Bellafina Draws Post Four, 2-1 Favorite In Full-Field Kentucky Oaks

by | 04.29.2019 | 1:36pm
Owner Kaleem Shah, right, guides Bellafina and jockey Flavien Prat into the winner's circle after their victory in the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks, Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

Kaleem Shah's Bellafina, a three-time Grade I winner, has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Friday's 145th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) that drew a field of 14 3-year-old fillies and two also-eligibles today.

With 14 starters, the winner will earn $705,520.

The Kentucky Oaks will go as the 11th race with a 6:12 p.m. (all times Eastern) post time on the 13-race program. First post Friday is 10:30 a.m.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Bellafina brings a three-race win streak with her from Santa Anita where she won the Santa Ynez (GII), Las Virgenes (GII) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI) this year. Her other Grade I victories came last year in the Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier at Santa Anita.

A winner of six of eight starts, Bellafina's lone off-the-board finish came here last fall when she was fourth as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI). Flavien Prat, who has been aboard for all her starts, has the call Friday and will break from post position four.

Second choice on the morning line at 5-1 is Peter Brant's Dunbar Road, who is the first also-eligible and would need one defection to draw into the field. Trained by Chad Brown, Dunbar Road would be ridden by Jose Ortiz.

Dunbar Road did not debut until March 3, when she won going a mile by 8 ¾ lengths and four weeks later came back to run second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII).

The co-third choices at 6-1 are Six Column Stables and Randy Bloch's Champagne Anyone and Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm's Restless Rider.

Winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) in her most recent start, Champagne Anyone is trained by Ian Wilkes and will be ridden byChris Landeros. She will break from post position 10.

Restless Rider won the Alcibiades (GI) last fall at Keeneland and has been the runner-up in the Spinaway (GI), Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) and the Ashland (GI) in her most recent start that served as her 2019 debut.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Restless Rider will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and break from post position 14.

Three other Grade I winners are in the field of 14 headed by D.J. Stable and Cash is King's Jaywalk.

The champion 2-year-old filly of 2018, Jaywalk won the Frizette (GI) at Belmont Park and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) here last fall. Third in the Ashland (GI) at Keeneland in her most recent start, Jaywalk is listed at 8-1 on the morning line and will break from post position seven.

Trainer John Servis and Javier Castellano teamed to win the 2016 Oaks with Cathryn Sophia, and Servis, one of 26 trainers to win the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, is the only conditioner to win those races with only one starter.

The other Grade I winner in the field is Commonwealth Stable's Out for a Spin. Listed at 15-1 on the morning line, Out for a Spin won the Ashland in her most recent start.

Trained by Dallas Stewart, who won the Oaks in 2006 with Lemons Forever, Out for a Spin will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and break from post position one.

In addition to Castellano, one other rider will be attempting to add to his Oaks victory total.

Mike Smith, who will ride Motion Emotion (15-1 on the morning line from post position eight), has won the Oaks twice. His first victory came in 2013 with Princess of Sylmar and in 2017 he won with Abel Tasman for trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert, who will send out Flor de La Mar on Friday, has won the Oaks three times with his other victories coming in 2011 with Plum Pretty and 1999 with Silverbulletday. Flor de La Mar will break from post position five under Joel Rosario and is 20-1 on the morning line.

Two other trainers are seeking to add to their Oaks victories.

Larry Jones, who won with Proud Spell in 2008, Believe You Can in 2012 and Lovely Maria in 2015, sends out Street Band, a filly he co-owns and bred with Cindy Jones and Ray Francis. Listed at 15-1 on the morning line, Street Band will break from post position 12 under Sophie Doyle.

Steve Asmussen, who won with Summerly in 2005 and Untapable in 2014, will saddle Phoenix Thoroughbred III and KatieRichStables' Lady Apple. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount and will break from post position three on the 20-1 morning-line proposition.

The field for the Longines Kentucky Oaks, with riders and morning-line odds from the rail out, is: Out for a Spin (Ortiz Jr., 15-1),Chocolate Kisses (Julien Leparoux, 20-1), Lady Apple (Santana Jr., 20-1), Bellafina (Prat, 2-1), Flor de La Mar (Smith, 20-1), PositiveSpirit (Manny Franco, 20-1), Jaywalk (Castellano, 8-1), Motion Emotion (Smith, 15-1), Liora (Channing Hill, 20-1), Champagne Anyone (Landeros, 6-1), Jeltrin (Luis Saez, 15-1), Street Band (Doyle, 15-1), Serengeti Empress (Jose Ortiz, 8-1), Restless Rider (Hernandez Jr., 6-1). Also-Eligibles: Dunbar Road (Jose Ortiz, 5-1), Point of Honor (John Velazquez, 30-1). All starters will carry 121 pounds.

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