03/03/2011 4:29PM

Kentucky Oaks attracts top stars among 117 nominations


Churchill Downs on Thursday released the early nominations list for the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks on May 6, and virtually every 3-year-old filly of notable accomplishment in North America is on the roster of 117.

Awesome Feather, the undefeated divisional champion, heads a list that also includes such major winners as R Heat Lightning, Kathmanblu, Turbulent Descent, A Z Warrior, and Zazu. The 1 1/8-mile Oaks is one of six stakes set for the May 6 program, with total purses exceeding $2 million.

Churchill announced earlier this year that the purse for the Oaks has been doubled from the long-held standard of $500,000.

Supplemental nominations to the Oaks can be made for a $50,000 fee. The field is limited to 14, with preference given to early nominees, then those with the highest graded earnings.

The full list of early nominees is available at kentuckyoaks.com.