Sis City, a former claimer and winner of three consecutive stakes events, is the morning line odds-on favorite at 4-5 and drew post 4. The daughter of Slew City Slew, who is owned by a partnership that includes Stonerside Farm and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, scored an emphatic 10 1/2-length victory in the $500,000-added Ashland Stakes (GI) at Keeneland in her most recent start. That romp capped a three-race winning streak that also includes a 16-length runaway in the Davona Dale (GII) at Gulfstream Park and a 3 3/4-length win in the Demoiselle (GII) at Aqueduct in November. "Every time we've run her, she has been superb," said Dutrow. "After winning the Davona Dale the way she did, we knew we had a nice horse." Edgar Prado will be in the irons on Friday.
The 7-2 second choice is In the Gold, the winner of the recent Stonerside Beaumont (GII) at Keeneland. Rafael Bejarano will be aboard when she breaks from post 3. Trainer Nick Zito and owner Live Oak Plantation will be looking to complete a rare Kentucky Oaks-Kentucky Derby double with In the Gold and High Fly. The last time this feat was accomplished, owner Calumet Farm and trainer Ben Jones sent out Real Delight to win the Kentucky Oaks and took the Derby the following day with Hill Gail.
Winchell Thoroughbreds' Summerly, with Jerry Bailey aboard, is the third choice on the morning line at 6-1 and breaks from post 5. She had a three-race winning streak snapped when she finished fourth, beaten 19 1/4-lengths by Sis City in the Ashland. Trainer Steve Asmussen believes his star filly to rebound in the Oaks. "She ran horrible at Keeneland - extremely terrible and disappointing. We think we've got her turned back around for the Oaks. We'll see." Bailey will be looking for his third victory in the race after winning in 1993 aboard Ogden Mills Phipps' Dispute and in 2000 aboard Juddmonte Farm's Flute.
Jockey Greta Kuntzweiler will bid to make history in the Kentucky Oaks as she rides Al and Saundra Kirkwood's Rugula (20-1) in post 6, the runner-up in the Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park. A win aboard the Grant Forster-trained filly would make Kuntzweiler the first female rider to win the race. All nine fillies in the Kentucky Oaks will carry 121 pounds. If all nine start, the total purse for the race will be $559,400 - and $346,828 would go to the winner.
For more info, news, and notes on the Oaks, check the special Oaks section at Churchill Downs. Free past performances are available from DRF. You can watch most of the Oaks card on EPSN or ESPN2 on Friday afternoon. The Oaks itself will be on ESPN from 5:00-6:00pm EDT with a post time of 5:45pm. <p> Here are the entries for the Kentucky Oaks. Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo from Churchill Downs. All starters carry 121 lbs.
|1||6-1||Runway Model||Bernie Flint||Patrick Valenzuela|
|2||15-1||Dance Away Capote||Graham Motion||Ramon Dominguez|
|3||7-2||In the Gold||Nick Zito||Rafael Bejarano|
|4||4-5||Sis City||Richard Dutrow, Jr.||Edgar Prado|
|5||6-1||Summerly||Steve Asmussen||Jerry Bailey|
|6||20-1||Rugula||Grant Forster||Greta Kuntzweiler|
|7||8-1||Aspen Tree||Carl Nafzger||Javier Castellano|
|8||15-1||Memorette||William Currin||Kent Desormeaux|
|9||30-1||Gallant Secret||James Jackson||Mike Smith|