The $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) is the premier race in the country for 3-year-old fillies, and is the female counterpart to the Kentucky Derby. A full field of 14 went to post in this 1 1/8 mile main track feature at Churchill Downs on Friday before 112,552, the second highest Oaks attendance in history. The day was marred by a thunderstorm which caused a delay and evacuation of the infield just before the 10th race which pushed back post time for the Oaks by about 35 minutes. Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Grace Hall was sent off as the 5-2 favorite over 4-1 second choice On Fire Baby, winner of the Honeybee (G3) at Oaklawn last out, and 9-2 third choice Broadway's Alibi, winner of her last 4 races including the Forward Gal (G2) and Comely (G3).
Believe You Can and Broadway's Alibi kick dirt on their competion down the stretch.
Jockey John Velazquez sent Broadway's Alibi to the lead first time past the stands and she set fractions of 23.12, 47.47, and 1:11.88 over the fast track while stalked by 14-1 Believe You Can the whole way. Entering the stretch, Believe You Can collared the pacesetter inside 3/16 pole, getting the mile in 1:36.33, setting up a duel to the line. In the final strides Believe You Can pushed ahead to win by 3/4 length in 1:49.50. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to late-running favorite Grace Hall third.
This victory was the first Grade 1 win for jockey Rosie Napravnik, who became the first female rider to win the Kentucky Oaks. "It's great for all the women in the industry, and in the world," Napravnik said when asked about the significance of her win. "I'm just happy to represent that."
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
9 Believe You Can Napravnik 29.60 11.80 6.40
6 Broadway's Alibi Velazquez 6.00 4.20
2 Grace Hall Castellano 3.20
Winning Time: 1:49.50
$2 Exacta 9-6 173.00
$2 Trifecta 9-6-2 587.20
$2 Superfecta 9-6-2-3 3,745.40
Left: Believe You Can in the winner's circle with owner Brereton Jones (light color suit) beside her. Jones said, "This is just wonderful. It doesn’t get much better than this."
Right: Trainer Larry Jones leads Believe You Can to the winner's circle. Jones said, "This filly gave us that 'wow' factor. When we blew her out the other day, we knew this filly was going to give us her performance, and we feel like you need that ‘wow' coming here, because you're facing top horses, and we just got another 'wow' this afternoon."
Left: Believe You Can heads into the paddock before the race.
Right: Believe You Can in the post parade. Winning jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "It's unbelievable. I'm just so happy and so grateful to be here. There's a lot of people that are a big part of me getting to this and winning this race and I just can't thank everybody enough."
Left: First time by with Broadway's Alibi and Believe You Can leading. Jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "I just had the horse underneath me, honestly. She's just an excellent filly and she was running against a tough filly. It was cool to see [jockey] Johnny [Velazquez, aboard Broadway's Alibi] fading behind me."
Right: Believe You Can heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Second place finisher Broadway's Alibi in the post parade. Her jockey John Velazquez said, "I think she handled the track OK but the first time over a track, she paddles a lot. She lost some momentum. The ground broke away from her. I don't think the distance hurt her, I think the track didn't help. She still ran a huge race."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Grace Hall returns after the race. Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "The track was playing for speed today. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for me. They didn't come back to me. I was third best today." Her trainer Anthony Dutrow said, "She had a great trip. Everything went the way we wanted it to. We just were unable to catch the first two."
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.