Donver Stables’ Inglorious, a fast-closing second to
the highly regarded Kathmanblu in last month’s Grade III Rachel Alexandra
Stakes, was made the 3-1 favorite in Saturday’s Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks
despite drawing the outside post for the 1 1/16 mile contest.
With a purse recently bumped to $500,000, the Fair Grounds
Oaks for 3-year-old fillies is the richest prep race for the prestigious Grade
I Kentucky Oaks on May 6. Four of the last six winners of the Fair Grounds Oaks
have gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks: Rachel Alexandra in 2009, Proud
Spell in 2008, Summerly in 2005 and Ashado in 2004 (the race
was not run the season following Hurricane Katrina).
Inglorious, an Ontario-bred daughter of Hennessy trained by
Josie Carroll, won her first two starts in restricted stakes as a
2-year-old at Woodbine. The Rachel Alexandra was her first start as a
3-year-old and both Carroll and jockey Chantal Sutherland, who has the
return mount, were pleased with the runner-up effort as a springboard to
Second choice on oddsmaker Mike Diliberto’s morning
line at 4-1 went to Lanaluce Educe Stables’ Niji’s Grand Girl, invading
from South Florida
for trainer Ken McPeek, who also conditions Kathmanblu and won this race
in 2002 with Take Charge Lady.
A Candy Ride filly, Niji’s Grand Girl has never been worse
than third in seven lifetime starts. She came home third last time out in the
Florida Oaks on turf at Tampa Bay Downs and posted a five-furlong work in :59
4/5 Saturday at Gulfstream
The 10-horse field also includes Grandacious (6-1,
jockey Jesse Campbell), distanced in her last start but competitive in
two Delta Downs stakes this past winter for trainer Bret Calhoun; Snow
Fall (8-1, Rosie Napravnik), a highly impressive 5 ½-length maiden winner
at Fair Grounds last month for trainer Mike Stidham; and a promising pair from
the barn of Steve Margolis, listed separately at 8-1 each,
Silverbulletday third Little Miss Holly (Edgar Prado) and
allowance winner Switching Gears (Shaun Bridgmohan).
The rest of the field is comprised of Tapit Dancer (Michael
Baze), Daisy Devine (James Graham), Tourmaline (Miguel
Mena) and St.