On Tuesday evening the entries were drawn for the 130th Kentucky Oaks, the companion feature on Derby weekend for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on the main track with a $500,000 purse. As expected, undefeated Madcap Escapade was named the 3-1 morning line favorite in the field of twelve. She will start from post 6 for trainer Frank Brothers with top jockey Jerry Bailey aboard.
The Oaks will be televised nationally on ESPN and is scheduled as the 10th of 11 races on a racing program that includes six stakes events. Post time for the Oaks is 5:45pm EDT. A full schedule of all the television coverage for Oaks and Derby weekend can be found here.
Second choice Ashado at 4-1 drew the rail with John Velazquez up. Co-owner Jack Wolf said, "I would think that would be the worst one. But I guess a lot of races are won from the one hole, right? I guess I'd prefer something in the middle, but it is what it is." Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "We're optimistic. The filly has been training very well here and seems to like the surface. She's been remarkably consistent. It could set up for us better than the Ashland, when Madcap Escapade was able to rate kindly. There should be someone to entertain her up front a little bit this time, and we'll be in the second tier ready to strike at the right time."
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Halfbridled drew post 4 for trainer Richard Mandella and is the 9-2 third choice. Regular rider Alex Solis will be in the irons once again for last year's champion juvenile filly. However, after her undefeated 2-year-old season she has yet to win a race at three. UPDATE: Halfbridled has been scratched from the Oaks after she tied up follwoing a gallop at 6am Friday morning. Trainer Richard Mandella said, "But when she came back on the shedrow and started to walk, you could see she was cramping, her stomach was tight. She didn't tie up much, but it was enough. I just can't run her - in this race or any other one - if she isn't right."
Wally Dollase, trainer of A.P. Adventure in post 9, originally considered adding blinkers for the Oaks but changed his mind. "She's training very sharply now and I think we'd better leave the blinkers off. It looks like we'll be relaxing on the outside." A.P. Adventure is pegged at 8-1 on the morning line, and Mike Smith gets the call.
Stellar Jayne's trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "We've been putting her in the deep end of the pool. The Santa Anita Oaks, the Fantasy, they were tough races. And this race will be tough, too, but should be better than the others. She has an affinity for this racetrack and the 1 1/8 with this long stretch will be good for her as she's a closer. If there's a legitimate pace, it will help us. It would be a huge upset for her to win, but even a third- or fourth-place finish would be important to her career. She's already a stakes winner." The 8-1 shot drew the far outside stall, and will have Robby Albarado aboard.
Carl Nafzger, trainer of 20-1 longshot Last Song, said, "The extra distance of the Oaks will be to her advantage. The farther the better for her. Our filly will run big." Nafzger expects jockey Edgar Prado will stalk the quick early pace out of the 10 hole before making his winning move.
Oaks and Derby quick links:
- Free Oaks Past Performances - from DRF
- Kentucky Oaks official site
- Churchill Downs Weather - several forecasts for Louisville. Currently rain is expected.
- Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - lots of info for each
- Analyzing the top Derby Contenders - trying to pick a winner
- Latest NTRA 3-year-old Poll
- Free Derby Past Performances - from DRF
- Triple Crown Index - the master list with even more info
Below are the entries for the 130th Kentucky Oaks in post position order with morning line odds. Click the horse's name to see a full profile with photo and lots of information. The distance is 1 1/8 miles with a purse of $500,000 and all fillies carry 121 lbs.
|1.||Ashado||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez||4-1|
|2.||Hollywood Story||John Shirreffs||Victor Espinoza||20-1|
|3.||Island Sand||Larry Jones||Terry Thompson||30-1|
|4.||Halfbridled||Richard Mandella||Alex Solis||scratched|
|5.||House Of Fortune||Ronald McAnally||Alex Solis||8-1|
|6.||Madcap Escapade||Frank Brothers||Jerry Bailey||3-1|
|7.||Silent Sighs||Julio Canani||David Flores||6-1|
|8.||Victory U.S.A.||Bob Baffert||Pat Day||8-1|
|9.||A.P. Adventure||Wally Dollase||Alex Solis||8-1|
|10.||Last Song||Carl Nafzger||Edgar Prado||20-1|
|11.||Class Above||Bob Baffert||Corey Nakatani||20-1|
|12.||Stellar Jayne||D. Wayne Lukas||Robbie Albarado||30-1|