In a thrilling photo finish, Blind Luck with Rafael Bejarano aboard captured the lilies by a nose in the $500,000 Added Grade I Kentucky Oaks over James Cassidy's Evening Jewel and Kent Desormeaux.
Running six wide nearing the stretch, Blind Luck was forced to close fast to win in the final strides of the 1 1/8 Stakes in a time of 1:50.70.
Trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer noted the significance of a win in the Oaks.
"This race is very special. It is the best race for 3-year-old fillies," he said.
Bejarano remained confident that his horse would finish strong as she approached Evening Jewel, who had gained the lead with a furlong to go.
He said, "I knew she was going to show me a big kick at the end."
-Third place finisher Tidal Pool set the pace and led at the 3/4 pole and Todd Pletcher's Ailalea was in position in second, but faded to fifth by the wire.
With the tight finish, Hollendorfer could not determine if his horse had pulled it out.
"I wasn't entirely sure until they put the number up," he said.
Blind Luck returned $4.60, $3.60 and $2.80. Evening Jewel paid $9.40 and $7.20. Tidal Pool paid $5.00 to show.
Bejarano will ride Line of David in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby.
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