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Inglorious, Niji's Grand Girl Clash in FG Oaks

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 Saturday’s event.

 

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 Park.

 

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. John’s River (Kent Desormeaux).

 

 

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