Trainer Larry Jones, who on Saturday will saddle Mark Valeski,
the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Belmont’s Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes,
revealed Friday that he will likely point Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can to Belmont Park’s Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes, run at 1 1/16-miles on June 23.
“Time between sure doesn’t hurt her,” Jones said. “She’s
already raced four times [this year] and if we’re going to have her
around come Breeders’ Cup time, we’ve got to kind of space her out a
little bit. So, probably the Mother Goose, and the main objective now
after we’ve got the Kentucky Oaks is the Alabama, but what we do to
get her to the Alabama is the question. I’m going to say the Mother
Goose, and then whether we do the Coaching Club Oaks or just go
straight to the Alabama from there, we just have to see what happens.”
Saratoga Race Course hosts both the TVG Coaching Club
American Oaks (Grade 1, $300,000, 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, July 21) and
the Alabama (Grade 1, $600,000, 1 ¼ miles on Saturday, August 18).
Believe You Can, who carries the colors of former Kentucky Governor
Brereton C. Jones, is now riding a two-race win streak having taken the
Fair Grounds Oaks on March 31 en route to the Kentucky Oaks last
Friday. The Proud Citizen filly was ridden to victory in both races by
Rosie Napravnik, who became the first female jockey in history to win
the Kentucky Oaks. The Joneses also teamed up to win the race in 2008
with Proud Spell.
“It just was great,” Larry Jones said of Oaks Day. “Of
course, I’m from Kentucky, and we all think the Kentucky Oaks is the
second-best horse race in the world. The Derby is the only thing better
than that for an old Kentucky boy. People tell me that winning the
Derby, or winning the Oaks, a lot of people can do it once. But, if you
win it twice, maybe you really do deserve to do it. So, that gives you
a little bit of logic that maybe the first time wasn’t pure luck!
You’ve got to get lucky, but hopefully it’s more than just luck.
“To be able to do it with Rosie, her being the very first
[female] Oaks winner, also to do it on Ladies’ Day, with the lady, and
then what better for the women that are trying to survive cancer than
to Believe You Can?” Jones continued. “Everything fell into the spot…it
kind of makes you think it was meant to be.