A full field of 14 including a trio of undefeated fillies will square off in the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on Friday.
Last year’s top juvenile filly Echo Zulu (4-1) took the field gate to wire to win the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and comes into the race perfect in five career starts for trainer Steve Asmussen.
She breaks from the seven post under jockey Joel Rosario, “She drew a great spot,” Asmussen said of her post position. “We’ll see what we can do.”
The Shug McGaughey trained Kathleen O. (7-2) has won all four of her career outings. She won the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in her last start. Her 98 Beyer Speed Figure is the top last out number in the field.
Javier Castellano gets the leg up and will break from post 10.
Shahama (15-1) is making her U.S. debut after winning all four of her starts in Dubai. Her last was a victory in the UAE Oaks (G3). She is now trained by Todd Pletcher, who has won this race four times including last year with Malathaat.
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Pletcher has two other starters, the 5-2 morning line favorite Nest and 15-1 longshot Goddess of Fire
Nest has won four of her five career starts and won the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland by 8 ¼ lengths. Goddess of Fire was the runner up in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.
Secret Oath (6-1) drew the rail for 86-year-old Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The filly took on the boys in her last outing, running third in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
There is rain in the forecast throughout the day on Friday in Louisville which likely will leave the track sloppy or muddy. The Kentucky Oaks is one of seven stakes on the card. First post is 10:30am ET.
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