03/21/2011 10:20AM

Fair Grounds Oaks: Kathmanblu skipping race, pointing to Keeneland

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Barbara D. Livingston
Kathmanblu would have been favored in Saturday's Fair Grounds Oaks.

Kathmanblu, the winner of last month's Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds and the presumptive favorite for the Grade 2, $500,000 Fair Grounds Oaks this Saturday at Fair Grounds, will skip the race to await next month's Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, trainer Ken McPeek said Monday morning.

"We decided to go in the Ashland. She needs to win a Grade 1," McPeek said. "There's so many opportunities between Fair Grounds, Gulfstream, and Keeneland. We could only run in one of them.

"Plus the Ashland is home for everybody," McPeek said, referring to himself and his owners.

McPeek said he made the final decision after working Kathmanblu over the weekend.

"I thought she could use a little more time," he said.

McPeek still will have a representative in the Oaks, Niji's Grand Girl, third last time out in the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs.

With Kathmanblu out of the Fair Grounds Oaks, the likely favorite will now be Inglorious, the runner-up to Kathmanblu in the Rachel Alexandra.