Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Inglorious the Favorite: The Novel Nine

Posted by Brian Appleton on March 22, 2011

This past weekend offered little in the way of Kentucky Oaks prep action as only two major stakes races were run for 3-year-old fillies but one of the two could be a prelude of better things to come. The Santa Paula Stakes and Cicada Stakes didn’t feature much in the way of proven quality fillies but the Santa Paula result showcased a promising run by Mildly Offensive.

Making the second start of her young career the speedy filly rated just behind California Nectar until the ¼ mile mark and then dragged herself to the lead, full of run and looking very strong. By the time she entered the stretch she was already more than a length in the lead and continued to extend her advantage from there under a hand ride by jockey Rafael Bejarano. She won by 4 ¼ lengths in a time of 1:15.70 on a sloppy track for the 6 ½ furlongs.

This daughter of Sharp Humor is one to keep an eye on for sure but perhaps not for the Kentucky Oaks as no mention has been made yet as to her short term goal this spring. Her gallop out wasn’t particularly strong which prompts me to think she could be at her best running sprint distance races and might not be as effective stretching out.

This weekend’s Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies lost a leading Kentucky Oaks contender on Monday when Kathmanblu’s connections announced their decision to skip the race in favor of the April 9th Ashland Stakes (gr.1). Apparently trainer Kenny McPeek thinks his filly could use some more time before her next start and he would also like to get a Grade 1 win under her belt. This means that the Bluegrass Cat filly will have almost exactly one month between her Ashland run and the Kentucky Oaks, a schedule that should have her sharper than ever coming into the Oaks. She turned in a bullet 5 furlong move on Saturday finishing in a time of :59.80.

With the withdrawal of Kathmanblu the way is paved for Canadian shipper Inglorious to assume the title of favorite race favorite in the Fair Grounds Oaks. Inglorious finished second to Kathmanblu in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds last month in the third start of her career. There should be nothing to stand in the way of this talented filly taking her third stakes victory on Saturday.

There is little adjustment in this week’s Novel Nine rankings with the biggest change being Inglorious jumping up two spots from #6 to #4. [Read the complete post here on Horse Racing Nation]

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