Immediately after post positions were drawn for Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), trainer Bernie Flint enthusiastically said, "I like that" in response to his Runway Model drawing post one for the 1 1/8-mile race.
"It was a good draw, she's in a good spot," said the trainer who indicated he was attending his first draw in two years in an attempt to bring his star filly a little extra luck. "She's got a great rider, and she a good horse. We're ready."
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has the mount aboard Naveed Chowhan's Runway Model for the first time.
Runway Model (by Petionville
) went to the track Tuesday morning registering a bullet three-furlong work in :35.20. "What can you say about her," the trainer said. "She's tall, muscled out, and the whole plan was to get her to this race. How good can she be, as good as she is."
In setting up strategy for the race, Flint said he was pleased there were more than six horses entered, which will allow his filly to follow or even challenge an established pace.
"I was praying for a large field," he said. "No more of those six or seven horse fields. The most problems you have with race horses comes in small fields because you don't have a true pace and it's really complicated with the handicapping. When you've got a large field like that, it's a regular race ... speed, middle horses, come from behind horses. That's why we're in the one hole and it's ideal."
Runway Model enters the Oaks after finishing second, beaten 10 ½ lengths by likely Oaks favorite Sis City in the April 9 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, after being bumped at the start and falling behind an early pace set by the winner and Amazing Buy.
Before the Ashland, Runway Model finished third in to fellow Oaks starter Summerly and Carlea in the March 12 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in her 3-year-old debut.
"P. Val will not let them get away in twenty-four and change and twenty-five and change and a half in fifty. I don't think that's going to happen because if it does they're going to have some company and I'm going to make sure he knows it."
Runway Model was bred in Kentucky by Everest Stables and has earned $713,598 with a career record of 4-3-3 from 12 career starts.