Two Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) hopefuls turned in workouts at Keeneland and Lone Star Park April 16.
It’s Tea Time, who broke her maiden at second asking in a 1 1/8-mile turf contest at Gulfstream Park Feb. 21, had an impressive run in the April 3 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) when finishing second by a neck to Evening Jewel. The daughter of Dynaformer currently has $108,000 in earnings, which ranks her 13th on the graded stakes earnings list for the Oaks. Only 14 horses are allowed to start in the April 30 race.
“(It’s Tea Time) worked very well,” said trainer Rusty Arnold of the filly, who was ridden by apprentice jockey Freddie Lenclud and was ranked 16 of 39 horses at the four-furlong distance that day. “I think she went along well…she’s never been a fast work horse. The work was good and solid, showed good energy, she came out of it well, and sent us to move her forward.”
Arnold said even though It’s Tea Time has never raced on a dirt surface he has confidence she will fare well in the Oaks due to her dirt pedigree.
Arnold saddled It’s Tea Time’s second dam Rootentootenwooten (by Diesis) to win the 1989 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. I). As a broodmare, Rootentootenwooten produced grade II victor Kukulcan (by Cox’s Ridge).
Out of the Storm Cat mare Prof. McGonagall, It’s Tea Time is owned by her breeder, Lexington resident Alex Campbell.
Bella Diamante was clocked the second fastest of 18 horses that worked the five-furlong distance April 16. The daughter of Lost Soldier, who has a 2-3-0 record from seven starts, is trained by Allen Milligan for Lone Star Stables.
The filly has finished runner up in three stakes, including the 2009 Boyd Gaming’s Delta Princess Stakes Powered by Youbet.com (gr. III) and ranks 11th on the Oaks graded stakes earnings list with $179,281.
Bred in Kentucky by Weldon Johnson Jr., Bella Diamante is out of the Badger Land mare Sharons Song.