Road to the Kentucky Oaks

Churchill To Host 12 Stakes Worth $3.7 Million During September Meet

A dozen stakes cumulatively worth a record $3,775,000 will be offered during the 14-day September Meet at Churchill Downs, which runs Sept. 14-Oct. 1 (pending Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund final approval). The meet will offer horsemen plenty of opportunities to prep for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita, led by the GII Lukas Classic for 3-year-olds and the GIII Ack Ack--a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race for the Dirt Mile--Saturday, Sept. 30. Additionally, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks series will kick-off Saturday,...

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Key Of Life Just Hangs On In Beaumont

The model of consistency in her young career, Key of Life (Mo Town) turned in another gutsy performance Sunday with a coast-to-coast win in the GII Beaumont S., the final race in the 2023 Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Never off the board in her seven prior starts, including a three-race win streak last Fall at both Churchill Downs and Keeneland, the $350,000 OBS April grad entered off a 3 1/4-length score in Oaklawn's Purple Martin S. where she posted a career-best 91 Beyer Speed Figure. Bet like a sure...

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Faiza Stays Perfect In Santa Ysabel

Michael Lund Peterson's Faiza (Girvin) kept her record perfect in tact--and gave her sire his second graded win of the weekend--with a stylish victory in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. at Santa Anita Sunday. Sent off the 4-5 favorite, the bay filly tracked pacesetting longshot Blessed Touch (Girvin) through moderate fractions of :24.00 and :48.32. She stuck a head in front into the far turn, but Blessed Touch, proving surprisingly determined, battled back and those two rivals turned for home together with And Tell Me Nolies (Arrogate) joining the fray...

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Wet Paint Provides Thrilling Finish To Honeybee

Since breaking her maiden two starts back over a sloppy track at Horseshoe Indy last fall and parlaying that into a win last time out in the Martha Washington S. over a wet-fast track at Oaklawn, Wet Paint (Blame) proved that her fondness for the off going was no fluke Saturday with a rousing win in the GIII Honeybee S. The new leader on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks with the 50 points earned Saturday giving her a total of 70 points, the Godolphin homebred broke a beat slow...

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Connect's The Alys Look Steals Silverbulletday S. Win

After romping by seven lengths to break her maiden at third asking over this same track and distance Dec. 1, The Alys Look checked in second behind 'TDN Rising Star' Pretty Mischievous in the Untapable S. Dec. 26. Going for her third straight effort at a mile and 70 yards Saturday, the Brad Cox trainee hung a length back outside of pacesetter Hayunevano through fractions of :24.37 and :48.08. As that leader began to fade past the quarter pole, The Alys Look got the first jump to take command as...

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Occult Leaves No Doubt In Busanda

Picked up for $625,000 by Alpha Delta Stables LLC out of the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Occult missed out in fourth on her debut at Belmont's Aqueduct meeting Sept. 17 but returned at one mile to break her maiden in style by 4 1/4 lengths to finish her juvenile season Dec. 18. The 7-5 choice for her first try against stakes company, Occult had a sharp beginning but was outrun into the first turn by Sweetest Princess (Cairo Prince) to her outside. Patiently handled by jockey Dylan Davis in...

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NYRA Announces Spring Stakes Schedule

The stakes schedule for the 2023 spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, featuring 14 stakes worth nearly $2.8 million in total purses, was released Friday, Dec. 16 The 19-day spring meet will open Mar. 30 and continue through Apr. 30. Live racing will be conducted Thursday-Sunday except for Apr. 9, when live racing and pari-mutuel wagering is prohibited by New York State in observance of Easter Sunday. The $150,000 GIII Distaff H., a seven-furlong contest for older fillies and mares, will kick off the spring meet graded stakes action Friday, Apr....

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Julia 'Shines' in Demoiselle

Just like her full-sister, champion Malathaat (Curlin), Julia Shining (Curlin) not only won her debut at Keeneland Oct. 16, but did so in 'TDN Rising Star'-fashion. And she followed in her GI Breeders' Cup Distaff-winning sister's hoofprints once again Saturday, capturing the GII Demoiselle S. in the slop at Aqueduct. Favored just like her sister, albeit at 1-2 instead of 2-5, Julia Shining was even farther back than Malathaat was in her Demoiselle, racing in second last as 37-1 shot Tribal Queen (Bolt d'Oro) clocked opening splits of :24.61 and...

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McPeek's Fun and Feisty Runs Away with Pocahontas

Kenny McPeek captured his third GIII Pocahontas S. in the last eight years when Fun and Feisty (Midshipman--Grouse Grind, by First Samurai) crossed the line an emphatic winner Saturday at Churchill Downs. The winner didn't have any speed in the 12-horse field and settled in the back, second from last yet well in front of Naughty Gal (Into Mischief), the GIII Adirondack S. winner who trailed throughout. After favored Grand Love (Gun Runner) showed the way through :23.74 and :48.07 early fractions, Fun and Feisty remained well behind but was...

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Derby Points for Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Other Races Upped

The "Road to the Kentucky Derby," a series of races awarding points toward a starting gate position in each year's GI Kentucky Derby, will see modifications for the upcoming season, including an increase of points for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3. In addition, other early-season prep races have been elevated from 10-4-2-1 to 20-8-6-4-2 in an effort to increase the importance of those races. They include the GIII Lecomte S. at Fair Grounds, the GIII Southwest S. at Oaklawn Park, the GIII Withers S. at Aqueduct,...

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Arrogate's Secret Oath Dominates Martha Washington

Secret Oath stamped herself as a major player on the GI Kentucky Oaks trail with her second straight eye-catching victory at Oaklawn Park. Breaking her maiden Oct. 31 by over five lengths beneath the Twin Spires in her second career start, Secret Oath came up empty finishing a well-beaten fifth in the GII Golden Rod S. next out Nov. 27. After dominating her allowance rivals with a visually impressive score with first-time Lasix last out Dec. 31 at Oaklawn Park, she returned just as brilliantly here. Coming off Lasix for...

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Medaglia d'Oro Half to Clairiere Wins Silverbulletday

La Crete (Medaglia d'Oro--Cavorting, by Bernardini), a half-sister to one of last year's 3-year-old filly stars in Clairiere (Curlin), threw her own hat into the ring with a dogged win in the Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds as the current sophomore filly embers begin to flare on the road to the GI Kentucky Oaks. Bumping with Sweet as Pie (Tapit) at the break, La Crete made the lead with Fannie and Freddie (Malibu Moon) tracking in second. La Crete stayed in front through :24.50 and :48.79 fractions, but drifted out...

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