The dark rain cloud above the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. It started raining after 5th race and never stopped.
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Kentucky Oaks Entries
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There were five stakes races run Friday at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. Conditions were less than ideal, as heavy rains drenched participants, spectators, and the racing surfaces, causing the tracks to be quickly downgraded from fast and firm at the start of the card to sloppy and yielding, with temperatures in the low 70's most of the day and plenty of wind to add to the fun. Get the Oaks results and photos here.
Mr. Nightlinger wins the Alysheba Stakes
Mr. Nightlinger heads for the winner's circle. Dennis Geier, assistant to winning trainer Bret Calhoun said, "He's (Mr. Nightlinger) done it all. I don't know what to say. The turf might be his calling. We'd been waiting to get him back on it. We tried him (on turf at Keeneland), not thinking he'd win but he really responded. We ran him back a little quicker than we wanted to do today." Jockey Jamie Theriot added, "It's really becoming his style to let him fall out of there. He just places himself and that's where he wants to be. It looks like we have found a niche with him now he's 2-for-2 going short on the turf."
Ginger Punch runs away in the Louisville Stakes
Ginger Punch returns after the race. Winning trainer Bobby Frankel said, "She ran her race. Everything worked out well. I don't know what's next; we'll just have to look." Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "The first jump out of the gate, she was a little slow. We were supposed to have the lead. She likes to run on the lead. But it was OK and at the five-eighths I started to let her go and then just waited for her big run. Down the stretch, she saw water on the track and jumped, I imagine to protect herself. She was just reacting to the moment. She was OK."
Zee Zee wins the Edgewood Stakes
Jockey Kent Desormeaux is all smiles as Zee Zee returns after the race. Desormeaux said, "It was an astute call by the trainer and the owner. They thought it was a paceless race and told me not to give up what might come easy, meaning the lead. She took it very easily; she was in control and very attentive to my needs during the entire running, especially when I called on her." Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "She's one of the barn favorites, so her winning is extra-sweet to everyone today. She's a very nice filly. We thought we might wind up on the front end and we did. She bounced along there nicely and Kent looked in control the whole way."
Giant Gizmo drew off to win the Alysheba Stakes despite going 6 wide
Giant Gizmo returns after the race. Winning trainer Bobby Frankel said, "Well, he likes the slop!" Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "He broke a little slow so I just took him inside and tried to get him relaxed. He didn't like getting mud in the face, so around the 3/8 pole I put him on the outside and he made a little move on the turn and he started running really good."
The ill-fated Chelokee who broke down as they turned into the stretch in the post parade. As you can see, it was pouring rain at the time. The next day, Bramlage said at a press conference, "He had a dislocated ankle where he dislocated the sesamoids about five centimeters up the side of the leg, and thatīs what the ambulance (personnel) thought initially was a condylar fracture. Iīll look at him again (Sunday) morning. He lost some of the blood supply to his foot, the rest of it is coming back. We have to follow it along until itīs appropriate to make an incision in the soft tissue that he injured. He had quite a lot of swelling and a lot of soft tissue damage. Itīs a career-ending injury. Hopefully, with a little luck, heīll be able to be a stallion."
Tizdejavu win the Crown Royal American Turf by a neck over Sailor's Cap
Tizdejavu returns after the race. Winning trainer Greg Fox said, "Today was big. Not only the grass, but a very soft turf, a tremendous field. He really stepped up today." Jockey Garrett Gomez added, "I was just trying to get him away and hoping he'd get a hold of it early on enough where I'd be able to make the lead, set the bit up in his mouth, and get him in a nice flowing stride and that's what I was able to do."
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