Updated on 05/04/2011 6:44PM

Kentucky Oaks: Joyful Victory, Summer Soiree training sharply


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With the majority of the Kentucky Oaks fillies training at the same time as the Kentucky Derby horses on a daily basis, it was impossible to get a real close look at everybody in Friday’s Oaks lineup. But I was able to come away with some definite impressions on most of the starting lineup for this year’s very competitive edition of the Oaks.

KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Watch Mike Welsch's clocker reports from Churchill Downs

Joyful Victory: The logical favorite with the defection of R Heat Lighting, she has trained extremely well and with a high energy level for trainer/exercise rider Larry Jones, who has been aboard for her daily gallops. I was a little disappointed with the first of her two local works on April 25 but she bounced back with a fast five-furlong drill just six days later and has flourished ever since.

Lilacs and Lace: Her final Oaks work was just ordinary but I did notice her galloping with some interest during the tail end of Wednesday’s Derby/Oaks session.

Summer Soiree: Her last local work was nothing special from a time factor, a half-mile that just shaded 49 seconds, but I loved the way she moved over the ground and the energy she has displayed while training here this past week. She was a handful for her exercise rider to pull up on Wednesday at the end of another solid gallop session and if she’s allowed to relax on the lead Friday, could prove an upset threat.

Kathmanblu: She seemed to be tailing off earlier this spring and her two local works have been nothing spectacular but visually she has had a good last week and may just be cycling back to her best form.

Zazu: She arrived from Southern California on Tuesday and went to the track for the first time Wednesday morning. She’s not a real pretty mover but she seemed to get over the ground nicely enough while surprisingly training in blinkers, which is a fairly unorthodox maneuver for a non-worker.

Her Smile: She has big shoes to fill replacing stablemate R Heat Lightning for the Todd Pletcher barn and her only local work was ordinary at best.

Daisy Devine: New Orleans-based filly has taken to the local strip extremely well and has shown a high energy level for more than a week. Her final major work was fast, after which she was still able to gallop out another good quarter-mile and was equally sharp blowing out three-eighths over a wet track on Monday.

Plum Pretty: The Sunland Oaks winner seems to have improved during her two-week stay, her half-mile drill on Monday a nice improvement over a seven-furlong work in which she labored a bit at the end over a less consistent looking racetrack the previous week. Seems to have bounced out of her final prep in good order but must overcome a difficult post on Friday.

Selections: 1. Summer Soiree 2. Joyful Victory 3. Daisy Devine 4. Kathmanblu