Churchill Downs has provided the following horse-by-horse update on preparations by the contenders for the 135th Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1, 2009.
BE FAIR – Thomas Van Meter and Charles Kidder’s Be Fair galloped Wednesday morning at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Omar Golon up. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time winner of the Kentucky Oaks, has enlisted the services of jockey Rafael Bejarano to ride Be Fair in the May 1 Kentucky Oaks (GI).
FITZ JUST RIGHT / JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE – West Point Thoroughbreds’ duo of Fitz Just Right and Justwhistledixie are scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday afternoon. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainees will be housed in Barn 42. The fillies are scheduled to work Friday and McLaughlin will be on hand for the works. Ramon Dominguez has the riding assignment on Fitz Just Right and Julien Leparoux will partner Justwhistledixie in the Oaks.
FLYING SPUR – Mike Rutherford’s Flying Spur is scheduled to arrive at Churchill Downs from Keeneland on Wednesday afternoon and will be stabled in trainer Bill Mott’s barn (19). In her most recent start, Flying Spur ran second to probable Kentucky Oaks favorite Rachel Alexandra in the Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II) on March 14. Flying Spur, a homebred daughter of Giant’s Causeway, is a daughter of Lakeway, who ran second in the 1994 Kentucky Oaks.
GABBY’S GOLDEN GIRL – Arnold Zetcher’s Gabby’s Golden Girl jogged before the renovation break Wednesday morning under exercise rider George Alvarez. Trained by Bob Baffert, Gabby’s Golden Girl enters the Oaks off a 13-length victory in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 29. Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for the first time that day, has the Oaks riding assignment.
NAN – J. Paul Reddam’s Nan visited the starting gate and then galloped a mile and an eighth before the renovation break under exercise rider Jose Castanon. Trained by Craig Dollase, Nan is scheduled to work on Friday or Saturday. Corey Nakatani has the Oaks riding assignment.
RACHEL ALEXANDRA – L and M Partners’ Rachel Alexandra continued to show her readiness for next Friday’s Kentucky Oaks by galloping a mile and a half under stout restraint from exercise rider Rudy Gallegos. “She is like that every morning,” trainer Hal Wiggins said. Calvin Borel, who has ridden Rachel Alexandra to four consecutive daylight victories, is scheduled to work Rachel Alexandra a half-mile on Monday as their final tuneup for the Oaks.