One Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) filly working out April 28 stood out for her attire—if nothing else—during Churchill Downs' special training time reserved for horses in its two biggest races.
Abel Tasman went on the work tab for seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5, but was asked for more run after the wire by jockey Martin Garcia and continued to run strongly well into the clubhouse turn at Santa Anita Park.
Two-year-old champion Classic Empire and Florida Derby (Grade I) runner-up State of Honor could bring a lifelong dream to the Mark Casse barn in the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 6.
Richard Mandella has a certain giddiness about him when one of his good horses is going well. Not so long ago, after Beholder's morning breezes, he had a frequent pep to his step. In the Santa Anita grandstand April 27, the excitement was back.
For the first time in nearly a month, trainer Todd Pletcher had all of his Kentucky Derby hopefuls in one shedrow.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) hopefuls J Boys Echo and Fast and Accurate breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs and Trackside Louisville, respectively, April 23.
"Beautiful" is how Mandella described the April 21 work of Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Paradise Woods, who went four furlongs in :47 3/5 Friday at Santa Anita Park in her penultimate exercise for the May 5 test.
State of Honor and Salty both put in five-furlong moves for trainer Mark Casse April 21 at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) May 6 and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 5.
Less than 24 hours after champion Classic Empire crossed the wire first in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), trainer Mark Casse was overseeing approximately 20 of his runners put in their first works at Churchill Downs April 16.
Behind a sustained late run through the far turn that saw her split horses entering the stretch, Clearview Stable’s Ever So Clever surged past rivals to register an upset victory April 14 in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Trainer Eddie Kenneally said morning of April 9 that the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) winner Sailor's Valentine, who won by a half-length at odds of 22-1, will be aimed at the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs May 5.
Hall of Fame trainer has 81 grade 1 wins but has never won the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Miss Sky Warrior will head to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on a roll after securing her fifth straight victory April 8 in the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Following in the footsteps of former stablemate Beholder, the lightly raced daughter of Union Rags romped by 11 3/4 lengths April 8 in the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Semaphore Racing and Homewrecker Racing's Sailor's Valentine broke through in a big way April 8, upsetting seven other 3-year-old fillies to win the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
In the days following four-time champion Beholder's departure from the barn of Richard Mandella, the Hall of Fame trainer was asked a simple question—what's next?
Miss Sky Warrior and Yorkiepoo Princess meet in the $300,000 Gazelle Stakes (G2) April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack, a race that will determine the likelihood of their progression to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Stonestreet Stables' Valadorna, runner up in the 2016 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), will miss the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and be sidelined the next few months after emerging from an April 1 workout with an injury.
Coffee Pot Stable's homebred Farrell, by Malibu Moon, drew clear in the lane of the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) to win by 31/4 lengths.
From maiden winner to Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospect, the talented bay picked up her first graded stakes score in her stakes debut, and earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. That's where Casse confirmed she's headed next.
Overlooked prior to her 14-1 upset of the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) six weeks ago, Dorothy Alexander Matz's homebred Tequilita figures to be one of the horses to beat when she returns to Gulfstream Park April 1.
Unique Bella, considered a leading contender for this year's Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), has been sidelined with a shin issue.
Living the Dream Racing's Purely a Dream picked up 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and completed an exacta sweep for trainer Ken McPeek in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) March 25 at Turfway Park.
Unique Bella, unbeaten in all but one of her five starts, posted a bullet six-furlong work the morning of March 19 in 1:11 1/5 to be the best of 10 at that distance at Santa Anita Park.
Coffee Pot Stables' homebred Farrell turned in an impressive move in her preparations for the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), drilling a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 18.
A talented field of sophomore fillies will travel one mile in the Caesar's Wish Stakes, with Fair Grounds shipper Jenda's Agenda looking to remain perfect while 3-year-old males led by O Dionysus try two turns in the Private Terms Stakes.
Potential Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contenders Farrell and Valadorna breezed March 10 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Farrell drilled a half-mile in :49 3/5, while Valadorna went in :49 1/5.
