Friday’s $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) drew an overflowing field of 16 (14 can start) and is the highlight of an outstanding 13-race card on tap on Friday at Churchill Downs.
The Simon Callaghan trained Bellafina is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Kentucky Oaks, which will go off at 6:12 ET, the 11th race on the card and will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.
The filly has won six of her eight career starts, winning the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 6 in her last outing. Flavien Prat will be on board and will break from the four post.
Among her foes is last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champ Jaywalk (8-1), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Champagne Anyone (6-1), Ashland (G1) runner up Restless Rider (6-1) and three-time stakes winner Serengeti Empress (8-1).
First post on Friday is 10:30am ET and there are five supporting stakes on the card. There is a 60% chance of scattered thunderstorms during the afternoon. There are showers and thunderstorms likely on Friday night and there is a 90% chance of rain on Saturday for Kentucky Derby Day.
The stakes action on Friday kicks off with the $250,000 Eight Belles (G2), a seven-furlong sprint for three-year-old fillies. A field of nine will line up led by Beaumont (G3) runner up Mother Mother (3-1), Purple Martin Stakes winner Break Even (4-1) and Queen of Beas, a sharp winner versus first level optional claimers at Gulfstream Park in her last start.
The $250,000 Edgewood (G3) drew a field of seven three-year-olds including the undefeated Newspaperofrecord. The Chad Brown trainee won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last November over the Churchill Downs turf course.
A field of 11 older runners go in the $400,000 Alysheba (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The Bob Baffert trained McKinzie is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The colt was beaten a nose in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on April 6 in his last outing.
The $500,000 La Troien (G1) drew a competitive field of 10 fillies and mares that will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Secret Spice (5-2) ships in from Southern California where she won the Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.
Her foes include Bayakoa (G3) winner She’s a Julie (7-2), Heavenly Prize winner Divine Miss Grey (7-2) and Blue Prize (3-1), who makes her first start since running fourth in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).
The $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) drew nine with World of Trouble the even money morning line favorite. The Jason Servis trainee won the Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct in his last start on April 6, his seventh win in 11 career starts, two of his wins coming on turf.
Kentucky Oaks Field
1. Out for a Spin, I. Ortiz Jr., 15-1
2. Chocolate Kisses, J. Leparoux, 20-1
3. Lady Apple, R. Santana Jr., 20-1
4. Bellafina, F. Prat, 2-1
5. Flor de la Mar, J. Rosario, 20-1
6. Positive Spirit, M. Franco, 30-1
7. Jaywalk, J. Castellano, 8-1
8. Motion Emotion, M. Smith, 15-1
9. Liora, C. Hill, 20-1
10. Champagne Anyone, C. Landeros, 6-1
11. Jeltrin, L. Saez, 15-1
12. Street Band, S. Doyle, 15-1
13. Serengeti Empress, J. Ortiz, 8-1
14. Restless Rider, B. Hernandez Jr., 6-1
15 (ae) Dunbar Road, J. Ortiz, 5-1
16 (ae) Point of Honor, J.V elazquez, 30-1