Seven 3-year-old fillies are set to match strides in
Saturday’s Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes, final designed preview of
potential contestants in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks March 26. For
the first time this race bears the name of the 2009 Horse of the Year and 2009
Fair Grounds Oaks winner who retired last fall.
Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables’ Kathmanblu,
8 1/2-length heroine of Churchill’s Grade II Golden Rod Stakes last fall and
most recently clearly the winner of Gulfstream’s $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes
Jan. 22, is the strong 6-5 morning line favorite for the Rachel Alexandra, with
French-born jockey Julien Leparoux named astride.
[Who does Brian Appleton rate as his top Kentucky Oaks contender? Read his latest Kentucky Oaks Novel Nine blog.]
Right Time Racing’s Bouquet Booth, winner of Fair
Grounds’ $98,000 Silverbulletday Stakes Jan. 22 and Delta Downs’ Grade III
Delta Princess last fall, is considered to be the main challenger at 7-2 in the
early line and will have the riding services of Fair Grounds’ defending jockey
champion Shaun Bridgmohan.
Others named to the Rachel Alexandra Stakes are: William
Sanders and Larry Hirsch’s Gran Lioness, Jamie Theriot (5-1);
Courtlandt Farms’ Chloe Kate, Corey Lanerie (10-1); Donver Stable’s Inglorious,
Chantel Sutherland (5-1); Kirk Robison’s Tapit Dancer, James
Graham (10-1); and James Covello, Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel’s Lilacs
and Lace, Mike Smith (12-1).