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Fair Grounds Oaks Field Takes Shape

Unlimited Budget with John Velazquez wins the 91st running of the Grade II Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year old fillies, going 1 1/8 mile at Aqueduct Racetrack. Trainer Todd Pletcher. Owner Repole Stables.
Five of the last eight $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s 45th renewal of the feminine equivalent of the Louisiana Derby once again promises that kind of quality.

Repole Stable’s undefeated Unlimited Budget is sure to be the local Oaks favorite based on her 3 3/4-length score in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes in her debut as a sophomore. Last season, the Todd Pletcher trainee closed out her juvenile campaign with a 1 1/4-length win in Aqueduct’s Grade II Demoiselle.

Holt Racing et al.’s Promise Me More, trained by locally-based Wes Hawley, was second behind Unlimited Budget in the Rachel Alexandra and is set to try again Saturday, as is Susan Knoll’s third-place runner Blue Violet, trained by Larry Jones, who won last year’s Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks with Brereton Jones’s Believe You Can.

Maggi Moss’s So Many Ways, an Anthony Dutrow trainee who won Saratoga’s Grade III Schuylerville and Grade I Spinaway last summer and was the victim of a poor start in her only start as a sophomore, is expected to try and make amends for that defeat in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

As of Sunday, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott was considering sending West Point Thoroughbreds’ Flashy Gray to the Fair Grounds Oaks following her runner-up run in Oaklawn’s Grade III Honeybee on March 9.

Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl, trained by Bernie Flint and the winner of the Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill last fall, is set to make her 2013 debut in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Valene Farm’s Ante Up Annie, winner of Fair Grounds $60,000 Sarah Lane’s Oates Stakes and second in Delta’s $75,000 Azalea Stakes at last asking March 7, is expected to return in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Finally, Dale Ladner’s Sittin At the Bar, winner of Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Lassie and $100,000 Louisiana Futurity and fifth in the Honeybee, is still under consideration for the Fair Grounds Oaks.

  

 

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