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. Five graded stakes races were contested over the fast main track and firm turf course on the Oaks undercard. The weather was nice if a bit windy with intermittant clouds and the temperature in the 70's. A crowd of 113,820 was on hand, the second largest ever for Kentucky Oaks day.
Authenticity wins the La Troienne Stakes (G2) over On Fire Baby
Kicking off the stakes action on Oaks day is the $335,100 La Troienne Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Last year's Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Believe You Can was sent off as the even money favorite in the field of 7 over 3-1 More Chocolate, second in the Santa Margarita (G1) last out, and 9-2 On Fire Baby, winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1).
5-1 Authenticity battled for the lead for the first 7 furlongs with On Fire Baby through fractions of :24.80, 48.45 and 1:12.39 over the fast track. Turning for home, the pair continued their duel while leaving the rest of the field in their wake, as Authenticity outfinished On Fire Baby by a head in 1:42.09. It was a long 4 3/4 lengths back to late-running favorite Believe You Can third.
Left: Authenticity circles before going to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "This is a huge win for us on a number of fronts. This mare has been working in company with (Kentucky Derby starter) Verrazano. That goes a long way toward solidifying what he's been doing. It is also Johnny's (Velazquez) first win back in only his second ride. And we're winning a good race against a good mare (favorite On Fire Baby). So it was good, good, good."
Right: Authenticity in the post parade. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "I said to Todd (Pletcher), 'I hope she breaks the same way she did in Florida, and she did. I took a position. The other horse (On Fire Baby) was right there next to me. She was going nice and easy. I just left her alone and went from there. I asked her to run and she ran and the other horse was coming at me. I wasn't sure, but every time the other horse came to her, she gave another spurt. I'm feeling great. It's great to be here."
Kitten's Dumplings wins the Edgewood Stakes
The $173,400 Edgewood Stakes featured a field of 10 three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Herecomesthebride (G3) runner-up Tokyo Time was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over 3-1 Kitten's Dumplings, 10th in the Ashland (G1), and 4-1 Wave Theory, 4th in the Ashland. At the start Wave Theory stumbled and unseated jockey Julien Leparoux, while 6-1 Birdlover battled for the lead with 20-1 Adriani through fractions of 23.52, 47.39, and 1:11.94. At the top of the lane, Kitten's Dumplings, unhurried in last early, came out 6 wide to gain the lead at the 3/16, and drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths over 45-1 Praia in 1:41.24 over the firm course. It was another 1/2 length back to 19-1 Broken Spell third, and a nose back to favorite Tokyo Time fourth.
Left: Kitten's Dumplings in the winner's circle. Her trainer Mike Maker said, "What more can you say about Joel (Rosario) now? He's in the zone. He's making all the right decisions and riding with a lot of confidence. I am glad he is on our team. I didn't give him any instructions since we know she comes from off the pace and he put her in the right position to win."
Right: Kitten's Dumplings in the post parade. Her jockey Joel Rosario said, "Perfect. She did really well today but that's kind of how she always is. When I rode her last time I was a little close to the pace but now I just took my time and let her finish up and she was there. She looked good."
So Many Ways wins the Eight Belles Stakes (G3)
The $177,150 Eight Belles Stakes (G3) featured a field of 13 three-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Calistoga undefeated in 2 starts and making her stakes debut, was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over 4-1 Fusaichiswonderful, winner of the Primal Force last out, and 9-2 Blueeyesintherein, undefeated in 3 starts including the Instant Racing and Debutante (G3). 32-1 Chortle was quickest away and set fractions of 22.17 and 45.18 while pressed by Blueeyesintherein and 37-1 Guadalupe High. Entering the lane, Blueeyesintherein had a short lead, getting 3/4 in 1:09.86, but the fast pace set the race for the closers. 7-1 So Many Ways, 6th early, rallied 6 wide to win by 1/2 a length over Fusaichiswonderful in 1:22.84. It was anotehr 1/2 length back to 36-1 Irish Lute third.
Left: So Many Ways in the winner's circle. Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "I had a good trip. I was behind the speed on the backside and I waited my turn. On the turn, I got into a little pocket, so I eased out. Joel (Rosario on Calistoga) went around me and I was able to follow him. Tom (trainer Tom Amoss) told me to get her outside and I did. Then I asked her and she gave it to me. She's a little bit of a filly, but she's got a big heart."
Right: So Many Ways circles after the race. Her trainer Tom Amoss said, "We knew the style she likes to run, which is to come from off the pace and come around horses. Garrett (Gomez) was trapped for a long time. When he got outside, she did some running. It worked to our advantage and turned out well."
Take Charge Indy wins the Alysheba Stakes (G3)
The $339,900 Alysheba Stakes (G3) featured older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Oaklawn (G2) and Razorback (G3) Handicap winner Cyber Secret was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 9 over 3-1 Take Charge Indy, runner-up in the Skip Away (G3), and 7-2 Bourbon Courage, third in the New Orleans Handicap (G2). Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. sent 39-1 longest shot Right to Vote to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.74 and 48.28 while stalked by Take Charge Indy. On the far turn Take Charge Indy gained the lead as Right to Vote tired. Through the stretch, Take Charge Indy drew off to win by 8 lengths over favorite Cyber Secret in 1:41.41. It was another length back to 7-1 Hymn Book third, and 2 more to Bourbon Courage fourth. However, Cyber Secret was disqualified from 2nd to 8th for interference entering the first turn.
Left: Take Charge Indy in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Rosie Napravnik said, "I was just sitting, waiting patiently and when we turned for home and I asked him I gave him a little tap on the shoulder and he was great. He accelerated like not every horse can do. He was really on his toes today. This horse was really in great order; they've been doing a great job with him. I was just really thankful for Pat Byrne and WinStar having me back on him today. He was so sharp and we got a great trip. He was just excellent coming down the land and accelerated really well."
Right: Take Charge Indy circles after the race. Winning trainer Pat Byrne said, "We were looking for a big
race and we got it this year. We beat some nice horses today and I just love
the way he did it. He did it with authority. That's key. It was a nice race.
I'm very happy."
Noble Tune wins the American Turf (G2)
The $234,200 American Turf Stakes (G2) featured a field of eleven 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Noble Tune, second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last year and an allowance winner last out, was sent off as the 3-2 favorite over 4-1 War Dancer, making his stakes debut off 2 allowance wins, and 11-2 Joelito, a maiden winner last out. 12-1 Anyriderll Do battled for the early lead with 13-1 Positively through fractions of 24.35, 48.49, and 1:12.56 while stalked by Joelito. Anyriderll Do continued to lead to the 1/8 pole but tired. Noble Tune, 4th early, took over the lead in the final furlong to win by 1 3/4 lengths over late-running 7-1 Admiral Kitten in 1:41.63 over the firm course. It was a neck back to War Dancer third.
Left: Noble Tune in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "It was a beautiful trip. I was expecting to lay off the pace a little bit, but he was sharp today and he lay a little closer. On the backside, I saved all the ground. I waited for the best opportunity and turning for home, the rail opened up and he took it."
Right: Noble Tune in the post parade. His trainer Chad Brown said, "We ran him at Tampa (allowance win on grass March 9) in order to get him ready for the Blue Grass (Stakes). But when we got him to Keeneland, he couldn't handle the track. The owners were bummed, but I talked them into waiting for this race. I'm glad we did. I don't want to run him anywhere but on the turf. "
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.