Defeating four older fillies and mares, Juddmonte Farms' Close Hatches secured her third grade I with a front-running performance in the $588,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Close Hatches will try to add a third top-level victory to her resume in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), in which she meets four opponents, including last year's winner On Fire Baby, April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Favored at odds of 3-5 and making her first start of the season, Juddmonte's 4-year-old First Defence filly galloped wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile test, taking rider Joel Rosario straight to the winner's circle March 15.
Don't Tell Sophia has sailed through the early part of 2014, but faces a stout test March 15 in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) against multiple grade I winner Close Hatches, On Fire Baby, and Flashy American.
Emollient will face her elders as one of 11 entered for the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 6 at Keeneland. Others include grade I winners On Fire Baby and Byrama, and grade II winner Summer Applause.
Anita Cauley's homebred colt Wry, a homebred son of Distorted Humor out of a half sister to grade I winner On Fire Baby, cruised to a smart maiden win by three lengths in his second career start Sept. 7 at Churchill Downs.
Champion mare Royal Delta is the class of a small group entered in the $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 25 at Saratoga, but as we saw last year in this event, sometimes even class gets beat.
Champion Royal Delta will seek a title defense in the June 15 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. She is expected to be joined in her trip to the Louisville oval by sales-topping stablemate Mr. Besilu.
Padua Stables' Authenticity held off On Fire Baby in a fierce stretch battle to win the La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) by a head May 3 at Churchill Downs. The 6-year-old mare sets a stakes record of 1:42.09 for 1 1/16-miles.
Nearly one year after securing a victory in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), Brereton Jones homebred Believe You Can returns to racing at Churchill Downs in the $300,000 La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) May 3.
Oaklawn Park stewards have suspended jockey Joe Johnson three days for his winning ride aboard On Fire Baby in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). The suspension runs April 17-19.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby hadn't raced since May 28 of last year. She came back with a vengeance April 12, holding off Tiz Miz Sue to win the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn by half a length.
Grade I winner Grace Hall, seeking her first win of the 2013 campaign, will face six opponents in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 12 at Oaklawn Park as the 118-pound top weight.
Even-money choice Contested went gate to wire as the easiest of winners in the $300,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) May 28 at Belmont Park.
Anita Cauley's homebred On Fire Baby cuts back to a one-turn mile at Belmont Park in the May 28 TVG Acorn Stakes (gr. I). The Smoke Glacken filly was a disappointing fifth as the second choice in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Among the list of current Acorn probables is Anita Ebert-Cauley's homebred filly On Fire Baby, who is looking to redeem a lackluster fifth-place effort in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Believe You Can predict the winner of this year's Kentucky Oaks? Predict the Order
A visual look at the Kentucky Oaks field in post position order. View Slideshow
While the striking bay Grace Hall has the favored 5-2 morning line status in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), there are plenty of other fillies in the full field of 14 that deserve much more than a passing glance.
Here is a look at some of the interesting meanings behind the names of this year's Kentucky Oaks fillies read blog
- By Esther Marr
Comments from Kentucky Oaks contender On Fire Baby's owner/trainer Anita Cauley and trainer Gary Hartlage. Watch Video
Fifteen 3-year-old fillies entered for May 4 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). On Fire Baby draws the rail; Oaks Lilly on the outside looking in.
Anita Cauley's homebred On Fire Baby tuned up for the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) with a seven-furlong breeze in 1:27 at Churchill Downs April 27.
Summer Applause, On Fire Baby, and Grace Hall all worked April 20.
This year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) picture is shaping up nicely, with a talented cast of fillies poised to contend on the first Friday in May at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Gary Hartlage said that owner Anita Cauley wants a fresh horse for the Kentucky Oaks, so their multiple graded stakes winner On Fire Baby will not run in either the Fantasy or Arkansas Derby.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace tops the list of horses nominated to the stakes extravaganza that, along with the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), comprise the "Racing Festival of the South" at Oaklawn Park April 11-14.
The one broodmare she didn't let get away has produced three stakes winners including Honeybee winner On Fire Baby read blog
Her latest workout came March 27 at Oaklawn Park when she covered seven furlongs in 1:27 4/5. Following that drill, her connections are pondering the April 11 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) or April 14 Arkansas Derby (gr. I).
Odds-on choice On Fire Baby won the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) by two lengths at Oaklawn Park March 10, setting up an interesting decision for trainer Gary Hartlage and owner/breeder Anita Cauley.
Back in against fillies, the talented On Fire Baby will be the one to beat in the $125,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 10.
A strong mix of accomplished stars headed by major stakes performers Grace Hall and On Fire Baby comprise the list of 94 fillies nominated to the Kentucky Oaks.
Anita Cauley's On Fire Baby rolled through another fast workout the morning of March 3 at Oaklawn as the 3-year-old daughter of Smoke Glacken prepares for the March 11 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III).
Junebugred made his 2012 debut a winning one, but it was close. The chestnut son of Corinthian defeated 17-1 longshot Reckless Jerry by a neck in the $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park Jan. 16.
Oaklawn Park's road to the Triple Crown, which culminates with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) this spring, begins Jan. 16 with the $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes.
Anita Cauley's 3-year-old filly On Fire Baby, winner of two grade II stakes at the 2011 Churchill Downs fall meet, is poised to challenge males in the $100,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn Park.
WinStar Farm and Todd Pletcher, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club in 2009 with Super Saver before sending him off to win the Kentucky Derby, completed the first part of the double again with Gemologist Nov. 26 at Churchill.
Overlooked after her fifth-place finish in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I), On Fire Baby registered a 9-1 upset in a wide-open renewal of the $173,400 Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Oct. 30.
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