Stewart Targets Mother Goose for Oaks Victor

(from Churchill Downs notes)
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Lemons Forever returns to serious training this weekend with an eye toward the $250,000 Mother Goose (gr. I at Belmont Park, trainer Dallas Stewart said from Churchill Downs Wednesday.

"We're going to hopefully breeze her Saturday or Sunday," Stewart said of the 3-year-old Lemon Drop Kid  filly. "We've stepped her pace up a little bit on her training and she's responded and she's doing well. She looks good and she feels good."

The 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose is July 1.

Stewart said he's impressed with the way his filly, a 47-1 shot who scored the biggest upset in the 132-year history of the Oaks on May 5, has responded since her breakthrough victory.

"She's doing great," he said. "We haven't really pressed on her, but she's doing well so far."

Stewart, who co-owns Lemons Forever with Leon, Willis and Terry Horton, said the thought of the Oaks victory continues to bring a smile to all of the filly's connections nearly three weeks after the race.

"You can't ever imagine as a 15-year-old kid getting in the business that you might own a piece of a horse or train one that wins a race like that," said Stewart. "It's a special feeling."

The trainer is now a member of a small club in Oaks history that have both owned and trained a winner of the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks. Northern California training king Jerry Hollendorfer trained 1996 Oaks winner Pike Place Dancer and co-owned the filly with George Todaro. Before that, the last person to occupy both roles was Mary Keim, who owned and trained 1965 Oaks winner Amerivan.