Spice is Nice, the first foal out of Grade 1 winner Dame Dorothy who won her Jan. 12 debut by 12 lengths, will work Saturday morning before connections decide her next race spot.
They’ll do so within the context of a Kentucky Oaks trail not quite as intimidating compared to a week ago after the tragic death of unbeaten filly Taraz, then the injury and retirement of Grade 1 winner Bast.
“It’s a day-by-day thing in this business,” said Jacob West, racing manager for owners Robert and Lawana Low.
With West doing the bidding, the Lows went to $1.05 million for Spice is Nice, a daughter of Curlin trained by Todd Pletcher. She struck first out going a one-turn mile in 1:36.06 at Gulfstream Park, where on Feb. 29 the Davona Dale (G2) goes that same trip for Oaks qualifying points.
“There’s a handful of different options with allowances that might be there, and then obviously the Davona Dale’s in the back our minds,” West said. “She’s doing well, and spacing for next weekend is coming up just right.
“It’s nothing where there’s anything to rush her back into, and the clock isn’t rushing us into any rash decisions.”
Whether Spice is Nice shows up in the Davona Dale, West would like to see her try a major Oaks prep before the first Friday in May.
The Lows went to seven figures for Spice is Nice, who was bred by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, partially on Pletcher’s recommendation. Having trained Dame Dorothy, winner of Churchill Downs’ 2015 Humana Distaff (G1), Pletcher told connections he also expected that mare to be a precocious type of runner were it not for a physical setback as a 2-year-old.
“That just gives you all the more reason to go in there and bid with confidence,” West said after the debut victory, in which Spice is Nice took over through the turn under jockey John Velazquez and finished up in a hand ride much the best.
Should she go in the Davona Dale, Spice is Nice could meet, among others, the impressive Demoiselle (G2) winner Lake Avenue and Tonalist’s Shape, the unbeaten Forward Gal (G3) heroine. Entries will be taken Wednesday for the card.