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Kentucky Oaks workouts: Mike Welsch's final report card
By Mike Welsch
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On Fire Baby has trained hard over the past couple of weeks, punctuating several strong open gallops with a good-looking seven-furlong drill on April 27, during which she finished willingly without undue pressure. Talented, loves the track, but wonder about her missing important final prep in the Fantasy.
Grace Hall has continued to train forwardly since her big win in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. She couldn’t have looked better in her easy half-mile breeze at Palm Meadows on April 12, made a nice appearance galloping over the track here Wednesday and already proved her affinity for the local surface with her second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup. The one to beat.
Summer Applause bypassed a scheduled work here a week ago following a bullet five-eighths on April 20. She has the right running style to fit the profile of this race.
Eden’s Moon looked sharp in recent black-letter breeze here last weekend, bounced out of that work with a couple of nice looking gallops but is one of several speed types in this field.
Broadway’s Alibi is a fast and talented filly who has continued to train fabulously in south Florida but up to this point is a one-dimensional, front-runner whose ability to stay nine-furlongs under pressure a major question.
Sacristy tired badly at the end of her recent seven-furlong drill. She may have a say in the early pace but looks to be in way over her head in this spot.
Jemima’s Pearl was the work partner of stablemate Bodemeister twice within a five-day span and more than held her own with the potential Derby favorite, completing her final quarter in 23.20 seconds while under just mild encouragement, during the pair’s impressive drill on April 29. Should come running late if able to hold up to her recent training regime.
Believe You Can looked very good breezing a bullet five-eighths under jockey Rosie Napravnik on April 23, then came back with a swifter but not quite as appealing bullet five-eighths drill six days later. Appear to be coming into the Oaks in peak form but another who has been at her best when on the lead around two turns.
And Why Not showed big and somewhat uncharacteristic speed, shading 47 without undue pressure from Brette in bullet April 28 work, could be a sleeper if able to rate that new-found speed off potentially hot pace.
Karlovy Vary may be overlooked a bit considering her best races have come on grass and synthetic surfaces even though she appeared to handle the local strip quite nicely in recent five-furlong breeze when finishing with interest without undue urging on Saturday. Grade 1 winner is obviously on top of her game.
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