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Owner Gary Barber leads Salty to the winner's circle after the La Troienne

2018 Kentucky Oaks Undercard Stakes Results

Date: 05/04/2018

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 were contested over the fast main track and firm Matt Winn turf course on the Oaks undercard. Conditions were overcast and windy with temperatures in the low 80's, with 113,510 fans in attendance.

Get the Oaks results and photos here.

Salty wins the La Troienne Stakes (G1)
The first Grade 1 stakes of the Churchill Downs meeting is the $350,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Last year's Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Abel Tasman was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the field of 6, unraced since 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1). In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Martini Glass, winner of the Azeri (G2), and 4-1 third choice Salty, 5th in the Madison (G1).

Jockey Channing Hill sent 14-1 Farrell to a clear lead first time by and she set fractions of 24.70, 48.86, and 1:12.82 while as many as 4 lengths in front of Salty and Martini Glass stalking him 2nd and 3rd respectively. Farrell continued to lead to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:37.40, but jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent Salty through along the rail to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:43.78. It was another 1 1/4 length back to Martini Glass third, and a neck more to favorite Abel Tasman fourth.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Salty in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Mark Casse said, "She's just an extremely talented filly. She's gotten unlucky before. Today, everything worked out well for her. I think Tyler is an up-and-coming star, as does (owner) Gary Barber, so we've kind of stuck with Tyler and it's paid off, because he knows her so well."  Gaffalione added, "She really responded. As soon as the spot opened up on the turn, I just put her there and she really exploded. I had to keep after her, but she was running. It is my first (Grade 1 win). It's very exciting, especially on this stage."

Right: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Abel Tasman in the post parade. Jockey Mike Smith said, "She made a nice move around the turn and just got tired through the lane. I really wish the other pace wouldn't have scratched out of there. That really turned the race into a sprint for home. We weren't expecting that, of course, and once the scratches came out, being that it was her first race back, I didn't want to get really aggressive with her early and have her get tired late. I was just gambling, hoping I was a whole lot the best, but those are just nice mares and I underestimated them a little bit."

Mia Mischief wins the Eight Belles Stakes (G3)
Kicking off the stakes action on Oaks Day, the $200,000 Eight Belles Stakes (G2) featured a field of 7 three-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Purple Martin Stakes winner Mia Mischief was sent off as the 3-2 favorite over 5-2 Gas Station Sushi, winner of the Beaumont (G3), and 4-1 Talk Veuve to Me, a maiden winner last out. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. sent Mia Mischief to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 22.21 and 44.21 while pressed by 9-2 Amy's Challenge and stalked by Talk Veuve to Me. Entering the lane Mia Mischief continued to lead through 3/4 in 1:08.73 and drew off in the final furlong to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Talk Veuve to Me in 1:21.84. It was another 4 3/4 lengths back to Gas Station Sushi third.

Full results chart

Left: Mia Mischief in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "She seems to improve in every start. I made a few mistakes with her in the past but we figured all of them out it seems. I saw during the middle of the race on the Big Board that she was well within herself and she carried herself even on the gallop out way in front."

Right: Mia Mischief heads into the winner's circle. Winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. said, "I first have to thank Steve (Asmussen). He did a tremendous job training her. Today she tried so hard. It was a very nice field of horses and she was very impressive. It's very special to have my family here with me on this weekend as well."

Will Call wins the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3)
The $200,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3) featured a field of 10 older horses sprinting 5 furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Silks Run Stakes winner Vision Perfect was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over 7-2 Bucchero, second in the Shakertown (G2), and 4-1 Delectation, unraced since 7th in the First Lady (G1) in October. 11-1 Latent Revenge, 21-1 Riser, and Vision Perfect battled for the lead through fractions of 21.92 and 44.81. The pace battle took its toll late, as 7-1 Will Call, 6th early under Shaun Bridgmohan, came out wide into the stretch and rallied to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 18-1 Kid Perfect in 56.68. It was another neck back to Bucchero third, while favorite Vision Perfect checked in 6th.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Will Call heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "He was training extremely well and I had a lot of confidence in him going into (the Shakertown, finished 9th). For whatever reason, it just didn't work out that day. But, he really showed up today. I really liked him coming into the race. His two works over this course have been fantastic. He broke off, settled and fired home, just like he did today. It was a huge effort." Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan added, "It worked out good. From an outside post, I had to take a little hold. Going into the turn, I didn't want to get forced very wide. Once I came out of the turn, I got him back to the outside. He switched leads and finished very nicely."

