The 138th running of Churchill Downs’ $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I), America’s premier races for 3-year-old fillies, attracted a trio of late nominees, while four older stars were added to of the roster of horses eligible to compete in the 26th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) during a late nomination phase for both races that concluded on Wednesday, April 11.
The late nominees to the Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies scheduled to be run on Friday, May 4, lift the overall nomination total to 97 horses. All late nominations to the Oaks were accompanied by a $1,500 fee. Last year’s late nomination process attracted also attracted three fillies that included St. John’s River, a close runner-up to Peachtree Stable’s victorious Plum Pretty.
The late nominations to the 2012 Kentucky Oaks include:
- Gillian Campbell and R Group Management’s Jemima’s Pearl, a Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Distorted Humor who started her career in Ireland and finished third in her most recent start to Oaks nominee Mamma Kimbo in the Fantasy (GII) at Oaklawn Park;
- Jonathan Rey, Javier Sarmiento and Dante Zanelli Jr.’s Oaks Lily, who recently scored her first victory in eight races for trainer Timothy Hills in 1 1/16-mile maiden event at Keeneland. She had finished second in the filly division of the OBS Championships in Ocala, Fla. in her previous outing;
- A G S Thoroughbreds Ltd.’s Welcome Guest, the Chad Brown-trained runner-up to Oaks-nominated Broadway’s Alibi in Aqueduct’s Comely (GIII).
Late nominations to the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race for 4-year-olds and up which will be run immediately prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 5, include:
- J. Paul Reddam’s Boxeur des Rues, a 4-year-old son of Smart Strike who finished sixth for trainer Doug O’Neill in his most recent outing in the Santa Anita Handicap (GI);
- WinStar Farm’s Brethren, a half-brother to 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver who finished fifth for trainer Todd Pletcher in his 4-year-old debut on dirt in the Sir Shackleton at Gulfstream Park;
- Phil Cunningham’s Slim Shadey (GB), winner of the San Marcos (GI) and runner-up to Bourbon Bay in the San Luis Rey (GII) at Santa Anita for trainer Simon Callaghan;
- Joseph Allen’s Vertiformer, a 5-year-old son of Dynaformer with three victories, including one in a listed stakes race, from six career starts in France. Vertiformer is now trained by Kellyn Gorder.
Six nominees were added during the 2011 late nomination phase for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, but none started in that renewal of the race. The Woodford Reserve Turf is limited to 14 starters
Supplemental entries to the Kentucky Oaks will be accepted at the time of entry, but those entries require payment of a fee of $30,000 and original and late nominees to the race are preferred over supplemental entrants. The Kentucky Oaks field is limited to 14 starters, with preference given to entrants that have accumulated the highest earnings in graded stakes races.
Late nominations to the 26th running of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic required payment of a $1,000 fee. This year’s renewal of the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic attracted 61 horses during its early nomination phase. Supplemental nominations can also be made to the race at the time of entry, but a fee of $25,000 is required for those entries.