04/15/2013 4:39PM

Keeneland: Pletcher looks strong for Kentucky Oaks

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dreaming of Julia worked a half-mile in 49 seconds on Sunday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Todd Pletcher not only holds a formidable hand for the Kentucky Derby with as many as five possible starters, but he might be even stronger with what he has for the Kentucky Oaks.

Pletcher figures to have two of the top choices for the May 3 Oaks in Dreaming of Julia and Unlimited Budget, both of whom were out for half-mile workouts Sunday morning over a fast main track at Churchill Downs. Dreaming of Julia, going solo, went in 49 seconds, while Unlimited Budget went in 48.60 seconds in company with yet another Oaks-bound Pletcher filly, Silsita.

Like the Derby, eligibility into the Oaks is being determined for the first time this year by a points system. After the Beaumont Stakes was run Sunday at Keeneland, there were no more points races for fillies only.

As of Monday, these are the 14 fillies atop the Oaks points list: Beholder, Rose to Gold, Unlimited Budget, Dreaming of Julia, Close Hatches, Live Lively, Flashy Gray, Princess of Sylmar, Fiftyshadesofhay, Midnight Lucky, Silsita, Manuka Honey, Seaneen Girl, and Promise Me More.

Iotapa was declared from consideration by John Sadler over the weekend, while Emollient, the runaway winner of the April 6 Ashland at Keeneland, could run if so desired, although trainer Bill Mott said this weekend in Florida that he was likely to run only Close Hatches and Flashy Gray.

As for Pletcher and his chances at a sweep, only twice has a trainer won the Oaks and Derby in the same year: Herbert “Derby Dick” Thompson in 1933 and Ben Jones in 1952.

David More than 1 year ago
Look for Pure Fun to run big in the Lexington and then run back in the Oaks!
Ronald Dodgen More than 1 year ago
The track at GP was dead when Dreaming of Julia romped most horses struggled big time not her. Churchill Downs is usually fair this time of year, not so in the fall when it tends to be cuppy. Fort Larned's two bad races happened on dead tracks OP & CD where they ran the last 1/8 in 14. 1/5. Then when Churchill Downs was fast he ran lights out 2nd to a track record.
Alex Sterioff More than 1 year ago
Thay have got to catch Beholder. Juila could not do it last year and she wont be able to do it this year either.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Nobody could catch anybody in the bc last year.
John More than 1 year ago
Oaks -Derby Double ! Midnight Lucky to Governor Charlie Take it to the bank ! hahahahah~
John More than 1 year ago
All these people who say Mignight Lucky has distance limits are just blowing smoke. The ONLY reason this has ever come up is because her sire, being a champion sprinter never really had a chance to run long, although bred for it ! Baffert always said Midnight Lute would be a monster going long, but he had a major breathing problem that limited him distance wise. Dont sell this filly short, she has won in hand each race, as Trevor would say, "they would have to sprout wings to catch her "
phil bailey More than 1 year ago
I caught your statement about Midnight Lute, thanks for the great Info re: breathing issues.. I loved Real Quiet in the Derby over his stable mate Indian Charlie because of his breeding. Now I know why Lute was a sprinter, I have used that to my advantage, I had WPS at 19-1 on Mylute in the Louisiana D, He almost won. thanks again...
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
I Dream Of Julia...romping in the Oaks,winning the Preakness...then off to Elmont,NY where she and her daddy AP Indy could become the first father/daughter to win the Belmont Stakes in it's 145 year history!!.....dreaming is one thing,the reality of it actually happening is another,but one thing is for sure,she has the charisma,guts and pedigree to make it happen!!
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
Pardon me Miss Rags...I meant 2nd father daughter/daughter team to win the Belmont...know Indy was your daddy too!!!...I was there at Belmont when you defeated my boy Curlin,my only consolation that day was that I got to hug many excited women!!!
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Your getting ahead of yourself Mikey, 1 day at a time, 1 race at time....
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
I agree...ha!!!
James Pugliese More than 1 year ago
I believe that this field does have as much talent and ability as any Oaks that i can remember,from top to bottom! syzjmyjmz.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Tough to go against a filly that just ran a hole in the wind, but Gulfstream is a much different surface than CD and fillies do bounce more predictibly than colts. DOJ WILL bounce it's just a matter of how much. It helps that she will have 6 weeks before the race. I just think she caught a perfect set-up and a small field at GP and she will have a much tougher task on Oaks day. Do I think she's a "bet-against?" That all depends on what the picture looks like two minutes before post time.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
What the heck are you talking about Robert? A filly can get in the derby the same way a colt can. Simply run in a KD prep. There are 15 win and you're in races, so all they gotta do is pick one and enter. Believe me..... If Baffert thought Midnight Lucky was good enough, she would have ran in a Derby prep. Same with Pletcher and Julia. Everyone keeps saying the points system is keeping these fillies out. Do you realize that none of these filly connections have ever even said they want to run in the Derby? NO!!! The connections are keeping these fillies out of the derby. What is so hard to understand about this?
fourroads910 More than 1 year ago
Beholder running 23an change winning at Santa Anita I'm sure it will be 22 an change in the Oaks ..this fully is one dimensional on the lead or nothing ..DOJ by 10 lengths