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Record Breaking 123,763 Fans Watch Lovely Maria Claim a Piece of History and Win the 141st Longines Kentucky Oaks
It was a record-breaking 141st running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack which culminated as 123,763 fans, the highest attendance of all time, watched a memorable win by Lovely Maria. The prior attendance record was 116,046, set in 2010, during the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks.
Larry Jones, trainer of Lovely Maria (winner)/I’m a Chatterbox (third) – “She did good. She sure did. Very similar going into the Keeneland race. She's a filly just doing good. She worked so well here. I knew she didn't have to carry her track with her. Chatterbox came closing. She came closing. She got squeezed back a little bit early, but she came closing. ... Third in the Kentucky Oaks. We can live with that.''
Kerwin Clark, jockey of Lovely Maria, winner – “I’ve been riding for 40 years and I won my first Grade I last month at Keeneland (in the Ashland) with this horse. Then we won this race today. I am very blessed. Blessed to have this horse; to have (trainer) Larry Jones in my life and believing in me, and to have Mr. (Brereton) Jones believe in me and stick with me.”
Robert Luttrell’s homebred Promise Me Silver kept her record perfect with an eighth straight victory in taking the 60th running of the $200,000 Eight Belles (GIII) Presented by Twinspires.com for 3-year-old fillies.
James Covello, AJ Suited Racing Stable and trainer Brian Lynch’s Power Alert (AUS) took the lead shortly after the start and then held off a late bid from Undrafted to win 21strunning of the $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) Presented by Twinspires.com by three-quarters of a length.
Sumaya U.S. Stables’ Protonico, passed in the stretch by Noble Bird, battled back on the inside to post a head victory in the 12th running of the $400,000 Alysheba (GII) Presented by Big Fish Games.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Protonico covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:42.34.
Bill Cubbedge’s Molly Morgan ducked inside of pace-setting Sweet Whiskey at the head of the stretch, spurted clear of the field and then held off late bids from favored Sheer Drama and Gold Medal Dancer to win the 30th running of the $300,000 La Troienne (GI) Presented by Twinspires.com by three-quarters of a length.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Feathered, making her grass debut, took the lead out of the gate and repulsed a stretch bid from favored Quality Rocks to win the 30th running of the $150,000 Edgewood (GIII) Presented by Forcht Bank for 3-year-old fillies by two lengths.
Scratch time for the 141st Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) passed at 9 a.m. Friday with no further defections from Saturday’s field thus leaving Charles Fipke’s Tale of Verve on the outside looking in.
Expanded VIP Experience Enhances Access to Renowned Chefs, Exciting Cuisine that Represents ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ Destinations
The Official Kentucky Derby Event of Churchill Downs, the Sixth Annual Taste of Derby presented by Stella Artois, will take off in style on Thursday April 30, 2015 at 7 pm. The celebrated Kentucky Oaks Eve event provides plenty of opportunities to mingle with horse racing celebrities and award-winning chefs, savor an incredible array of exquisite cuisine and sip exceptional beer and wines. Due to popular demand, the 2015 Taste of Derby presented by Stella Artois, will offer additional VIP amenities including increased lounge space and bar service.