Kentucky Oaks Day on Friday usually draws the second largest attendance of any raceday in North America, second only to the Kentucky Derby run the very next day. Overnight rains rendered the main track sloppy and the turf course yielding for the start of the card, but the condition was later upgraded as the tracks dried. There were 4 races on the undercard of the Oaks, run under overcast skies and temperatures in the low 70's before a Churchill Downs crowd of 104,867.
Chamberlain Bridge wins the Alysheba Stakes over Cannonball
Kicking off the stakes action on Oaks day is the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (G3) for older horses sprinting 5 furlongs on the turf. 14-1 Jazz Nation opened up a clear lead down the backstretch through a quarter in 22.32 over the yielding course, with 3-1 Smart Enough and 9-5 favorite Chamberlain Bridge stalking him the whole way. Turning for home, Jazz Nation tired and faded to last, allowing Smart Enough to draw clear by 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, getting the half in 44.90. However, Chamberlain Bridge and 3-1 Cannonball closed on the outside to pass him in the final strides. Chamberlain Bridge prevailed by a neck over Cannonball in 57.06, and it was just 1/2 a length back to Smart Enough third.
Full results chart from DRF
Chamberlain Bridge circles after the race. His trainer Bret Calhoun said, "I thought we might be the lone speed in there. But he was fractious in the gate, and he broke a little tardy. I was concerned all the way down the backside because he's never run like that. I thought we weren't going to get anything. This was the first time he's shown us a different dimension, and it wasn't by design. But he loves this turf course." Chamberlain Bridge improved his record to 9 wins, 2 seconds, and 5 thirds in 18 starts, earning $395,469 for owner Carl R. Moore Management LLC.
Miss Isella wins the Louisville Stakes
The $350,000 Louisville Stakes (G2) features older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Expected favorite Zenyatta scratched due to the wet track. 1-2 favorite One Caroline broke quickest of all and was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 5 lengths through fractions of 23.96, 47.65, and 1:11.72 over the muddy track, with 8-1 Swift Temper and 9-1 Miss Isella battling for second. Entering the lane, Miss Isella came through on the rail to challenge for the lead. The pair hooked up at the 3/16 pole and after battling the length of the stretch, Miss Isella pulled away by 3/4 length in 1:42.75. It was a long 8 1/4 lengths back to Swift Temper third.
Full results chart
Miss Isella heads for the winner's circle. The 9-1 fourth choice saved ground on the inside early under regular rider Calvin Borel, tracked the pacesetter into the stretch and came through on the rail to get the win. The Ian Wilkes trainee improved her record to 5 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 14 starts, earning $436,733 for owner-breeder Domino Stud of Lexington, LLC. This win gave jockey Calvin Borel his 5th win in the Louisville Stakes, the most of any jockey ever.
Laragh wins the Edgewood Stakes
The $100,000 Edgewood Stakes featured ten 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 5-1 second choice Laragh was allowed an uncontested lead of 3 lengths through fractions of 23.57, 48.43, and 1:13.04 over the good course, with 8-1 Diamond Tags stalking her in second. Turning for home, Laragh drew off to a 5 length advantage by mid-stretch. 2-1 favorite Magical Affair put in a rally from ninth but it was too late, as Laragh cruised under the line 1 1/4 lengths clear in 1:43.88. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to 12-1 Banker's Choice third.
Full results chart
Jockey Edgar Prado gives Laragh a pat as she heads for the winner's circle. Prado said, "She is a very nice filly who has a lot of natural speed. We didn't want to take her out of her game. We went to the lead and she was nice and relaxed. I was just hoping she would have enough at the end and she did." Trainer John Terranova added, "As long as you don't fight her, she'll give you everything she's got. Edgar rode her perfectly. She's big speed and she can carry it. When I saw the half in 48 it was all over."
Bullsbay wins the Alysheba Stakes
The $150,000 Alysheba Stakes (G3) included nine older horses going 1 1/16 miles. 14-1 Informed battled for the lead with 5-1 Cool Coal Man through fractions of 24.55, 48.72, and 1:13.57 over the main track now upgraded to fast. As Informed tired to finish fourth, Cool Coal Man led the field to mid-stretch, getting the mile in 1:38.11. However, 3-1 Bullsbay, who raced in fifth early, came on late to nail Cool Coal Man in the final 1/16 to get the 3/4 length victory in 1:44.29. It was just a length back to 23-1 Star Guitar third. 5-2 favorite Macho Again finished sixth.
Full results chart
Jeremy Rose celebrates aboard Bullsbay after winning the Alysheba Stakes. Rose said, "The trip was perfect: I went right to the rail. I had a nice, big, strong horse that I figured if I could get his head in there even if they try to make it tight he's going to push them out of the way. I love having a horse like that as game like him." Alice Clapham, assistant to winning trainer Graham Motion added, "I think the reason they sent him here is to try him on dirt and see how he'd perform; it worked out great for him."
Othodox upsets in the American Turf
The $150,000 American Turf Stakes (G3) featured nine 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 19-1 Turfiste opened up a clear lead first time past the stands and set a pace of 24.23, 48.86, and 1:13.86 while as many as 3 lengths in front of 46-1 longest shot Orthodox. Turfiste led to mid-stretch, but Orthodox had closed the gap and took over the lead at the 1/16 pole. 3-1 Battle of Hastings closed well from third but Orthodox held him off late to pull off the huge upset, prevailing by 3/4 length in 1:44.37 over the good course. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Turfiste third.
Full results chart
Jockey Jon Court looks pretty happy as Orthodox heads for the winner's circle. Winning owner-trainer John Glenney said, "He usually likes to be on the front end by himself, the lone speed. But in the paddock, Jon and I agreed that he didn't need the lead. Jon got him to relax behind the speed horse, and he was running really well the whole way. He usually doesn't like to pass horses, but this time, the leader was backing up a bit and he inherited the lead. He knew what to do from there."
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.