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Summerly and jockey Jerry Bailey with the Oaks winner's lilies.
A record crowd of 111,243 descended on the newly renovated Churchill Downs for the 131st running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Only seven fillies went to post in the main event, after two scratches, with Ashland Stakes runaway winner Sis City sent off as the prohibitive 3-5 favorite.
When the gate opened, jockey Jerry Bailey took Fair Grounds Oaks winner and 9-2 second choice Summerly to the front and she rattled off fractions of 23.45, 47.44, and 1:11.53 over the fast surface with Edgar Prado aboard Sis City battled with her to the outside. Turning for home, Prado asked the favorite for run, and Sis City drew even with the pacesetter but with a furlong to go, Sis City gave way and dropped out of contention as Summerly continued on to the wire to win by 2 lengths over the late-running 7-1 shot In The Gold. Final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.23. It was another 1 3/4 length back to 43-1 longest shot Gallant Secret who rallied from last to finish third, and 3/4 more back to Sis City in fourth.
There were five other stakes races on the card with the Oaks. Full results for all of them with more photos are here.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Summerly Bailey 11.20 5.00 4.00 3 In The Gold Bejarano 6.20 5.00 9 Gallant Secret Smith 9.20 Winning Time: 1:50.23 $2 Exacta 5-3 60.40 $2 Trifecta 5-3-9 1301.60 $1 Superfecta 5-3-9-4 2208.30
First time by with Summerly leading over Sis City. Jockey Edgar Prado on Sis City said, "She was right there (off the lead) but I knew the other horse was more horse than mine, because he (Bailey) was holder her (Summerly) and I was riding to keep up."
Oaks winner Summerly after the race. Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "This is the filly we have run all season long. She was away from the gate cleanly; at Keeneland, the second jump, I knew we were in trouble because she wasn't handling the track."
Summerly in the post parade. Jockey Jerry Bailey, winning his third and possibly last Oaks, said, "It was unexpected to be on the lead. Sis City had a post inside us and more speed so I planned to lay second. The way the break was, Summerly broke really well, and I made the determination I was going to go ahead and take the lead and see what Sis City was made of; Edgar eased back and took outside and I tried to slow it down as best I could."
Second place finisher In The Gold in the post parade. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, "She broke good. She was saving ground, but I didn't see too much speed in the front. The number five (Summerly), she stayed in the front very comfortable. My filly, she finished strong but the other horse never stopped."
Third place finisher Gallant Secret closed from last for the show spot. Jockey Mike Smith said, "I had an excellent trip. She ran dynamite. I couldn't have asked her to do anymore than that. I was really proud of her."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Sis City in the post parade with Monty, the pony horse who doesn't wear a bridle. Her trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said, "Edgar says she was flat today. We'll see if she comes out OK."
The prizes for the Oaks winner: the wreath of Stargazer lilies, a bouquet for the jockey, and a set of 12 silver julep cups.
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