02/23/2005 12:00AM

'Catomine' tops Oaks list


Sweet Catomine, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2004 and 3-year-old filly division leader, is among 144 fillies nominated to the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, officials at Churchill Downs announced Wednesday.

Among the other accomplished nominees to the Grade 1, $500,000 Oaks are Runway Model, Sis City, Splendid Blended, Sharp Lisa, Summerly, and Maddalena. Sweet Catomine, unbeaten in five career starts, is also nominated to the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

Bobby Frankel, a two-time winner of the Oaks, leads all trainers with 10 nominees. Overbrook Farm and Stronach Stables lead the owners with six nominees each.

The number of Oaks nominations is the same as last year despite the current crop of 3-year-olds having been conceived in 2001, the year that mare reproductive loss syndrome sharply reduced the foal crop in Kentucky.

Also released by Churchill on Wednesday were the 103 nominations to another Grade 1 race on Derby Day, the $400,000 Woodford Reserve. Among the turf stars named to the race are Kitten's Joy, winner of the 2004 Eclipse Award for top turf horse, and Better Talk Now, winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf in October.

Churchill will celebrate the opening of the spring meet on April 30 by unveiling the final touches of its 3 1/2-year, $121 million renovation. Nominations to other stakes that will be run during Derby week will be taken and released in April.