Race of the Week 2017

Tell a Kelly Gets Distance Test in Oak Leaf

Tell a Kelly, an impressive winner of the Darley Debutante on Sept. 4, will face six other 2-year-old fillies – all of whom are looking for their first graded stakes victory – in the Oak Leaf.

Run at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track, the Oak Leaf is one of  the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In’’ races. The winner will earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies division.

Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash and trained by John Sadler, Tell a Kelly has won two of three starts – all at Del Mar - and earned $181,000.

After finishing fifth in her debut on July 25, the Florida bred daughter of Tapit and the Tabasco Cat mare Evrobi defeated maidens on Aug. 15, then was dominant in the Debutante.

Tell a Kelly became a Grade I winner with a 4 ½ length victory in the Debutante,  defeating Wickedly Perfect and eight others. She will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez. All starters in the Oak Leaf will carry 122 pounds.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who won the Oak Leaf for the first time with Blind Luck in 2009, is scheduled to run two fillies – Indian Gracey and Pacific Pride.

Owned by Hollendorfer, Indian Gracey, a daughter of Indian Ocean out of the Matty G mare Miz Betty Grace, comes off a neck maiden victory as the 7-10 favorite on Sept. 5 at Del Mar. Prior to that, she finished 2 ½ lengths behind Tell a Kelly when second as the 3-5 choice. In three starts she has earned $49,400.

Pacific Pride, owned in partnership by Hollendorfer, John Carver and George Todaro, finished fourth in her July 25 debut, then won by 2 ½ lengths as the odds-on favorite on Aug. 29 at Del Mar. The lone entrant with a win beyond seven furlongs – her maiden score came at one mile – Pacific Pride is by Storm Cat out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Race for the Stars.

A daughter of Rock Hard Ten out of the Gone West mare Alienated, Alienation is back in California after two starts at Saratoga. Trained by Bob Baffert for his wife Jill, Alienation graduated on the grass at Hollywood Park in her debut on July 5, then was second in a pair of graded races in New York.

She chased Position Limit in the Adirondack, a Grade II, on Aug. 15, then was defeated four lengths by R Heat Lightning in the Spinaway, a Grade I on Sept. 9. She has earned $104,600.

The only other member of the lineup with a stakes win is True Way of Grace, who captured the Barretts Debutante on Sept. 18 at Fairplex Park.

Owned by Peter O. Johnson and trained by Alexis Barba, the Yes It’s True filly out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Evil’s Causeway had finished eighth and third in her two previous starts at Del Mar. She has earned $57,440.

Completing the field are Rigoletta and Izshelegal, who finished 3-4, respectively, in the Darley Debutante.

Owned by a partnership that includes 3R3 Racing and trained by Terry Knight, Izshelegal is by Maria’s Mon and the A.P. Indy mare Unkatzable. She is seeking her first win in her fourth start and has banked $53,000.

Trained by Dan Hendricks for Thor-Bred Stable LLC, Rigoletta, a daughter of Concerto and the Montbrook mare Almost Aprom Queen, has a win in three races. She has earned $60,820.

The lineup, from inside out, for the 42nd Oak Leaf Stakes: Izshelegal, Mike Smith rides, 122 pounds; Rigoletta, David Flores, 122; Indian Gracey, Joe Talamo, 122; Alienation, Martin Garcia, 122; True Way of Grace, Joel Rosario, 122; Tell a Kelly, Alonso Quinonez, 122 and Pacific Pride, Rafael Bejarano, 122.



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