The 137th running of the prestigious Kentucky Oaks drew a field of 13 on Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs. The Grade 1 race will be run on Friday afternoon with a post time set for 5:24pm EST. The race will be televised on Versus.
With the withdrawal of R Heat Lightning, Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms Joyful Victory was as installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
“We’ve got the shortest way around; we drew the rail” said Joyful Victory’s trainer Larry Jones.
“I don’t think (jockey) Mike (Smith of Zenyatta fame) will have to do anything in particular…we’re not expected to go to the front,” said Jones. “If we had a front runner, you’ve got to break well, but we’ll probably be mid pack anyway…there’s a lot of speed in (the field). There’s going to be some (fillies) behind us…but we should get a good trip”.
Multiple stakes winner Kathmanblu (#4) and, recent conqueror of Turbulent Descent, Zazu (#6) were listed as co-second choices at 4-1.
Lilacs and Lace, who won the Ashland in her last start at 48-1 and knocked off heavy favorite Kathmanblu in the process, drew the #2 post and opens at 12-1 morning line.
“It’s fine…she’s quick early; she broke from the inside in the Ashland,” trainer John Terranova said of Lilacs and Lace, “I hope we can get it done from there; we’ll see.”
Of the 13 entered, an eye popping seven have morning line odds of 20-1 or better.
Of one of the super longshots, St. John’s River (30-1), owner Dede McGhee said “I’m thrilled; I’m happy, I think I’d rather be outside than inside; we aren’t going to be in the front. I’m just happy to be here; I just leave all the logistics to (trainer) Andy Leggio.”
The Field: (in Post Position Order, Jockey and Morning Line or Opening Odds)
|1||Joyful Victory||Smith, Mike||5/2|
|2||Lilacs and Lace||Castellano, Javier||12/1|
|3||Summer Soiree||Saez, Gabriel||5/1|
|5||Suave Voir Faire||Mena, Miguel||50/1|
|7||Her Smile||Gomez, Garret||20/1|
|8||Bouquet Booth||Albarado, Robby||20/1|
|9||Daisy Devine||Graham, James||20/1|
|10||Street Storm||Bridgmohan, Shaun||50/1|
|11||Holy Heavens||Desormeaux, Kent||50/1|
|12||Plum Pretty||Garcia, Martin||5/1|
|13||St. Jonn’s River||Napravnik, Rosie||30/1|
I will have a complete analysis of the race posted no later that Thursday evening, so be sure and check back with me.
In a developing story, the Kentucky Derby lost another of its horses that was sure to take some betting action on Saturday.
Trainer Graham Motion noticed Wood Memorial winner Toby’s Corner limping slightly on his left rear leg and was immediately sent to New Bolton Center in West Chester, Pa., to be examined.
Toby’s Corner spent the night at New Bolton and all the tests proved negative. He was returned to Motion’s farm near Fair Hill earlier on May 3rd.