05/03/2016 12:13PM

Rachel's Valentina gets post 11 in Kentucky Oaks

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rachel's Valentina is a lukewarm 7-2 favorite in the Kentucky Oaks.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Rachel’s Valentina has been pegged a lukewarm 7-2 favorite in an oversubscribed field of 3-year-old fillies in the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks, to be run Friday at Churchill Downs as the 11th of 13 races.

Fifteen 3-year-old fillies will be on the program, although only as many as 14 can start in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Rachel’s Valentina is the only filly produced by Rachel Alexandra, whose record 20 1/4-length victory in the 2009 Oaks helped propel her to the Racing Hall of Fame. Rachel’s Valentina, with John Velazquez to ride from post 11, is one of a handful of likely favorites, as Weep No More (9-2), Cathryn Sophia (9-2), and Land Over Sea (5-1) follow closely on the Churchill morning line set by Mike Battaglia.

Cathryn Sophia was one of several fillies whose connections originally did not intend to contest the Oaks but changed their minds after Songbird, the heavy early favorite, was declared from the race on April 17 because of a lingering fever.

“We wouldn’t have run except for that,” said John Servis, trainer of Cathryn Sophia for the Cash Is King stable. “Our filly is really progressing, moving forward.”

Other prominent contenders in a highly competitive renewal of the filly classic include Lewis Bay (8-1), Terra Promessa (10-1), and Go Maggie Go (12-1).

Go Maggie Go will be making just her third career start after winning a maiden race and the Gulfstream Park Oaks.

“She’s short on experience but long on talent,” said trainer Dale Romans.

First post Friday is 10:30 a.m. Eastern, with the Oaks set for 5:49 as part of an NBCSN live broadcast. Scratch time is 9 a.m. Friday, which will determine whether the lone also-eligible, Dothraki Queen, will get to run. One of the would-be also-eligibles, Carina Mia, will run instead in the Grade 2 Eight Belles, one of five other graded stakes on the Oaks card.

Field for Kentucky Oaks

1. Terra Promessa, R. Santana Jr., 10-1

2. Weep No More, C. Lanerie, 9-2

3. Lewis Bay, I. Ortiz Jr., 8-1

4. Go Maggie Go, L. Saez, 12-1

5. Dream Dance, B. Hernandez Jr., 30-1

6. Mokat, F. Prat, 20-1

7. Mo D'Amour, J. Rosario, 30-1

8. Royal Obsession, F. Geroux, 20-1

9. Paola Queen, I. Jaramillo, 30-1

10. Venus Valentine, S. Bridgmohan, 30-1

11. Rachel's Valentina, J. Velazquez, 7-2

12. Cathryn Sophia, J. Castellano, 9-2

13. Land Over Sea, M. Gutierrez, 5-1

14. Taxable, M. Smith, 20-1

15. ae-Dothraki Queen, G. Stevens, 30-1