhoun trainee once again.
Completing the Fair Grounds Oaks field are Mambo Fever (6-1), Visavis (6-1), Champagne d'Oro (8-1), Seeking the Title (10-1), Sheer Beauty (15-1), Shezacrazygirl (15-1), Camille's Appeal (20-1) and The Rumor's True (30-1).
$300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II, Race 9, 5:16 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Quiet Temper (KY), R Albarado, D L Romans
2. Sheer Beauty (KY), J Graham, B S Flint
3. Seeking the Title (KY), K J Desormeaux, D Stewart
4. Mambo Fever (VA), D Cohen, A W Dutrow
5. Camille's Appeal (TX), S Bridgmohan, S M Asmussen
6. Visavis (KY), B J Hernandez, Jr., S Margolis
7. The Rumor's True (LA), R E Eramia, S Duke
8. Jody Slew (KY), M Mena, W B Calhoun
9. Shezacrazygirl (LA), P A Valenzuela, A M Stall, Jr.
10. Champagne d'Oro (KY), J Jacinto, E J Guillot
11. Ailalea (KY), J Castellano, T A Pletcher
All carry 121 pounds.
Blinkers On: Mambo Fever