Blind Luck, the early choice as the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager opens later this week, will be an overpowering favorite against seven rivals when she pursues her fourth grade I win in the $250,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) March 6.
The late-running 3-year-old filly will need some pace to chase, and that could present a problem in the 1 1/16-mile Pro-Ride test. None of her rivals in the Oaks has shown much interest in running on the lead.
A similar lack of pace nearly cost Blind Luck in her 2010 debut when she closed desperately from last in a short field of five to nose Evening Jewel at the wire in the one-mile Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 13.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee was brilliant in winning the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) by seven lengths Dec. 20, the race that followed her troubled third-place showing in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) in the fall. She also won Oak Tree's Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) last year.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Pollard's Vision --Lucky One (by Best of Luck) is 5-1 as future wagering opens March 5 on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). The chestnut filly, who has also been mentioned as a possible contender for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 3, has compiled a career mark of 5-1-1 in seven starts while earning $859,050. She is owned by Mark DeDomenico, Hollendorfer, and John Carver.
Rafael Bejarano has the mount on Blind Luck for the third consecutive time. They will break from post five under equal weight of 122 pounds.
Blind Luck worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface in 1:01 March 1.
The Oaks is one of three grade I races on the Santa Anita program along with the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap and the $250,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile. The Oaks is the eighth race with a probable post of 3:38 p.m. PST.
Evening Jewel and close third-place Las Virgenes finisher Switch are both skipping the race, making the task for Blind Luck a little easier.
Michael Talla's Crisp, who lacked much response in the Las Virgenes and ran fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, figures to be a little tighter for trainer John Sadler this time. Blinkers are added. The El Corredor miss won the Santa Ysabel (gr. III) on the track previously.
Sadler also entered Ike and Dawn Thrash's Sister Dawn, who broke her maiden at 5 1/2 furlongs in her only start by 1 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita Jan. 24, and Jerry and Ann Moss' Cozi Rosie. The latter has won her past two races at the Oaks distance, including an optional-claiming race on the Pro-Ride track by three-quarters of a length Feb. 4.
Augustin Stable homebred Zilva makes her first start since finishing last of five as the 6-5 choice in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel, five lengths behind Crisp. The daughter of Successful Appeal ran seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies but only lost by 2 1/2 lengths at odds of 25-1.
The surprise package in the Oaks could be Riviera Chic, who makes her American debut for trainer James Lloyd and Eagle Ridge Racing following a six-length win on a synthetic surface in a handicap at Wolverhampton Feb. 1. That was the Kentucky-bred Medaglia d'Oro filly's first win in four tries at Wolverhampton, though she placed in each of her three prior efforts against maidens.
$250,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I, Race 8, 3:38 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 MIles (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Sister Dawn (KY), V Espinoza, J W Sadler
2. Crisp (KY), J Rosario, J W Sadler
3. Riviera Chic (KY), M C Baze, J Lloyd
4. All Due Respect (FL), G K Gomez, K Walsh
5. Blind Luck (KY), R Bejarano, J Hollendorfer
6. Warren's Jitterbug (CA), J Talamo, J Gutierrez
7. Cozi Rosie (KY), M E Smith, J W Sadler
8. Zilva (PA), J Valdivia, Jr., H G Motion
Each carries 122 pounds.
Blinkers On: Crisp