China Horse Club and Clearsky Farms' Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Abel Tasman has been moved from trainer Simon Callaghan to the barn of Bob Baffert, Callaghan said March 9.
Allen Poindexter's homebred Chanel's Legacy has dominated in Oaklawn's Dixie Belle and Martha Washington stakes. The 3-year-old filly takes the next logical step March 11 in the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) in Hot Springs, Ark.
Normandy Farm's Daddys Lil Darling, who ran in four graded stakes to close out 2016, takes to turf for her seasonal debut in the March 11 Florida Oaks (G3T) at Tampa Bay Downs.
Don Alberto Stable's Unique Bella finally got a challenge March 4 in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3), but shrugged it off in the final furlong to reestablish her standing as the current favorite for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Arlene London's homebred Miss Sky Warrior dispelled any notion of rust on her form when she came with a three-wide move on the final turn to score a victory in the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in her seasonal bow March 4.
Unique Bella will take on two fresh grade 1 winners in her next step toward Churchill Downs on the first Friday in May in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) March 4 at Santa Anita Park.
Both Brad Grady's Girvin and Coffeepot Stables' Farrell exited their Feb. 25 grade 2 victories well, according to their respective connections.
Danny Chen's Yorkiepoo Princess won her third straight stakes race at Aqueduct Racetrack Feb. 25 with another a clear score in the $150,000 Busher Stakes.
Picking up her third consecutive stakes score, the Malibu Moon filly aired by 3 1/2 lengths after showing the way from the start through solid fractions in the 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies.
- By BloodHorse Staff
- Thoroughbred Racing, Triple Crown, Kentucky Oaks, Northeast Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
Each week BloodHorse.com looks forward to the weekend's biggest races. This week we have a full slate of stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, a Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep at Aqueduct Racetrack, and more.
Multiple graded stakes winner and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) contender Unique Bella was sent out for a five-furlong move early Feb. 23 at Santa Anita Park. She breezed in 1:00 1/5 for her expected start in the March 4 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3).
The top four finishers of the Jan. 14 Ruthless Stakes, led by winner Yorkiepoo Princess, are entered for Aqueduct's Busher Stakes Feb. 25. The $150,000 race offers 50 points to the winner in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) standings.
Stonestreet Farm's homebred Breeders' Cup runner-up Valadorna takes on Coffeepot Stables' homebred Golden Rod Stakes (G2) romper Farrell in the 1 1/16-mile test.
With an early draw for the Feb. 25 Louisiana Derby Preview Day card, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots saw 38 horses entered for four graded stakes, including the $400,000 Risen Star (G2).
Sumaya U.S. Stables' Ghalia stamped herself as a candidate for the April 1 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with a gutsy performance in the featured ninth race Feb. 15 at Gulfstream Park.
Neil Howard and Wayne Catalano both have promising sophomores on the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks trail.
Oaklawn Park's road to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) begins Feb. 11 with the one-mile Martha Washington Stakes.
The 3-year-old Tapit filly owned by Don Alberto Stable and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer appeared as if she was just out for a breezy spin in her two-turn debut under jockey Mike Smith.
Champagne Room, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2016, will be in a unique position Feb. 5 at Santa Anita Park, where she'll make her 3-year-old debut in the Las Virgenes Stakes. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner likely won't be favored.
Stonestreet Stables' Valadorna took the necessary first step into her 3-year-old season with a confident score Jan. 27 in a conditional allowance race at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Coffeepot Stables' homebred Farrell picked up a stakes win and 10 more Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifying points with a 2 3/4 length win in the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 21 at Fair Ground Race Course & Slots.
Coffeepot Stables' star sophomore filly Farrell continues to work well for three-time Breeders' Cup-winning conditioner Wayne Catalano and is considered possible for the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 21 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Although the Tapit filly opened up as the 1-5 favorite in the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2), when the gates opened she was not the favorite, but she performed like she was odds-on.
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