Fillies Step Up For 2013 Kentucky Oaks

Category : News - Mon 13/05/2013 - 08:49 EDT

While horse racing fans look forward to the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013, it will actually be ladies first, with the 139th running of the $1M Grade I Kentucky Oaks that hits the starting gate on Friday, May 3, 2013. Run at 1 1/8 miles over the main track at legendary Churchill Downs, the Oaks is considered one of the per-eminent races for 3-year-old fillies in the world.

Beholder leads the field as the top Oaks contender

While it’s expected that the Oaks race will draw a full complement of 14 starters, the prep races have produced a few top contenders. That group is led by 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies champion Beholder. The Richard Mandela-trained daughter of Henny Hughes was considered to more likely be a sprinter, but proved her doubters wrong with a 1 1/16 mile wire-to-wire win at Santa Anita last November. Beholder has recorded five wins, including the GI Santa Anita Oaks, and two second place runs from eight starts and $1.5 million in life time earnings.

Kentucky Oaks: Unlimited Budget is a top challenger

Also expected to contend for the Oaks title is the unbeaten Street Sense filly Unlimited Budget. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Florida-bred has already won at the Oaks distance as she won the Grade II Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct last fall. She overcame trouble and a wide trip to rally from 5th and win the Grade III Rachel Alexandra at the Fair Grounds in February. Other fillies to watch include Dreaming of Julia, 3rd to Beholder in the BC Juvenile Fillies, Emollient, winner of the Grade I Ashland, and the Bob Baffert-trained Fiftyshadesofhay – love the name!

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