04/27/2013 3:06PM

Kentucky Oaks activity topped by Unlimited Budget

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Although he called an audible with his Kentucky Derby workers, moving their breezes up 24 hours because of impending rain, trainer Todd Pletcher already had workouts penciled in Saturday for his four Kentucky Oaks candidates, including likely favorite Dreaming of Julia. The Pletcher runners were joined on Saturday’s tab by one other Oaks hopeful, trainer Bill Mott’s Flashy Gray.

Work of the day

Unlimited Budget (five furlongs in 59.57 seconds) may have taken a backseat to her more publicized stablemate Dreaming of Julia since arriving at Churchill Downs earlier this month, but that was certainly not the case on Saturday after the undefeated Unlimited Budget turned in an eye-catching five-furlong work in company with an overmatched Silsita. Working outside her partner, Unlimited Budget looked like she was on cruise control, but still posted a 34.86-second opening three-furlong split while fanning out about four paths wide and turning for home a half-length in front. She increased that advantage down the stretch despite being well held, her rider leaving plenty left in the tank with the filly seemingly waiting for her pressured rival to catch up near the end. Unlimited Budget got to the wire 1 1/2 lengths on top, then remained well clear after galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.73.

Dreaming Of Julia (four furlongs in 50.89 seconds) had little more than a maintenance run, covering her opening quarter in a well-controlled 26.08 seconds before coming home the final two furlongs in 24.61 seconds and galloping out an easy five-eighths in 1:04.08. The powerhouse filly had an easy morning after exiting a big work last weekend and several days of strong gallops.

Princess of Sylmar (four furlongs in 48.88, according to David Grening) worked outside her stable mate Fusaichiswonderful and, while seemingly full of run coming to the pole, settled into a nice, relaxed early stride to complete her opening eighth in a slow 13.73 seconds. She picked up the pace steadily thereafter, covering her final three furlongs in 35.15 seconds while appearing well within herself before galloping out a very strong five-eighths in 1:01.47. She was on the fence regarding her starting status before this work, but likely earned a spot in the starting lineup with this morning’s move.

Silista (five furlongs in 59.87 seconds) proved no match for Unlimited Budget while working closest to the rail, struggling to keep up with her unbeaten mate despite getting some encouragement both in early stretch and nearing the sixteenth marker. She may not have relished the going nearest the rail.

Flashy Gray (five furlongs in 1:00.81) went by herself after the break. She relaxed through a 12.86-second opening eighth, then picked up the pace under little to no urging, completing her final quarter in 24.39 seconds and galloping out an average six furlongs in 1:14.88.

Close Hatches did not work, but she looked like a keg of dynamite galloping out near the middle of the strip while equipped with draw reins to help her rider harness her abundant energy. She was scheduled to have her final Oaks prep on Sunday.

ROBERT More than 1 year ago
This is a Beautiful thing when I can read the daily updates on the Kentucky Oaks and not a thing is written about the Baffert Fily Midnight Lucky, You will see this one is as good as it gets. Keep the focus on Pletcher who always comes up short in Churchill Downs, and let Julia Keep on Dreaming while I cash my 15-1 future Oaks wager on Midnight Lucky .. Cheers .........
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Dreaming of Julia wins the oaks. She will run down who ever is in front. Lock of the weekend.
Ian Salon More than 1 year ago
Unlimited budget or midnight lucky are the only two I can put my money on. Both have looked tremendous so far.
CHARMING KITTEN More than 1 year ago
ok folks, I'm telling you right now, 'Close Hatches' will win the oaks. I've watched this filly run a lot and she is the real deal and she can run all day. She put-away a very good horse in the Gazelle and she wasn't even blowing hard. She has a long neck and she reminds me a lot of Smarty Jones. After the Oaks, they will be saying she could have run with the boys the next day.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
I'm rolling the wheelbarrow friday!!! Sending it in big time! YES!!! I have already set my strategy in stone: Just 3 big bets Win & Place between friday & saturday, a 3-race parlay on the same 3 horses and a tri key wheel in the Derby!!! Do you have a plan???
UKBBALLFANNO1 More than 1 year ago
Put CLOSE HATCHES with NORMANDY INVASION in YOUR "box"...
D Lange More than 1 year ago
WHAT are you talking about.