Sweet Catomine Tops 144 Noms for Ky. Oaks

(from Churchill Downs release)
Sweet Catomine, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the champion 2-year-old filly of 2004, heads a list of 144 3-year-old fillies nominated to the 131st running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on May 6.

The roster of horses nominated to the 1 1/8-mile race equaled last year's nomination list.

"In a year in which the 3-year-old crop was sharply reduced by MRLS and nominations to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) were off, the number of Oaks-nominated fillies remained steady," said Doug Bredar, Churchill Downs' racing secretary. "We believe that is evidence of continued growth in the prestige and attractiveness of a race that we believe is now America's premier event for 3-year-old fillies."

Trainer Julio Canani said Sweet Catomine galloped Wednesday and is scheduled to work five furlongs Saturday in preparation for the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) on March 13.

Sweet Catomine, a daughter of Storm Cat owned by Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod, dominated the Breeders' Cup event at Lone Star Park. She was an overwhelming choice for the Eclipse Award for the juvenile filly champion of 2004. Sweet Catomine won Santa Ysabel (gr. III) at Santa Anita in her 3-year-old debut.

Other 3-year-old filly stars nominated to the Kentucky Oaks include Naveed Chowhan's Runway Model, winner of the Darley Aclibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland and the Golden Rod (gr. II) at Churchill Downs; Sis City, a 16-length winner of the Davona Dale (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, owned by a partnership that includes New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre; Peter Vegso's Splendid Blended, winner of the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I); J. Paul Reddam and Suarez Racing's Sharp Lisa, winner of the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita; Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's Summerly, an easy winner of the Silverbulletday (gr. III) at the Fair Grounds; and Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor's Maddelena, unbeaten winner of Gulfstream's Old Hat (gr. III).

Other stakes winning or stakes-placed fillies nominated to the 2005 Kentucky Oaks include Ofer Stable LLC's Kota; Betty J. Currin's Memorette; Smith and Tabor's Sense of Style; Ogden Mills Phipps' Salute; Live Oak Plantation's In The Gold; Robert and Beverly Lewis' Hot Attraction and Classic Elegance; Robert A. Adams' Hot Storm; Mike Pegram's Pussycat Doll; Stanley Seelig's The Beter Man Can; Paraneck Stable's Amazing Buy; Jack Smith III Thoroughbreds' Culinary; Pandora Farms, LLC's Dance Away Capote; Barbara Vivian and Dominic Vittese's Aclassysassylassy; and Arizona Oaks winner She Sings.

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who won the Kentucky Oaks in 1998 with Keeper Hill and in 2001 with Flute, led all trainers with 10 Oaks nominations. Kiaran McLaughlin made eight fillies eligible for the race, while Todd Pletcher, who saddled Ashado to win last year's Oaks, and Dallas Stewart each nominated six fillies.

Fillies that have not been nominated to the Oaks could still be made eligible for the race at the time of entry with the payment of a supplemental nomination fee of $25,000.

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