On the heels of yesterday’s post with photos of the Kentucky Derby point leaders at Churchill Downs, here are some of the eleven fillies in contention for the Kentucky Oaks. (These pictures are from Friday, when it was sunny and beautiful in Louisville.)
Two-year-old champ Beholder arrived from California late yesterday afternoon so there are no photos of her, or of Todd Pletcher’s fillies Dreaming of Julia, Princess of Sylmar, or Silsita, all of whom were on the track when it was still dark. Seaneen Girl, trained by Bernie Flint, is the other Oaks contender missing.
The gals are shown in order of their Oaks points, although with such a small field expected, the points are irrelevant.
|Rose to Gold, trained by Sal Santoro, galloping under newly elected Hall of Famer Calvin Borel.|
|Unlimited Budget, trained by Todd Pletcher.|
|Close Hatches, one of two for Bill Mott.|
|Mott's other Oaks filly, Flashy Gray.|
|Midnight Lucky, out for trainer Bob Baffert.|
|Pure Fun, trained by Kenny McPeek.|
Itsmyluckyday arrived from Florida early yesterday afternoon, stepping off the van from the 18-hour journey that he shared with three other horses -- all fillies, including Grade 1 winner Emma’s Encore and Grade 2 winner Aubby K -- relaxed and looking very well.
I spent a morning at Calder Race Course with Itsmyluckyday’s trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. in March for North American Trainer magazine. You can read the entire Triple Crown issue of the magazine here.
|Itsmyluckyday and assistant trainer Frankie Perez.|
|Itsmyluckyday surveys the scene before checking out his new temporary digs in barn 41 at Churchill.|
Weather-wise, Saturday wasn’t a great day for taking pictures, but here are a few:
|Orb was drinking the water splashing off his leg.|
|Wayne Lukas grazing Will Take Charge.|
|Oxbow looks like a strawberry roan but is registered as a bay.|
|The undefeated Gold Medal Dancer, trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel. I expect we'll be hearing about this nice filly in stakes races soon.|
|Above and below, Grade 2 winner Air Support.|
One more from Friday: This horse caught my eye while I was walking through the barn area. After I took some photos, I read his halter and discovered that this gorgeous guy is 19-year-old Chindi, a multiple graded stakes-winning son of El Prado who retired from racing in 2005 with a record of 81-18-13-23 and earnings of $1,000,838. He is trainer Steve Hobby’s stable pony.