Don't tell Proud Spell's owner and breeder, Brereton C. Jones, that his bay filly isn't tough. Even though the daughter of Proud Citizen lacks size, Jones has seen plenty of evidence that she's one of the grittiest runners on the track today.
Carriage Trail took over rounding the far turn, opened up a big lead in the stretch and despite drifting out badly, went on to win the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) in stakes record time under Kent Desormeaux Oct. 5 on the Keeneland Polytrack. The victory earned the 5-year-old mare an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Oct. 24 at Santa Anita.
Godolphin Stable's homebred Little Belle will try to pick up where she left off this past spring at Keeneland and punch her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) later this month when she battles 10 older rivals in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) Oct. 5 in Lexington.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred Indian Blessing will try older horses for the first time and stretch out past a mile once again, as she battles eight fillies and mares in the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Sept. 6 at Belmont Park.
Proud Spell reasserted her position as the best 3-year-old filly in the land when she bettered Music Note in a stirring stretch drive to win the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) by a head at Saratoga Aug. 16.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Proud Spell takes on at least one-half of a powerful Godolphin Stable entry in a small but entertaining line-up for the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 16.
Godolphin's Music Note, impressive winner of the grade I Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks likely will stay in her own division and point for the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 16.
Godolphin's Music Note is likely headed for the $600,000 Alabama Stakes (gr. I) along with stablemate Little Belle Aug. 16 at Saratoga, although the Travers (gr. I) remains a possibility for the two-time grade I winner in New York this season.
Godolphin Racing's Music Note put on an awesome display in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 19 Belmont, taking over at the quarter-pole and romping to an 11-length win for her second consecutive grade I score.
The coupled entry of Music Note and Little Belle, both grade I winners trained by Saeed bin Suroor, head a short field of five in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 19 at Belmont, but don't count out Acoma, a good-looking Empire Maker filly who enters off a three-race win streak.
Trainer Larry Jones scratched the filly Eight Belles from the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and then proceeded to win the race with Proud Spell.
Darley Stable's Little Belle, winner of the April 5 Ashland Stakes (gr. I), sailed through her April 25 half-mile work at Keeneland in :46.20, second-fastest of 42 outings at the distance.
Trainer Larry Jones said it is still up in the air whether his filly Eight Belles will challenge the boys in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) or if she will battle the fillies the day before in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Fox Hill Farms' Eight Belles, who made the $250,000 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park her fourth consecutive victory, emerged as a narrow favorite as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager concluded April 6.
Darley Stabe's Little Belle battled back in the stretch to fend off Bsharpsonata to capture Saturday's Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland by a hard-fought neck.
A field of seven, headlined by graded stakes winners Country Star and Proud Spell, will take to the gate for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5 at Keeneland.
A field of nine fillies is expected for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) April 5 at Keeneland, and the race should help sort out who is the best filly heading into the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
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