Mini Sermon returns to Arlington Park Aug. 18 in search of her fifth straight victory for trainer Todd Pletcher as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III).
The 1 1/8-mile Polytrack test for 3-year-old fillies drew a field of seven.
Edward Evans’ Mini Sermon comes off a July 28 victory in Arlington's Sweetest Chant Stakes. A daughter of Pulpit, Mini Sermon’s win skein began when she broke her maiden over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April when sprinting seven furlongs. Her next two victories, including a score in the restricted Marking Time Stakes at Belmont Park, were contested over the one-turn mile distance.
Stretched out to two turns for the first time when sent off as the 4-5 choice in the Sweetest Chant, Mini Sermon stalked the early pace before taking the lead on the second turn. She rolled on to a one-length win under Rene Douglas, who rides again Aug. 18.
Darley Stable’s Marietta, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows in her last start June 29, is the 5-2 morning line second choice. In the Iowa Oaks, the Machiavellian filly was well off the pace before rallying in the stretch to take command. She drew off in the late stages for a 1 3/5-length victory. Trained by Eoin Harty, Marietta will be ridden in the Arlington by Mark Guidry.
Millennium Farms’ Humble Janet, 9-2 on the morning line, comes to Arlington after finishing fourth in the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont Park last month. In her start before the CCA Oaks, the Steve Asmussen-trained daughter of Humble Eleven finished second to Marietta in the Iowa Oaks despite being forced six-wide in the stretch. Robby Albarado gets the call.
Marquee Delivery and Aspiring, the two-three finishers in the Sweetest Chant, also figure in the Arlington Oaks. James Graham has a return call aboard the Philip Sims-trained Marquee Delivery ,while Chris Emigh picks up the mount aboard Aspiring, trained by Rusty Arnold.
$100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III, Race 9, 4:54 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Aspiring (KY), Christopher A. Emigh, 116, 10/1
2. Mini Sermon (VA), Rene R. Douglas, 120, 9/5
3. Humble Janet (AR), Robby Albarado, 116, 9/2
4. Marquee Delivery (KY), James Graham, 116, 4/1
5. Marietta (KY), Mark Guidry, 122, 5/2
6. Marquise (KY), Francisco C. Torres, 116, 20/1
7. Kiss With a Twist (KY), E.T. Baird, 116, 6/1