04/08/2013 2:32PM

Kentucky Oaks decisions on Emollient, Close Hatches loom for Mott

Coady Photography/Keeneland
Emollient runs away with Ashland just a week after being beaten 30 lengths in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bill Mott was back in south Florida late Saturday, but the Hall of Fame trainer certainly had to have Kentucky on his mind after winning two major prep races for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks in a 45-minute span Saturday afternoon.

At Aqueduct, Close Hatches kept her undefeated record intact with a 3 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2 Gazelle. At Keeneland, Emollient, running back one week after losing the Gulfstream Oaks by 30 lengths, romped to a nine-length victory in the Grade 1 Ashland over Keeneland’s Polytrack.

Both fillies are owned by Juddmonte Farms. As of Monday afternoon, Mott said he hadn’t decided if one or both would run in the Oaks.

“Emollient has the experience and the background, the other filly is lightly raced but was pretty impressive the other day,” Mott said. “We haven’t had the conference yet.”

Emollient, a daughter of Empire Maker, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.49 and earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure. While Mott ran her in the Ashland in part because he thought Emollient would like the synthetic surface, he said he wouldn’t hesitate to run her back on the dirt.

“She’s probably going to have to try that sooner or later,” Mott said. “There are not that many synthetic races around, but she looked good on that stuff the other day. She was probably the easiest winner I’ve seen in a long time.”

In the Gazelle, Close Hatches ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.53 and earned an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. Both fillies won in front-running fashion, but Mott doesn’t feel that either one should be typecast as a speed horse.

“I don’t think either one need to be there,” he said. “Close Hatches, she’s just naturally been a little quicker than her company. The first time we ran her, we warned the rider she’s not a real good breaker, and she wasn’t even in mid-pack and she closed very well. I don’t think she’s limited to being on the front end.”