The Kentucky Oaks is loaded with quality fillies. A field of fourteen will contest the 1 1/8 mile $1,000,000 Grade 1 event for three-year-old fillies.
Leading the field as the 5-2 morning line favorite is Grace Hall. The Tony Dutrow trained runner comes into the race off a 6 ½ length victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. In her six race career, she has four wins and has never finished worse than second. In her only losses, Grace Hall finished three lengths behind two-year-old champion My Miss Aurelia in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and a neck behind Yara in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park. She certainly appears to be the horse to beat in this field, but it’s not going to be a cake walk. Javier Castellano will ride.
On a day in which three stakes record times have been set, Broadway’s Alibi has the speed that may be enough to prevail over Grace Hall. She’s also undefeated in her last four starts, including the Grade 3 Comely Stakes and the Grade 2 Forward Gal. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Broadway’s Alibi looks very dangerous.
On Fire Baby, who won the Pocahantas Stakes here at Churchill last fall, is second choice on the morning line. Trained by Shively resident Gary Hartlage, On Fire Baby exits a win in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes in which she earned a 111 Brisnet speed figure.
My longshot play is Amie’s Dini. She only has one win this year, but has placed in her remaining three starts. Her one win this year came in the Martha Washington stakes in which she earned a 104 Brisnet speed figure. Her speed figures have continued to rise and the company of her races includes Kentucky Oaks contenders On Fire Baby, Colonial Empress and Jemima’s Pearl. I think she’s ready to fire and retains Louisville jockey Jon Court.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Oaks