The $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs is the most important race in America for 3-year-old fillies. Steady rain fell most of the afternoon rendering the main track sloppy. Although 12 made final entry, just 10 went to post in this 1 1/8 mile classic, when the connections of Eight Belles opted to compete against males in the Kentucky Derby, and then Elusive Lady was scratched the day of the race. Proud Spell was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, exiting a third place finish in the Ashland at Keeneland last time out after winning the Fair Grounds Oaks over then-undefeated champion Indian Blessing. In to challenge the Brereton Jones homebred were 7-2 second choice Country Star, fifth in the Ashland, and 4-1 third choice Pure Clan, third in the Fantasy at Oaklawn in her final prep.
First time by with Bsharpsonata, Little Belle, and Proud Spell out front
7-1 shot Bsharpsonata went to the front first time past the stands and set
fractions of 23.73, 48.86, and 1:12.95 over the slop while being stalked by
favorite Proud Spell and 6-1 Little Belle down the backstretch. Country Star
sat fourth while Pure Clan was unhurried early near the tail of the field.
Entering the stretch, Bsharpsonata continued to lead but Proud Spell moved up
to challenge. At the 3/16 pole Proud Spell passed the tiring Bsharpsonata and
drew away from Little Belle to an impressive 5 length victory in 1:50.01. It
was just 3/4 length back from Little Belle to third place finisher Pure Clan
who put in a good rally but was left with too much ground to make up in the
There were five other stakes races on the card with the Oaks. Full results for all of them with more photos are here. My apologies for the dark photos, but it was dark, windy, and raining hard all afternoon unfortunately.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
8 Proud Spell Saez 8.80 4.80 3.20
7 Little Belle Maragh 6.40 4.00
11 Pure Clan Prado 3.80
Winning Time: 1:50.01
$2 Exacta 8-7 52.60
$2 Trifecta 8-7-11 239.20
$2 Superfecta 8-7-11-1 1,395.80
Winning jockey Gabriel Saez celebrates after crossing the finish line in the Oaks. Saez said, "I was just doing my best job, you know, tried
to put her in a good position. She broke sharp, and I put her in the race,
staying second, third, a good position. The other filly on the lead
(Bsharpsonata), I tried to stay behind her. Just doing my job to put her in a
perfect spot to win the race."
Left: Winning trainer Larry Jones checks out Proud Spell after she gets the Oaks lily wreath. Jones said, "She ran very well. She looked liked she was very well within herself as she was going down the backside. She already moved
into second and Gabriel had her placed perfectly. We were very fortunate with
this filly because she has never been passed in her career. We felt like if we
can run the speed down, she would be in good shape. This filly can run all day
long. She is just a quality filly. We don't think (the sloppy track) helped
us. We didn't like it in the Breeders' Cup. She can handle any kind of surface
and actually Churchill's track when it gets wet is very good. When it gets
water on it, it's very good."
Right: Proud Spell heads into the winner's circle.
Winning owner Brereton C. Jones, jockey Gabriel Saez, and trainer Larry Jones in the post race interviews. Owner-breeder Brereton C. Jones, a former Governor of Kentucky, said of the winning jockey, "This is one of the up-and-coming young riders in the country. He's fearless; nothing bothers him."
Left: Proud Spell heads back to the barn after the race.
Right: Proud Spell in the post parade.
Second place finisher Little Belle out front near the start and striking a pose before heading into the paddock before the race. Her trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "She handled the track very well. We were second best today. The other filly won impressively and we were second best today and happy that she ran so well. She might have been in a little tight, might not have been great down on the rail."
Third place finisher Pure Clan in the post parade and heading into the paddock before the race. Her trainer Bob Holthus said "She was wide turning for home, 4 or 5 wide, but she closed well and couldn't catch them today. Lost too much ground. It looked like she handled (the mud) all right. She just had a little trouble on the turn for home, lost her momentum but regained it."
Proud Spell starts to draw off at the 8th pole with second place finisher Little Belle in the center (blue silks) and third place finisher Pure Clan on the far outside (white blinkers).
Triple Crown quick links:
Oxbow upsets in the Preakness - Oxbow led the entire way in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico with Itsmyluckyday second and Mylute third. Heavy favorite Orb made a mild move to finish fourth. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Preakness undercard stakes results - There were 7 other stakes on the card, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Skyring and the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) won by Summer Applause. Get the results, charts, and photos for 6 of the races here.
Fiftyshadesofhay wins the Black-Eyed Susan - Fiftyshadesofhay just got up to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on Friday at Pimlico by a neck over Marathon Lady with favorite Emollient 6th. On the undercard, Last Gunfighter won the Pimlico Special (G3). Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2013 - My annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. The big surprise is that Kentucky Derby winner Orb is not in the top group!
Orb wins the Kentucky Derby - Orb was far back early but took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 1/2 lengths over longshot Golden Soul and Revolutionary. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
More Kentucky Derby Photos - More photos from the day including more of Orb, the trophy, the roses, Martina McBride, and lots of mud.
Kentucky Derby undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Derby day including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) won by Aubby K. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Princess of Sylmar upsets in the Kentucky Oaks - She rallied from far back to win the Kentucky Oaks by a half length over Beholder and Unlimited Budget, while favorite Dreaming of Julia was fourth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Oaks day including the La Troienne Stakes (G2) won by Authenticity and the Alysheba Stakes (G3) won by Take Charge Indy. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Kentucky Oaks Entries - A field of 11 fillies will go, with Gulfstream Oaks winner Dreaming of Julia favorite at 3-1 from post 8. Get the post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.