THE KENTUCKY OAKS DAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

The 1.25 Million Dollar Race

The Kentucky Oaks day is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually in Louisville, Kentucky; United States. The race currently covers 1 18 miles (1,800 m) at Churchill Downs; the horses carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The Kentucky Oaks is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year. The winner gets $750,000 of the $1,250,000 purse, and the large garland blanket of lilies; and so affectionately called of the race is the “Lillies for the Fillies.” A silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy is presented to the winner.

Maxfield dominates the Alysheba

The Kentucky Oaks day card at Churchill Downs featured six graded races; with the Alysheba over 1 1/16th for older horses kicking off the card.  Maxfield bounced back from the first loss of his career in the Santa Anita Handicap by taking stalking the early pace and pulling away to a 3.5 length victory in Churchill Downs’ Grade 2, $400,000 Alysheba Stakes.  Trained by Brendan Walsh, the 4-year-old Street Sense colt covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.39 under jockey Jose Ortiz. He returned $3 as the 1-2 favorite.  Visitant set early fractions of 23.91 and 47.48, with Maxfield sitting off that pace.

The Godolphin homebred put a nose in front coming around the far turn and drew off for his sixth win in seven career starts.  The William Morey-trained Visitant hung tough for second place ahead of Chess Chief.  

Aunt Pearl disappoints in the Edgewood Stakes

As they win to post in the 1 1/16th (G2) Edgewood Stake, the class of the race looked to be the 2020 Breeder Cup Juvenile Filly Turf Champion and 1/5 favorite Aunt Pearl.  And while she looked great for the first 7 furlongs she tired badly and finished fifth.

Gift List, who went off as the 4-1 second choice; pulled off the upset of the previously undefeated Aunt Pearl in the $300,000 Edgewood.  Javier Castellano was in the irons for the Bated Breath filly, trained by Brian Lynch.  The 1 1/16-mile race on the turf at Churchill Downs was the filly’s second race in the U.S.  She finished second in her most recent trip in the April 3 Appalachian (G2) at Keeneland.  Fractions for the race were 24.32, 49.03, 1:13.0 and 1:38.61.

Gift List came running out of the far turn; took the lead at the top of the stretch and widened the gap to earn the win with a final time of 1:41.94.  Gift List returned $10.80 for the win. Barista finished second, and Line Dancing was third.

Shedarethedevil wins the La Troienne Stakes

Shedaresthedevil, upset winner of the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, posted a victory in Churchill Downs $500,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1).  This was a repeat victory for the team of trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux as they took the 2020 edition with Monomoy Girl.  Shedaresthedevil set fractions of 23.99 and 47.94 seconds under Geroux in the 8.5 furlong event for older fillies and mares.

She was challenged down the stretch from a rail riding Envoutante; but held onto score her seventh win in 13 lifetime starts.  The 4-year-old Daredevil filly Shedaresthedevil covered the 8½ furlongs in 1:42.69 and paid $5.40 as the 8-5 favorite.  Finishing behind runner-up Envoutante were Finite in third and Bajan Girl in fourth.

Obigatory rallies late to Eight Belles Stake

Obligatory, sent off as a 16-1 long shot, ran down favored Dayoutoftheoffice  to win the Grade 2, $300,000 Eight Belles Stakes at Churchill Downs. She earned her first stakes victory.  Trained by Bill Mott; the Curlin filly came into the race off a fourth-place finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).

Euphoric, for trainer Bernard Flint, took the early lead in the seven-furlong race; battling with Windmill and Dayoutoftheoffice and putting up quick early fractions of 21.89, 44.46 and 1:09.16. Euphoric carried the lead into the final turn when Dayoutoftheoffice, second-place finisher in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies; took the lead and drew away as she headed down the stretch.  Obligatory; with Jose Ortiz in the irons, had other ideas and came running down the middle of the track to capture the narrow one length victory at the wire. Dayoutoftheoffice finished in second 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Make Mischief, who finished third.

Fast Boat docks in winners circle for Turf Sprint

As Fiya neared the gate as the 2-1 favorite, the only thing obstacle was whether she could control the pace of the race.  That plan went out the window through when she became locked in a speed duel with Just Might with splits of 22.15 and 45.01.  At the top of the stretch they were five wide across the track with Fast Boat under jockey Irad Ortiz closing fastest of all to claim the victory.

Trained by Joe Sharp, the 6 year old gelding prevailed by half a length in a time of 57.11 and paid $10.40.  Sombeyay finished second and Classy John finished third.  Last year’s winner Diamond Oops was sent off at 7/2 and finished fourth.  Fiya finished last in the field of eleven and had to be vanned off the track.  


Malathaat wins The Kentucky Oaks in driving finish

Unbeaten in four starts, Malathaat put her win streak on the line in the 2021 The Kentucky Oaks emerged victorious defeating previously unbeaten Search Results in a thrilling stretch duel.  Trainer Todd Pletcher earned his fourth Kentucky Oaks triumph as Malathaat, a daughter of Curlin, improved to 5-for-5 in her career. 

Jockey John Velazquez won for the second time in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks.  Travel Column, trying to become trainer Brad Cox’s third Kentucky Oaks winner in the last four years, set the early fractions of 23.60, 47.47 and 1:11.31. On the far turn she came under pressure from Search Results, who stalked the early pace and made her move and the two hit the stretch side by side. 

Malathaat roared up on the outside as Travel Column weakened.  Then, Malathaat and Search Results went to the wire together with Malathaat prevailing.  Malathaat, who won Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (G1) earlier this month won by a neck as 5-2 favorite, and returned $7 while covering nine furlongs in 1:48.99.  The first three finishers were Malathaat, Search Results, and long shot Will’s Secret.  

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