KY Oaks Contenders Arrive at Churchill
Photo: Reed Palmer Photography, Churchill Downs
Dreaming of Julia arrives at Churchill Downs.

Dreaming of Julia, 21 3/4-length winner of the Gulfstream Oaks (gr. II), and undefeated Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) winner Unlimited Budget arrived at Churchill Downs April 8 at 6:50 p.m. EDT and will continue their preparations for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) beneath the Twin Spires.

Dreaming of Julia (ranked No. 3 on the "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" Leaderboard) and Unlimited Budget (No. 2) arrived from their winter base at Palm Meadows in good order and are stabled in Barn 34 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who said his Oaks contenders will be joined at Churchill Downs by Revolutionary (ranked No. 4 on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com" Leaderboard) on April 12 and Verrazano (No. 2) April 14.

"I thought (Dreaming of Julia) would run well, but I don't think you ever expect one to run like that," Pletcher said. "Hopefully she can repeat it. (Unlimited Budget) had a great winter and she's been moving forward. Every race has been a little better."

Silsita, winner of the Fathead Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) by a nose over Marathon Lady, also arrived at Pletcher's Churchill Downs barn Monday evening to be prepared for a run in the Kentucky Oaks. Pletcher, who won the Oaks in 2007 with Rags to Riches and in 2004 with Ashado, said the fillies could breeze over the Churchill Downs oval Sunday.

Joining Pletcher's Oaks contenders on the trip from South Florida were Palm Beach (gr. III) runner-up Charming Kitten and Palace Malice (No. 32), third in the Risen Star (gr. II) and most recently seventh in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II). Both colts are scheduled to run in Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I).

Other notable Monday arrivals for Pletcher include Abraham, third in the Sunland Derby (gr. III); Rampart (gr. III) runner-up Authenticity; 2011 Demoiselle (gr. II) winner Disposablepleasure; 2012 Derby Trial (gr. III) winner Hierro; Hutcheson (gr. II) runner-up Forty Tales  ; Suwannee River (gr. III) winner Channel Lady; and stakes winners Stopshoppingmaria and Fusaichiswonderful.

Pletcher added that Forty Tales is under consideration for the April 20 Coolmore Lexington (gr. III) at Keeneland and the rest of his Monday arrivals are being pointed toward Derby week stakes at Churchill Downs. Pletcher also reported that Louisiana Derby winner Revolutionary was expected to arrive at Churchill Downs from WinStar Farm April 12.

Pletcher was scheduled to return to New York for the remainder of the week, but said he'd be back in Kentucky April 13 for the Blue Grass and expected to remain there through the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

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