04/27/2013 3:06PM

Kentucky Oaks activity topped by Unlimited Budget


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.