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Florent Geroux and Idiomatic head to the winner's circle after the La Troienne

2024 Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results

Date: 5/03/2024

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, and this year was no exception with 107,236 fans packing the stands and infield. Six graded stakes were contested on the Oaks undercard, both over the sloppy main track and yielding Matt Winn turf course, soaked during overnight rain with more added. Conditions were less than ideal for racing, with light rain and temperatures near 70 all day. Wagering from all sources on the full Kentucky Oaks race day card set a new record of $75.3 million, eclipsing last year’s record of $74.9 million.

Get the Oaks results and photos here.

Idiomatic wins the La Troienne Stakes (G1)
The first Grade 1 stakes of the Churchill Downs meeting is the $1 million Fasig-Tipton La Troienne Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. After 2 scratches just 5 went to post with Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) winner Idiomatic sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 2-1 second choice Xigera, winner of the Falls City (G3), and 4-1 third choice Pretty Mischievous, unraced since second in the Cotillion (G1).

Jockey John Velazquez sent 13-1 longest shot Dorth Vader to the lead through fractions of 23.53 and 47.00 while pressed by Idiomatic and stalked by Xigera. On the far turn Idiomatic gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:10.90. Kept to task by Florent Geroux, Idiomatic drew off through the lane to win by 3 3/4 lengths over late-running 12-1 Free Like a Girl in 1:43.24. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Pretty Mischievous third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Idiomatic in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "She was the class of the field. We didn't break as fast as I anticipated. There were a couple fillies in there who weren't settling well and I broke a little flat-footed. I tried to get her in a good spot and I was very content to sit off the flank of the leader on the backside. My filly once she started getting into her stride, you could tell she was getting into a nice rhythm and from there she just went on." 

Right: Idiomatic heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "Great effort. She cut the corner and kind of felt some of that pressure and kicked away. I think she runs on anything. She obviously put in a good effort here today and she's performed on synthetics, she's performed on the fast dirt obviously. But (the wet track) is always a concern. There is always a lot of pressure when they're the price she is and coming off a layout and with the resume she got being a champion. I enjoy being in the position but race had some anxiety behind it."

Left: Second place finisher Free Like a Girl in the post parade. Jockey Corey Lanerie said, "She ran great. This is one of the toughest tasks she has had in a while. I was a little worried when (Idiomatic) didn't break so well but (Geroux) got up there and got his position. The race set up like I thought. I was hoping my mare would relax and I was hoping they would bang heads up front and come back to me. They all came back but one."

Right: Third place finisher Pretty Mischievous returns to be unsaddled. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "I thought it was a credible effort. It was the first time off a layoff and she was bound to get tired. The sloppy track didn't do us any favors today. It's never been her favorite surface and she struggled quite a bit down the lane. Very proud of her effort and hopefully it's a good year for her."

First Mission wins the Alysheba Stakes (G2)
The $750,000 TwinSpires Alysheba Stakes (G2) featured 8 older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Essex Handicap (G3) winner First Mission was sent off as the even money choice over 4-1 second choice Money Supply, third in the New Orleans Classic (G2), and 5-1 third choice Trademark, 10th in the Pegasus World Cup (G1).

Jockey Ryusei Sakai sent 28-1 longest shot T O Saint Denis to a clear lead through fractions of 22.96, 46.77, and 1:10.45 while pressed by 9-1 Pipeline and stalked by First Mission. Turning for home T O Saint Denis continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.70 but First Mission, confidently ridden by Florent Geroux, easily rallied by and drew away to a 4 length win in 1:42.03. It was a nose back to late-running 13-1 Il Miracolo third.

Full results chart

Left: First Mission in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "When you get in a pace scenario like that, you just have to be patient and ride your race. I give a lot of credit to (T O Saint Denis). He ran a huge race. Deep in the stretch my horse was picking up his stride and he finished very easily."

Right: First Mission heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "We were sitting a decent trip, I was hopeful we were not too close with the fractions. But he's been training really well. He's been spot on really since a month out of the Pegasus, he really turned it on. Right before the (Essex), he really turned it on and showed us what he was showing us leading up to the Pegasus. We really liked him (in the Pegasus), it wasn't meant to be. We just drew a line threw it. But it's worked out for him ever since."

The horses break from the gate for the Alysheba. Jockey Ryusei Sakai aboard pacesetter and second place finisher T O Saint Denis (8) said, "I'm very proud of how my horse ran. This race should be some good experience for me in preparation for tomorrow's Derby (in which he will ride T O Password)."

Dynamic Pricing wins the Edgewood Stakes
Immediately before the Oaks, the $600,000 TwinSpires Edgewood Stakes (G2) featured a field of 11 three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Hard to Justify was the 2-1 favorite over 5-2 second choice Buchu, winner of the Appalachian (G2), and 8-1 third choice Dancing N Dixie, third in the Appalachian.

Jockey Abel Castillo sent 39-1 longest shot Maxisuperfly to the lead through fractions of 22.96, 47.90, and 1:12.93 while pressed by Hard to Justify and stalked by 11-1 Pink Polkadots and 11-1 Way to Be Marie. Turnig for home, Way to Be Marie gained a short lead through 1 mile in 1:37.64 but 9-1 Dynamic Pricing, 6th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., rallied 5 wide to win by 1/2 a length in 1:44.10. It was a length back to late-running Dancing N Dixie third, while favorite Hard to Justify faded late to finish 9th beaten 12 1/4 lengths.

