Follow the progress of your favorite Kentucky Oaks contender through the Churchill Downs Notes Team, bringing you daily updates on the fillies preparing for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1.
BE FAIR – Four-time Kentuckcy Oaks-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Thomas Van Meter and Charles Kidder’s Be Fair “galloped strong” under exercise rider Omar Golon on Thursday morning at Churchill Downs. But how far did she gallop?
“Doesn’t matter,” Lukas said. “She was strong.”
Rafael Bejarano has the Oaks mount on Be Fair, who will work Sunday or Monday.
FITZ JUST RIGHT / JUSTWHISTLEDIXIE – West Point Thoroughbreds’ Fitz Just Right and Justwhistledixie galloped a mile and a half each after the renovation break with exercise rider Danny Wright handling both activities.
Neal McLaughlin, assistant to his brother Kiaran McLaughlin, said both fillies would work “probably a half-mile” after the renovation break Friday with Wright handling both works.
Ramon Dominguez will ride Fitz Just Right in the Oaks and Julien Leparoux has the call on Justwhistledixie.
FLYING SPUR – Mike Rutherford’s Flying Spur galloped under exercise rider Joanne Trout on her first day at Churchill Downs. The Bill Mott trainee has been stabled at Keeneland since finishing second in the March 14 Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade II).
Mott said that Garrett Gomez would have the mount on Flying Spur in the Oaks and that the filly’s final pre-Oaks work likely would be Monday.
GABBY’S GOLDEN GAL – Arnold Zetcher’s Gabby’s Golden Gal galloped a mile under exercise rider George Alvarez for trainer Bob Baffert.
Victor Espinoza has the Oaks riding assignment on Gabby’s Golden Gal, who is slated for her final pre-Oaks work on Sunday or Monday.
NAN – J. Paul Reddam’s Nan galloped a “strong” 1 ¼ miles according to Wally Dollase, who’s handling training duties for his son Craig while the younger Dollase takes care of other business on the West Coast.
Dollase says it’s not yet determined when Nan will put in her final work for Oaks 135. Corey Nakatani has the riding assignment for the Oaks.
RACHEL ALEXANDRA – L & M Parnters LLC’s probable Kentucky Oaks favorite Rachel Alexandra galloped a mile and a half before the renovation break with exercise rider Rudy Gallegos up.
Trained by Hal Wiggins, Rachel Alexandra is scheduled to work a half-mile on Monday morning with Oaks rider Calvin Borel up