Four shippers and five locals comprise the field for the 36th running of the Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies Saturday. She's A Devil Due, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, drew the No. 4 post-position for the $350,000 Grade II race.
She's A Devil Due will start for the first time since finishing a fast-closing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) for trainer Kenny McPeek.
Mark Guidry will ride She's A Devil Due, who is set to arrive at Fair Grounds on Friday morning along with Hero's Tribute.
"She's ready to run," McPeek said. "We felt this was a good spot to start off her 3-year-old season."
She's A Devil Due has won four of five career starts, including a win in the Grade II Alcibiades last
October at Keeneland. She has earned $495,320 for owners Mike Goetz and Brian Griggs. She's A Devil Due will be joined by a field of eight fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The local favorites include Tiffany Lass Stakes winner Wood Sprite and Silverbulletday Stakes winner Lakenheath. Wood Sprite skipped the Silverbulletday for good reason, according to trainer David Carroll.
"We needed to skip the Silverbulletday and give her a little more time to mature," Carroll said. "I think we have a very big chance. She got a little tired towards the end of the Tiffany Lass, but she's run good around two turns." Carroll stays with Larry Melancon aboard Wood Sprite.
Lakenheath and Scoop will run as a coupled entry for owner Jim Tafel Lakenheath closed with a flurry to nose out Morning Sun in the Silverbulletday.
Corey Lanerie will break from the No. 2 post under Lakenheath. Lonnie Meche will ride Scoop, the other half of the entry trained by Gene Cilio. Challenging She's A Devil Due for the lead will be Beloved By All. Owned by Ackerley Brothers Farm and trained by Steve Asmussen, Beloved By All found herself in a speed duel with My Meggie Meg in her first race around two turns in the Silverbulletday. Asmussen knows his horse will be near the front again on Saturday.
"Coming back that quick after an eight-month break is why she got a little short in that race," Asmussen said of the Silverbulletday. "She has the natural speed to make the lead, but everybody knows the biggest question with her is whether she will get the distance or not." Donnie Meche will pilot Beloved By All from the No. 3 post- position. The rest of the Oaks field includes (with jockeys) Irguns Angel (Jose Valdivia), trained Alfredo Marquez; Real Cozzy (Eddie Martin Jr.), trained by Dan Peitz; Mystic Lady (Robby Albarado), trained by Mark Hennig; and Blue Springs (Frank Lovato Jr.), trained by Nick Canani.