Dreaming of Julia
, 21 ¾-length winner of the Gulfstream Oaks (Grade II),
and undefeated Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) winner Unlimited Budget
at Churchill Downs on Monday at 6:50 p.m. EDT and will continue their
preparations for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) beneath the Twin
Dreaming of Julia (ranked No. 3 on the "Road to the
Kentucky Oaks" Leaderboard) and Unlimited Budget (No. 2) arrived from
their winter base at Palm Meadows in good order and are stabled in Barn
34 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who said his Oaks contenders will be
joined at Churchill Downs by Revolutionary
(ranked No. 4 on the "Road to
the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com" Leaderboard) on Friday
(No. 2) on Sunday.
"I thought (Dreaming of Julia)
would run well, but I don't think you ever expect one to run like that,"
Pletcher said. "Hopefully she can repeat it. (Unlimited Budget) had a
great winter and she's been moving forward. Every race has been a little
, winner of the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) by a
nose over Marathon Lady, also arrived at Pletcher's Churchill Downs barn
Monday evening to be prepared for a run in the Kentucky Oaks. Pletcher,
who won the Oaks in 2007 with Rags to Riches and in 2004 with Ashado,
said the fillies could breeze over the Churchill Downs oval Sunday.
Pletcher's Oaks contenders on the trip from South Florida were Palm
Beach (GIII) runner-up Charming Kitten
and Palace Malice
(No. 32), third
in the Risen Star (GII) and most recently seventh in the Louisiana
Derby (GII). Both colts are scheduled to run in Saturday's Toyota Blue
"Kitten's Joys seem to love Keeneland and (Charming
Kitten) actually ran OK there in the Breeders' Futurity, but got into
some trouble at the top of the stretch," Pletcher said. "I think he's a
better horse now then he was then.
"We like (Palace Malice) a lot
and he's trained really well all winter. He was a little unlucky at the
Fair Grounds and I think he deserves another chance. He was purchased
at Keeneland last year and breezed well over the (Polytrack) surface
there. Our motivation is to try to earn points to get in."
Blue Grass awards points to the Top 4 finishers on a 100-40-20-10 scale
as part of the Second Leg of the Championship Series. Charming Kitten
and Palace Malice likely would earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby
Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) starting gate with a Top 2 finish. A
third-place finish for Palace Malice would likely put him "on the
bubble" with 30 points.
Charming Kitten and Palace Malice both galloped at Churchill Downs on Tuesday and will ship to Keeneland on Saturday morning.
notable Monday arrivals for Pletcher include Abraham
, third in the
Sunland Derby (GIII), Rampart (GIII) runner-up Authenticity
Demoiselle (GII) winner Disposablepleasure
, 2012 Derby Trial (GIII)
, Hutcheson (GII) runner-up Forty Tales
, Suwannee River
(GIII) winner Channel Lady
and stakes winners Stopshoppingmaria
Pletcher added that Forty Tales is under
consideration for the Coolmore Lexington (GIII) at Keeneland on April 20
and the rest of his Monday arrivals are being pointed toward Derby week
stakes at Churchill Downs. Pletcher also reported that Louisiana Derby
was expected to arrive at Churchill Downs from
WinStar Farm on Friday.
Pletcher was scheduled to return to New
York for the remainder of the week, but said he'd be back in Kentucky on
Saturday for the Blue Grass and expected to remain here through the