Full results chart

Left: Dynamic Pricing in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "She had a beautiful trip. I was biding my time there. When I asked her, she had something left. She kept grinding."

Right: Dynamic Pricing heads back to the barn after the race.

My Mane Squeeze wins the Eight Belles Stakes (G3)
The $600,000 Sysco Eight Belles Stakes (G2) featured a field of 11 three-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Beaumont (G2) winner Denim and Pearls was sent off as the 9-10 favorite over 9-2 second choice Impel, 3rd in the Ashland (G1), and 7-1 third choice My Mane Squeeze, 8th in the Fantasy (G2).

Jockey Emmanuel Esquivel sent 29-1 Asternia to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.46 and 45.23 while pressed by 11-1 Halina's Forte and stalked by 10-1 R Harper Rose and My Mane Squeeze. On the turn jockey Luis Saez sent My Mane Squeeze 4 wide to sweep to the lead through 3/4 in 1:09.71. Kept to task by Saez, My Mane Squeeze held off late-running Impel to win by 2 lengths in 1:22.85. It was another 4 1/4 lengths back to Asterna third, while favorite Denim and Pearls checked in 7th beaten 10 1/4 lengths.

Full results chart

Left: My Mane Squeeze in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "My horse handled the off track beautifully today. She traveled great the entire backstretch and was in a very comfortable position. You can tell by my silks that they are still clean and I think that helped her down the lane. We stayed out of all the kickback and she got stronger as we got closer to the wire."

Right: My Mane Squeeze gets hosed off after the race. Winning trainer Mike Maker said, "We did some schooling and it looks like it paid off. Maybe the outside post helped, she wasn't in gate too long. But the previous start just wasn't her. I was happy the way she saddled, and then when she loaded in the gate and she was behaving I was happy, and then the way she broke it was like, we'll see if she's good enough. The plan all along has been the Acorn so we'll take it one step at a time."

Fast as Flight wins the Modesty Stakes (G3)
The $400,000 Derby City Gaming and Hotel Modesty Stakes (G3) featured a field of 11 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G2) runner-up Surprisingly was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 choice over 4-1 second choice Mouffy, second in the Buena Vista (G2), and 9-2 third choice Heavenly Sunday, winner of the Mrs. Revere (G3).

Jockey Florent Geroux sent Heavenly Sunday to lead first time by through fractions of 24.40, 50.01, 1:14.93, and 1:38.80 while pressed by 18-1 Join the Dance and stalked by 21-1 Fast as Flight. In the stretch jockey Jose Ortiz moved Fast as Flight out for room and she rallied to win by a length over late-running 9-1 Sparkle Blue in 1:50.63. It was a head back to 8-1 Aspen Grove third, while favorite Surprisingly checked in 7th beaten just 2 3/4 lengths.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Fast as Flight heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "I had a great trip. I followed (Florent) Geroux every step of the way. I knew we were going very fast on the backside and I was on top of him every step of the way. I have ridden her before and maybe she hasn't run against these types of horses. As Martin (Drexler) told me, I know she has speed, I following his instructions and it worked out well."

r Right: Fast as Flight heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Martin Drexler said, "My owner (Elliott Logan) really picked out this race right after we ran in Florida (in the Sandy Springs). I went along with it as long as she trained well. I knew it was a tougher spot than we would like. I thought a couple of stakes up in Woodbine would be a little better of a fit for her which I am sure we will be in. This was something that we wanted to try and this is his hometown and it worked out. It worked out very well."

Ova Charged wins the Unbridled Sidney Stakes
The $400,000 Resolute Racing Unbridled Sidney Stakes (G3) featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. Page Cortez and Mardi Gras Stakes winner Ova Charged was sent off as the 3-4 favorite over 11-2 second choice Tony Ann, 8th in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), and 6-1 third choice Stone Silent, winner of the Captiva Island Stakes.

Jockey Florent Geroux sent Ova Charged to the lead through fractions of 21.91 and 45.30 while pressed by Stone Silent and stalked by 6-1 Elm Drive. In the stretch, Ova Charged continued to lead through 5f in 57.37, and held off late-running 10-1 Secret Money to win by a neck in 1:03.71. It was a neck back to 25-1 Run for the Hills third.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Ova Charged heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "She didn't break super-sharp. It took me a couple jumps to make the lead, when I was able to establish the lead, and slow it down, we were in a good spot."

Right: Ova Charged heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Shane Wilson said, "She's so easy to train, she's so smart, when Flo (Geroux) came back, I asked him, 'It got kind of tight there, didn't it?' And he said, 'Naw, I had a lot. She just did enough to stay in front.' She's a very, very talented filly, and we figured out that it's better if we don't waste her time getting bullet workouts every morning. I train her every day, she's very sound. We put her on the turf because her mother was actually a stakes winner on the turf. So she'll stay on the grass."

Get the Oaks results and photos here.

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