Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

17 Days and Counting: The Novel Nine

Posted by Brian Appleton on April 19, 2011


Just two weeks and four short days remain until the running of the 137th Kentucky Oaks on Friday May 6th at Churchill Downs. In stark contrast to the current disarray that the three-year-old male division finds itself in with heavy Derby favorites falling by the way side left and right, the three-year-old filly division remains stronger than ever and appears to be headed for one of the deepest Oaks fields in modern history. With less than three weeks remaining to the most prestigious race in the nation for sophomore fillies and very few legitimate preps lingering on the horizon the hard part now comes down to sorting out the colorful cast of talented fillies all aiming for their chance at racing immortality.

Just two race went off this weekend with the potential to advance a legitimate Kentucky Oaks contender. The Grade 2 Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland was easily the premier three-year-old filly race of the weekend. The seven furlong race was won by five effortless length by Turbulent Descent but trainer Mike Puype has made it clear his charge will bypass the Kentucky Oaks in favor of the nation’s premier filly sprint races with her next goal being the Acorn Stakes (gr.1) at Belmont on June 11th. Grade 1 winner Tell A Kelly last of five in the Beaumont Stakes in her three-year-old debut, showing none of her usual late kick.

The Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday served as the other legitimate Kentucky Oaks prep over the weekend with the Bob Baffert trained May Day Rose winning the 1 mile race in front running fashion over a solid field of fillies that included Dixie City, Hearts On Fire, Tapit Dancer and Scarlet Mist. The Grade 3 winning filly finished 4th behind Zazu, Turbulent Descent and Plum Pretty in the Las Virgenes Stakes (Gr.1) and 5th in the Santa Anita Oaks (Gr.1) behind Turbulent Descent and Zazu once again before winning the Instant Racing. She ran the mile in a solid time of 1:38.25 after relaxing well on the front end under jockey Martin Garcia. It’s unclear whether or not she will participate in the Kentucky Oaks but word should be out in a couple of days from Bob Baffert on what the plan for the filly will be.  [Read the complete Novel Nine post here at Kentucky Oaks Runner on Horse Racing Nation]


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