Friday, March 25, 2011


KENTUCKY OAKS 137 UPDATE Friday, March 25, 2011


SOUTH (Arkansas, Louisiana) / INGLORIOUS TACKLES MCPEEK ‘B’ TEAM I FAIR GROUNDS OAKS – Two-time stakes winner Inglorious will bid for the biggest victory of her career and a possible spot in the starting gate for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when she runs as the morning line favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (GII)..

Inglorious was a two-time stakes winner in Canada last year and finished a fast-closing runner-up to Kentucky Oaks Future Wager favorite Kathmanblu in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (GIII) at the New Orleans track in her 2011 debut. Jockey Chantal Sutherland will travel from California to ride the daughter of Hennessy for trainer Josie Carroll.


While Ken McPeek elected to pass on the Fair Grounds Oaks in favor of a run in Keeneland’s Central Bank Ashland (GI) on April 9, the Kentucky-based trainer will bid to win the 1 1/16-mile race with his “B” team in Niji’s Grand Girl. The daughter of Candy Ride is coming off a runner-up finish in the Florida Oaks (GIII) at Tampa Bay Downs.

“She’s a really good filly and has a lot of talent in her own right,” McPeek told Daily Racing Form. “If she’s not Batman, at least she’s Robin.”

Other contenders include Tapit Dancer, Snow Fall, Grandacious, Switching Gears and St. John’s River.

MIDWEST (Illinois, Kentucky) / JONES LOOKS FOR ANOTHER OAKS HOPE IN SUMMER SOIREE – Kentucky native J. Larry Jones, back on the job training horses following a year on the sidelines, already has a strong Kentucky Oaks contender in his barn in Fox Hill Farm’s Honeybee (GIII) winner Joyful Victory and he hopes to have another after Summer Soiree runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park.

Wahoo Partners and Brereton and Bret Jones’ daughter of War Front, an easy 9 ¾-length winner in her 2011 debut in an Oaklawn Park allowance race, is one of 11 fillies entered in the one-mile Bourbonette Oaks. Gabriel Saez will ride Summer Soiree for Jones, who won the Kentucky Oaks for Brereton Jones in 2007 with Proud Spell.

Other major players in the Bourbonette Oaks include Harlan’s Ruby, winner of Turfway’s Valdale for trainer Ken McPeek; Valdale runner-up Kitten’s Dancer and California Oaks winner Lilacs and Lace.

WEST (Arizona, California, New Mexico) – BAFFERT’S PLUM PRETTY HEADS SUNLAND PARK OAKS – Plum Pretty, third to Kentucky Oaks contender Zazu in the Las Virgenes (GI) at Santa Anita, travels to New Mexico’s Sunland Park on Sunday to compete as the likely favorite in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.

The Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro will be ridden by Martin Garcia as she faces five rivals in the Oaks. Local hopes in the race are headed by Golden Springs and Formal Plan, the 1-2 finishers in the Island Fashion Stakes.

RIGOLETTA RETIRED – Erik and Pavla Nygaard’s Rigoletta, winner of the Oak Leaf (GI) and one of the top 2-year-old fillies of 2010, has been retired from injury after suffering a tendon injury. The Dan Hendricks-trained daughter of Concerto finished sixth to Joyful Victory in her final start in the $100,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park. She won twice in six races.


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