For the second time in five weeks, Ariege and Golden Doc A tangled in a prep for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I). The result in round two was the same as their first meeting as Ariege, owned by IEAH Stables and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, defeating Ron McCauley’s Golden Doc A by a length in Thursday’s Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (GII) at Keeneland.
Ariege had posted a half-length victory in the mile and a sixteenth Santa Anita Oaks (GI) on March 8. The second time around the distance was shorter – seven furlongs, 184 feet – but the margin was larger.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Ariege raced near the back of the nine-horse field alongside Golden Doc A, with Rafael Bejarano up. Leaving the far turn, Gomez waited for room along the rail while Bejarano swung Golden Doc A wide. Ariege and Gomez were able to maintain their inside route to take the victory. Golden Doc A was 2 ½ lengths clear of Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Passion for second.
“I had my eye on her,” Gomez said of Golden Doc A. “We were actually together coming up the backside. He started to go around and when he started to go around, I said I had to take my chances and get through here because I can’t let him get a jump start on me.”
In covering the distance over Polytrack in 1:25.81, Ariege increased her record to 7-3-1-1 for earnings of $385,828. Ariege is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Doneraile Court out of the Caerleon mare Kostroma.
ELUSIVE LADY TOP WEIGHT IN COMELY – Gold Mark Farm’s Elusive Lady, one of four Kentucky Oaks nominees in the field of six, will carry high weight of 122 pounds Saturday in the one-mile, $150,000 Comely (GII) at Aqueduct.
Trained by John Kimmel, Elusive Lady won the Tempted (GIII) last fall at Aqueduct and ran second in the Demoiselle (GII). Cornelio Velasquez has the mount Saturday and will break from the rail.
Other Kentucky Oaks nominees in the field are Zayat Stables’ Sherine, Gold Square’s Lady Chace and Susan Moore’s Zaftig.
DIVINE LEGACY EYES INITIAL STAKES SCORE IN BAY MEADOWS OAKS – Bill Currin and Al Eisman’s Divine Legacy, fourth against Grade I company in her two most recent starts in the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgenes at Santa Anita, heads a field of six entered Wednesday for Saturday’s $75,000 Bay Meadows Oaks at a mile and a sixteenth at Bay Meadows.
Trained by Currin, Divine Legacy is the lone Kentucky Oaks nominee in the race. A daughter of Full Mandate, Divine Legacy has compiled a record of 4-1-0-0 for earnings of $63,400.
SKY MOM ONE TO BEAT IN INSTANT RACING – Heather Stark’s Sky Mom, winner of the WinStar Oaks at Sunland Park and a division of the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park in her most recent starts, heads a field of nine for Saturday’s $75,000 The Instant Racing Stakes at a mile at Oaklawn Park.
Sky Mom is not nominated to the Kentucky Oaks.
The Instant Racing drew three Kentucky Oaks nominees: Clifford Grum’s Oh Lovely, who was a distant second to Fox Hill Farms’ Eight Belles in a division of the Martha Washington, Thomas Van Meter’s Spirit Line, an allowance winner at Oaklawn, and Karen Hughes’ Sweet Redeemer, a two-time winner at the current Oaklawn meet.