Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

A Glorious Fair Grounds Oaks

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 25, 2011

While there was little in the way of Kentucky Oaks caliber racing taking place last weekend this weekend features two fields of fillies that are more than capable of making the grade in the big dance. Inglorious is the big cheese running this Saturday but before we get to the races a few things have happened since last week that may have a significant impact on the outcome of the Kentucky Oaks.

Grade 1 winning filly Rigoletta has been retired from racing. It was announced on Wednesday that a tendon injury was discovered after her sixth place finish in the Honeybee Stakes on March 12th and rather than risk her coming back at a lesser level of racing she will instead be bred this year. Last year Rigoletta won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes to finish out her juvenile campaign after finishing third in the Grade 1 Darley Debutante.
The Grade 1 Ashland Stakes has become the most anticipated Kentucky Oaks prep of the season. On Monday leading Kentucky Oaks contender Kathmanblu was withdrawn from consideration for the Fair Grounds Oaks this weekend in favor of the April 9th Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. On Thursday trainer John Ward announced that his star filly Dancinginherdreams will also make her next start in the Ashland Stakes. It will be the first time the gorgeous Tapit filly tries her luck around two turns. She will also be racing over synthetics for the first time and stretching out to 1 1/16 miles. It was originally assumed she would head for the 1 1/8 mile Gulfstream Oaks on April 2nd but Ward likes the extra week his filly will receive when she heads for the Ashland. Needless to say the Ashland results will play a huge role in the overall Kentucky Oaks picture and might very well decide the race favorite. [Read the complete post here on Horse Racing Nation]
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