07/15/2009 11:00PM

Top threat Shared Account parked outside

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Barbara D. Livingston
Blind Date, winner of Pimlico's Hilltop, is a Virginia Oaks contender.

The strength of the Virginia Oaks field appears to be assigned to the outside post positions. Farthest out is the filly who looks as good as any: Shared Account.

"I really like this filly," said trainer Graham Motion. "She won her first two starts, and then for reasons I still don't understand, she just didn't do well in Florida over the winter. But since she came back north, she's been a different horse."

Shared Account, with Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado named, will break from the far outside in a field of 11 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $150,000 Virginia Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile turf race that serves as the secondary feature on a 12-race Saturday card at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va.

Shared Account most recently ran third in her grass debut, an overnight stakes on June 26 at Belmont Park.

"I thought she ran really well that day, and that was around one turn," Motion said. "I think the one and one-eighth miles will be just right for her. I have to think she'll be very competitive in there Saturday."

Shared Account is owned by Sagamore Farm, the former Maryland powerhouse that is undergoing a rejuvenation under Kevin Plank, the 36-year-old founder of the Under Armour sporting wear company.

Besides Shared Account, other Virginia Oaks contenders include Blind Date, winner of the Hilltop Stakes two races back; Fast Tigress, a New York shipper making her sixth straight stakes start; and Katara, a romping winner of a Delaware Park allowance last out.

Blind Date, trained by Hamilton Smith, will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, the Hall of Fame jockey who has the call on Hold Me Back in the Virginia Derby.

Independent George may be peaking

An all-stakes pick three wager is set for Saturday at Colonial, with the $50,000 Kitten's Joy (race 9) leading into the Virginia Oaks (race 10) and Virginia Derby (race 11).

Motion has a major contender in Independent George in the Kitten's Joy, a 1 1/16-mile turf race named for the 2004 North American turf champion. The 6-year-old Independent George is making the third start in his form cycle and appears primed for a top effort with Prado riding.

Others to consider include Izzy Speaking, Vanquisher, Tiger Woodman, and Jungle Fighter. A field of 10 older horses was entered.