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Kentucky Oaks 137 Notes - March 28

Four of the past seven winners of the $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) have won the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI).


The filly with the chance to complete that double this year is James M. Miller’s Daisy Devine, who held off the charge of Dede McGehee’s St. John’s River to win Saturday’s richest running of Fair Grounds’ 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies by a half-length. Niji’s Grand Girl closed for third and favored Inglorious finished fourth in the field of nine.


James Graham was aboard the winner for Kentucky-based trainer Andrew McKeever. Daisy Devine covered the distance in 1:44.25 over a fast track.


Debbie Miller, the owner’s wife, said the May 6 Kentucky Oaks will be run on the Millers’ fifth wedding anniversary.


“It was Kentucky Derby Day that year,” she said, “and we had a Kentucky Derby party.”


Fillies that have swept the Fair Grounds Oaks-Kentucky Oaks double include Ashado (2004), Summerly (2005), Proud Spell (2008) and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (2009). 


Earlier, Adele Dilscheider and Claiborne Farm’s Might, a sister to 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Blame, scored her first victory when she took a mile and 70 yard maiden race by  a 1 ½ lengths.





Robert and Lawana Low’s Arienza, an impressive daughter Giant’s Causeway out of Horse of the Year Azeri, was an easy 2 ½-length winner in a one-mile allowance race on Sunday at Oaklawn Park.


Trainer Dan Peitz had said a good effort would earn Arienza a start in Oaklawn’s $300,000 Fantasy (GII) on April 10.




Kentucky native Larry Jones, back on the job as a trainer after spending a year on the sidelines, lists his 2008 Kentucky Oaks victory with Proud Spell as a career highlight. Now, just weeks into his return to training, Jones finds a pair of strong contenders for a second Kentucky Oaks victory in his barn.


Joyful Victory earned that status a few weeks back with an easy victory in the Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn Park, and Summer Soiree became Jones’ second serious Kentucky Oaks contender as the daughter of hot sire War Front rolled a 10 ¾-length romp over Harlan’s Ruby in Saturday’s $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) at Turfway Park.


“We may go straight to the Kentucky Oaks off this,” Jones said. “She runs very well with time between starts, and 41 days should be a good time.”


Brereton Jones, who owned Proud Spell, owns Summer Soiree with his son Bret and Wahoo Partners.


WEST (Arizona, California, New Mexico) / BAFFERT’S PLUM PRETTY WINS SUNLAND OAKS BY 25


Peachtree Stable’s Plum Pretty, who had run well against Southern California’s best 3-year-old fillies, travelled to New Mexico on Sunday and toyed with the locals in a 25-length romp under jockey Martin Garcia in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks.


The Medaglia d’Oro filly covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.91 and perhaps a spot in the Kentucky Oaks starting gate.





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