Race of the Week 2017

Kentucky Oaks Barn Notes - Rose to Gold Works 4f

BEHOLDER (No. 1) – Spendthrift Farm’s champion Beholder is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs early Saturday afternoon according to Churchill Downs stall manager Steve Hargrave.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder will be on a flight that lands in Lexington late morning and will van from there to Churchill Downs, where she will be housed in Barn 45.
CLOSE HATCHES (No. 5) / FLASHY GRAY (No. 6) – Trainer Bill Mott send out his Oaks tandem for gallops Friday morning.

Close Hatches galloped like a mile and three-eighths and went to the gate – stood and backed out,’’ Mott said of the filly who was ridden by Joanna Trout. “She’s doing very well. She’s galloping good. She’s scheduled to work on Sunday, I guess.’’

Close Hatches, undefeated in three starts, won at the Oaks distance, a mile and an eighth, in the Gazelle (GII) on April 6 at Aqueduct in her last start and stakes debut.  

Flashy Gray, coming off a runner-up finish in the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) is scheduled to work Saturday. The workout will be her first at Churchill Downs.

Mott said he likes how Flashy Gray is getting over the Churchill track. “She’s a little relaxed,’’ he said of the filly who was ridden by Penny Gardiner. “There’s not a lot of traffic out there. She’s pretty relaxed right not without much traffic. We’ll put her in company to work tomorrow.’’

Mott noted that many of the Oaks filles have the same style – “speed, stalkers.’’ Close Hatches led all the way in her last two races, and Flashy Gray was a stalker in her last four races.

DREAMING OF JULIA (No. 4) / PRINCESS OF SYLMAR (No. 7) / SILSITA (No. 9) / UNLIMITED BUDGET (No. 3) – Prior to the morning renovation break on a clear Friday at Churchill Downs, Gulfstream Oaks (GII) winner Dreaming of Julia, Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) winner Silsita and Gazelle (GII) runner-up Princess of Sylmar galloped beneath the Twin Spires for trainer Todd Pletcher.
Following the renovation break, during the period reserved for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders, Unlimited Budget, undefeated winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII), galloped around the Louisville oval.
Pletcher’s quartet of Kentucky Oaks contenders are scheduled to breeze Saturday at approximately 6 a.m.
"Dreaming of Julia will work on her own as she has been, Unlimited Budget and Silsita will work together and Princess of Sylmar probably will work with (Eight Belles contender) Fusaichiswonderful,” Pletcher said.  

MIDNIGHT LUCKY (No. 8) – Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s undefeated Midnight Lucky galloped 1 ½ miles with exercise rider Jorge Alvarez up for trainer Bob Baffert.
PURE FUN (No. 11) – Magdalena Racing’s Pure Fun galloped 1 ½ miles under exercise rider Jose Cano Friday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the Kentucky Oaks on May 3.
Pure Fun, who concluded her 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Hollywood Starlet (GI), finished third in her 3-year-old debut in the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) before checking in seventh against colts in the Lexington (GIII) on April 20.
“She’s happy now.  That was basically an afternoon workout,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “That’s all the Lexington was. We needed to get a race into her.”
ROSE TO GOLD (No. 2) – Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centrofanti’s Rose to Gold worked a half-mile in :47.80 over a fast track under jockey Calvin Borel after the morning renovation break. The move was the second fastest of 51 at the distance.

Rose to Gold came on the track at the 5 ½-furlong gap and had one leisurely circuit of the track before Borel turned her loose through fractions of :24 and :35.60 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 and six furlongs in 1:13.20.

“She is awesome. She worked very good, better than last week,” Borel said, referring to the filly’s  :48.20 work of last Saturday. “This is just a filly that is getting better all the time.”

Borel, who won the 2009 Oaks on Rachel Alexandra, has been aboard Rose to Gold for her past two starts, victories in the Honeybee (GIII) and Fantasy (GIII) at Oaklawn Park.

“I got on her a couple times before the Honeybee,” Borel said of his introduction to Rose to Gold. “I had watched her run the day she was second (in the Martha Washington) and thought she had a little potential.” 

Denis Roberson
, who has been overseeing Rose to Gold’s preparations here for trainer Sal Santoro, said the filly would walk the next two days with Santoro scheduled to arrive in Louisville late Monday and be at the barn Tuesday.

“She will walk two days, gallop two days, walk two days and run,” Roberson said. “That’s been his M.O. with her and he has done a tremendous job.”

SEANEEN GIRL (No. 10) – Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl, who missed training time because of a bruised foot during the Fair Grounds meet, is doing fine, trainer Bernie Flint said.

“Naturally, it took a while to resolve that, but we still put glue-on shoes – we’re not using nail shoes on her,’’ Flint said.

Flint said that Seaneen Girl was racing for the first time with glue-on shoes when she finished third in the Fair Grounds Oaks. “She did well with them,’’ Flint said.

The Fair Grounds Oaks was Seaneen Girl’s first race this year. She closed her 2012 season with a victory in the Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs.

Seaneen Girl galloped a mile and five-eighths Friday, and Flint said he’s planning to work her once more before the Oaks when she will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik.

“I think we’re seven days out now,’’ he said. “I’m going to probably be working her about five days out or four days out. We put a lot of air, long gallops, in her, and we use exercise riders to work her. They’re carrying 30, 40 pounds more than a rider would be, and believe that would build them up and build air in them. And really, we know she can run, so we don’t need to prove that point. I just have to build up the air and keep them nice and strong, so when we go over there, we’ve got to run a little farther, a mile and an eighth, they’ll have plenty air and wind.’’

Seaneen Girl shows two workouts since the Fair Grounds Oaks – five furlongs in 1:01.40 on April 17 at Churchill and five furlongs Wednesday in 1:06.20 at Churchill. But Flint said that she actually wasn’t working Wednesday but was galloping a mile and five-eighths. Clockers timed the last part of her gallop, he said.

“That was a joke,’’ he said. “It wasn’t really even a work, believe it or not. … She went a mile before she went the five eighths. That’s what you call just galloping around. That’s what she was doing.’’


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