Anita Cauley’s homebred On Fire Baby, a leading contender for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) , breezed seven furlongs on a fast track Friday morning at Churchill Downs in 1:26.80 for trainer Gary Hartlage.
Working under regular rider Joe Johnson at 6:20 a.m.
(ET), On Fire Baby recorded fractions of :13, :25, :37.40, :49.80,
1:01.80 and 1:14.40 and galloped out a mile in 1:40.20 and 1 1/8 miles
in 1:54.80. It was the faster of two seven-furlong works Friday.
“She went really well,” Hartlage said. “I like to send my horses
seven-eighths (of a mile) so they don’t go too fast. Also, we’re getting
her ready to run 1 1/8 miles.”
On Fire Baby, a half-sister to High Heels,
third-place finisher in the 2007 Kentucky Oaks, debuted a winner at
Ellis Park last August and returned from that effort to finish fifth in
the Darley Alcibiades (GI) over Keeneland’s Polytrack. The gray daughter
of Smoke Glacken rebounded from her lone off-the-board finish to become
just the seventh filly to complete the Pocahontas (GII) – Golden Rod
(GII) double at Churchill Downs in the fall.
She made her 3-year-old debut against males in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, where she finished third behind Junebugred and Reckless Jerry.
In her second and most recent start this year, On Fire Baby won the
Honeybee (GIII) at Oaklawn by two lengths as the 2-5 favorite.
On Fire Baby stayed at Oaklawn with Hartlage’s other horses through
the meet and then vanned to Churchill Downs on April 16. Friday marked
her first published workout since she breezed seven furlongs in 1:27.80
at Oaklawn on March 27.
Hartlage said On Fire Baby would breeze beneath the Twin Spires again
next weekend in what will be her final major training move in
preparation for the Oaks.