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
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.
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.
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.
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
, 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.