Right: Beaten favorite and 7th place finisher Vision Perfect returns. Jockey Paco Lopez said, "I had a perfect trip. No excuse for my horse."

Backyard Heaven wins the Alysheba Stakes (G2)
The $400,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) featured older horses going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Last year's Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming was sent off as the 9-5 favorite in the field of 7 off his 2nd place finish in the Gulfstream Park Hardacre Mile (G2), over 2-1 Backyard Heaven, winner of 2 allowance races, and 9-4 Good Samaritan, winner of the New Orleans Handicap (G2). Jockey John Velazquez sent Always Dreaming to lead first time by through fractions of 23.86 and 46.79 while pressed by Backyard Heaven and stalkes by Good Samaritan. On the far turn jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent Backyard Heaven to the front past the tiring Always Dreaming. Kept to task by Ortiz, Backyard Heaven drew off late to win by 4 1/2 lengths over 27-1 Hawaakom in 1:41.73. It was another 3/4 length back to Good Samaritan third, while Always Dreaming checked in 5th.

Full results chart

Left: Backyard Heaven in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "I told Irad to leave out there and that (Always Dreaming) looked like the lone speed; stay very close, but turn it into a two-horse race. I didn't want to try and bury Always Dreaming early. If he has more, so be it. If we have more, so be it. Good Samaritan is a really good horse I knew would pick up the pieces if we got into some silly duel -- and that's what Irad did. He gave the other horse a fair chance; we had a fair chance and when it came time to engage him and take him out, he did and luckily he had enough to hold on." Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. added, "He did everything easy. He broke and put me in a good position to go from there. Past the half-mile pole I started to let him do his thing. He picked it up and when I asked him he took off. He's a nice horse."

Right: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Always Dreaming returns after the race. Jockey John Velazquez said, "It started out right. He was in a great spot. He was relaxed and he was moving along nice and easy. Then when (Backyard Heaven) came to him on the backside he just stayed at the same pace. He didn't pick it up at all. I don't know what else I can say."

Toinette wins the Edgewood Stakes
The $200,000 Edgewood Stakes (G3) featured a field of 10 three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Rushing Fall was sent off as the 11-10 favorite over 5-1 Daddy is a Legend, 4th in the Appalachian, and 5-1 Altea, 3rd in the Florida Oaks (G3). 12-1 Figarella's Queen was quickest away through an opening quarter of 24.40 before Rushing Fall and jockey Javier Castellano took over through fractions of 48.21 and 1:11.37. Rushing Fall continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.23, but 11-2 fourth choice Toinette, 8th early under Flavien Prat, rallied down the center of the course to win by a neck in 1:41.70. It was 1/2 a length back to Daddy is a Legend third.

Full results chart

Left: Toinette heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Neil Drysdale said, "She missed the break and Prat didn't panic. He's a very good rider. He's a developing rider and he's getting better and better and better. She got a little stuck in the rail and he was able to get her out. She has a great turn of foot and when you ask her, she goes." Jockey Flavien Prat added, "She broke slow. I was expecting to be a lot closer than that. Around the turn when everybody made their move I was able to go around people and then just put her straight. She gave me a good run down the lane and I guess she likes the distance, too."

Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Rushing Fall returns after the race. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "She was fresh today and kind of ran off. The pace was fast. I never got to cover her up like I wanted. She was a little aggressive and it cost me the race."

Get the Oaks results and photos here.

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