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Kentucky Oaks Likely for Close Hatches

In the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, both Close Hatches and Mr Palmer were reported to have emerged from their Wood Day races in fine fettle.

 

Grade 2 Gazelle victress Close Hatches is now undefeated in three starts and could be bound for the Kentucky Oaks, having earned 100 points for yesterday’s victory in the new qualifying system for the race.

 

“I thought it was pretty impressive,” Mott’s assistant, Leana Willaford, said of the Gazelle, in which Close Hatches dueled with a game Princess of Sylmar before drawing off to win by 3 ¼ lengths. “It was just her third start and she had to get in a little bit of a battle there after setting pretty good fractions. She ran great. I’m sure the Oaks would probably be on the radar; it seems that would be the natural progression. That’s obviously something Bill and Garrett O’Rourke, the Juddmonte [manager for United States operations] will have to decide. It seems like a logical choice as long as she comes out of the race good, and so far, she has. For the first day, she looks real good, she’s happy, and she ate well.”

 

Michael Lauffer and Gregory McDonald’s Mr Palmer, fourth in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, did not earn the points necessary to run in the Kentucky Derby, but Willaford said his connections were pleased with the performance.

 

“We’re real happy with him,” Willaford said. “He ran real well. There were some nice horses in there and he’s made kind of a steady and nice progression since he came up here last fall. He certainly didn’t embarrass himself or disappoint anybody. We’ll just wait and see how he comes out of this. We’ve got plenty of options – now that [the Derby] is off the schedule, you can kind of shop around with where to go. He looks like he should have a nice season ahead of him.”

 

 

 

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Older Comments about Kentucky Oaks Likely for Close Hatches...

Great news for Mr Palmer, would like to see what the Lauffer's have for us this year! And Close Hatches, a new Daily Racing Funnie is on the board! The Oaks is loaded with talent!

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