Travel Column

Oaks, Eight Belles Runners Converge in Acorn

Five of the six runners in Saturday's prestigious GI Acorn S. at Belmont were last seen competing on the GI Kentucky Oaks card Apr. 30 at Churchill, and now they'll all run together. Busher Invitational S. and GIII Gazelle S. heroine Search Results (Flatter) missed by just a neck last time in the Oaks after a hard-fought battle with unbeaten Malathaat (Curlin). "It's five weeks and [after the Kentucky Oaks] I said I'm going to point to the race under no pressure to run and [owner Seth] Klarman was fine...

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Oaks Day Back Where It Belongs

LOUISVILLE, KY - Now, this is much more like it. With a forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s, the GI Kentucky Oaks returns to its traditional spot on the calendar Friday. While last year's delayed GI Kentucky Derby and Oaks were both conducted spectator-free over Labor Day weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limited crowds of between 40,000-50,000--health and safety protocols in place and all-are expected to be on hand at Churchill Downs this weekend. Following the withdrawal of Ava's Grace (Laoban) earlier this week,...

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Bandoroff's Dream of a Denali Exacta

If anyone sees Conrad Bandoroff on the Churchill Downs backside Friday morning, be sure to check in on him. With the possibility of a Denali-consigned exacta in the GI Kentucky Oaks, the farm's vice president said the flutter of butterflies in his stomach will probably have doubled in size by the dawning of Oaks Day. "During the lead up throughout the week, there's always so much going on that you can kind of keep yourself distracted," he said. "I imagine that Thursday night, that's when it might start to set...

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'Rising Star' Malathaat Favored For Oaks 147

'TDN Rising Star' Malathaat (Curlin), undefeated in four career starts and winner of her seasonal debut in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. at Keeneland Apr. 3, was made the 5-2 favorite from gate 10 on Mike Battaglia's morning line for Friday's 147th running of the GI Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. One of three in the race for her outstanding sire, Malathaat--a daughter of 2013 Oaks fourth Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Indy)--defeated Millefeuille (Curlin, gate 14) in the GII Demoiselle S. last December and was very game in...

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TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for Apr. 8

After the busiest weekend of the year for 3-year-old fillies eyeing the GI Kentucky Oaks, the field is pretty much set for the race. There were four preps over the weekend, which was a problem. There are not enough top horses to go around to fill that many races, so the fields were six, six, six and four. It looks like the Oaks will be highly competitive. There is no one standout. Instead, you will have a number of horses in with a chance and a favorite who should be...

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Classic Bound Sophs Highlight Saturday Worktab

On a brisk spring morning, Juddmonte Farm's Mandaloun (Into Mischief) began his serious preparation toward the GI Kentucky Derby with a half-mile breeze in :49.80 under jockey Florent Geroux Saturday. The GII Risen Star S. winner worked outside of stakes winner Australasia through a moderate :25.40 opening quarter-mile fraction. The duo galloped out together through five furlongs in 1:02.60 and completed the work with a six-furlong time of 1:16.40, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. Trained by Brad Cox, Mandaloun was the 6-5 favorite in the Mar. 20 GII...

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TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for April 1

The picture for the GI Kentucky Oaks might look a lot different late Saturday afternoon than it does at the present. There are four races on tap-the GIII Gazelle S., the GI Ashland S., the GIII Fantasy and the GII Santa Anita Oak--that will feature more than a dozen serious candidates for the last Friday in April. Five horses among our top 10 are slated to go. Meanwhile, last weekend's action featured a win in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks for Crazy Beautiful (Liam's Map) and a strong showing for...

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The TDN Oaks Top 10 for Mar. 25

For most of this year, this has been a division where no one necessarily stood out. That all changed last Saturday at the Fair Grounds, where Travel Column (Frosted) won the GII Fair Grounds Oaks, soundly beating her rival, Clairiere (Curlin). Not only did she defeat a top horse, it was a dominating performance. There are still a bunch of preps to go, but unless someone steps up with a phenomenal effort in a prep, Travel Column will be your favorite in the GI Kentucky Oaks. After running sixth in...

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Frosted's Travel Column Turns The Tables on Clairiere in FG Oaks

'TDN Rising Star' Travel Column (Frosted) and the regally bred Clairiere (Curlin) have developed a competitive rivalry as they proceed down the GI Kentucky Oaks trail, with one apiece from their two prior meetings. Saturday's GII Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks was billed as another match race between the two and it was Travel Column who broke the tie with a decisive score over Clairiere. Awarded 2-1 favoritism over her familiar foe, Travel Column came away running from her outside post in this eight-horse affair, but was out-footed to the lead...

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Clairiere and Travel Column Face Off Once Again in FG Oaks

Blue-blooded Clairiere (Curlin) and pricey yearling purchase Travel Column (Frosted) boast one win each from their two prior match-ups and one will break the tie Saturday in the GII Fair Grounds Oaks. Clairiere came out on top by a gutsy neck in their last meeting in NOLA in the GII Rachel Alexandra S. Feb. 13. Out of MGISW Cavorting (Bernardini), the Stonestreet Stables homebred won on debut going 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs Oct. 25 and was second to Travel Column next out in that track's GII Golden Rod...

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TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for March 11

It was an eventful weekend on the road to the GI Kentucky Oaks, with major preps at Aqueduct (Busher Invitational S.), Oaklawn (GIII Honeybee S.) and at Santa Anita (GIII Santa Ysabel S.). The winners of all three of those races have made their way into our Oaks Top 10. Kalypso (Brody's Cause), who was third in the Santa Ysabel, drops out as trainer Bob Baffert has said he won't point her to the Oaks. There's nothing on tap for the 3-year-old fillies this weekend but there will be a...

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The TDN Oaks Top 10 for March 4

  It wasn't that long ago that the picture for the 3-year-old fillies seemed pretty straightforward. Vequist (Nyquist) was the clear leader of the division and there appeared to be a handful of other top fillies that could challenge her supremacy. Has that ever changed. Vequist did nothing right in her 3-year-old debut in the Davona Dale S., finishing ninth, 26 lengths behind the winner. Second choice Millefeuille (Curlin) didn't fare much better, finishing seventh. The winner, Wholebodemeister (Bodemeister), paid $107.60. Meanwhile, GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Dayoutoftheoffice (Into...

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