LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -The Run for the Lillies is approaching and it looks like a well-balanced, competitive field of fillies is coming together for next Friday.
Here are six Kentucky Oaks runners that could be major factors for the mile and an eighth test:
Travel Column is trained by Brad Cox, who’s won two of the last three Oaks. This filly has a bit of a home track advantage as she owns a pair of wins over the Churchill strip.
Travel Column comes into the Oaks off a solid showing in the Fair Grounds Oaks as she took that mile and a sixteenth race by nearly three lengths.
“She has experience here including her Golden Rod victory,” said Cox. “Also, her last four races have been at a mile and a sixteenth and she has some foundation”.
The filly, Clairiere, finished second to Travel Column in the Fair Grounds Oaks. Prior to that Clairiere did defeat the Cox filly in the Rachel Alexandra, so her best effort puts her in the mix.
Malathaat, trained by Todd Pletcher, is getting plenty of attention since arriving at Churchill.
“She’s a star,” boasts Pletcher about his undefeated runner.
Malathaat got her 3-year-old campaign off to late start as her first race of 2021 was Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes. But the daughter of Curlin made the most of her lone start heading to the Oaks.
She dug in and held off Pass the Champagne to take the Ashland by a head.
" I thought turning for home she had too much to do but she ran her last quarter in :23 and 2″, said Pletcher.
Another plus for Malathaat is she owns a win at the Oaks distance, having captured the Demoiselle last fall at Aqueduct.
Ashland runner-up, Pass the Champagne, could win the Lillies at a square price. That Keeneland performance was exceptional, since it was her very first stakes race. Repeat that effort and Pass the Champagne’s owners might pop some corks next Friday.
That brings us to Kentucky Oaks contender, Search Results, who brings a perfect mark of three-for-three to Louisville.
“This filly has done northing wrong and I think her best races are ahead of her,” said her optimistic trainer, Chad Brown.
Search Results took her career-debut back in January and followed that up with a win in the Busher at Aqueduct. Then in early April, she notched another victory in the mile and an eighth Gazelle, also at Aqueduct.
Crazy Beautiful rounds out our Oaks six-pack. She could be peaking at the perfect time as last month she snapped a four-race skid by taking the mile and a sixteenth Gulfstream Park Oaks.
The post position draw for the 147th Kentucky Oaks is Monday morning.