Steven Sarkowsky and Marty and Pam Wygod’s Paradise Woods has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a field of 14 3-year-old fillies and one also-eligible entered Tuesday for the 143rd running of the $ 1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) that serves as the centerpiece of Friday’s 13-race program.
The Longines Kentucky Oaks, run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, will go as the 11th race with a 6:12 p.m. (all times Eastern) post time. If all 14 run, the winner’s share will be $ 564,200.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Paradise Woods made her stakes debut a memorable one by taking the Santa Anita Oaks (GI) by 11 ¾ lengths in her most recent start. Flavien Prat, who has been aboard the filly in all three of her starts, has the mount Friday and will break from post position four.
The next two choices on Mike Battaglia’s morning line are two fillies riding winning streaks: Miss Sky Warrior and Farrell.
Owned by Arlene’s Sun Star Stable and trained by Kelly Breen, Miss Sky Warrior has won her past five starts with four of those coming in graded stakes.
Listed at 9-2 on the morning line, Miss Sky Warrior is the only filly in the field to have won at the Oaks distance of nine furlongs, that coming in her most recent in the Gazelle (GII) that she won by 13 lengths.
Paco Lopez has the mount and will break from post position 10.
Coffeepot Stables’ Farrell, winner of last fall’s Golden Rod (GII) at Churchill Downs by six lengths, has won her past four starts highlighted by daylight victories in the Rachel Alexandra (GII) and Fair Grounds Oaks (GII).
Trained by Wayne Catalano, Farrell is 5-1 on the morning line and will be ridden by Channing Hill. Farrell will break from post position seven.
In addition to Paradise Woods, two other Grade I winners are in the field: Abel Tasman and Sailor’s Valentine.
China Horse Club and Clearsky Farms’ Abel Tasman, winner of the Starlet in December at Los Alamitos, is trained by two-time Oaks winner Bob Baffert (Silverbulletday, 1999 and Plum Pretty, 2011) and will be ridden by Mike Smith, who won the 2013 Oaks on Princess of Sylmar.
Listed at 5-1 on the morning line, Abel Tasman will break from post position 13.
Semaphore Racing and Homewrecker Racing’s Sailor’s Valentine won the Ashland at Keeneland in her most recent start. Listed at 30-1 on the morning line, Sailor’s Valentine is trained by Eddie Kenneally and will be ridden by Corey Lanerie. Sailor’s Valentine will break from post position eight.
Also seeking a third Oaks victory Friday is trainer Steve Asmussen.
Asmussen, who won the Oaks in 2005 with Summerly and in 2014 with Untapable, will send out Clearview Stable’s Ever So Clever. Winner of the Fantasy (GIII) in her most recent start, Ever So Clever will break from post position one and be ridden by Luis Contreras.
Another lightly raced filly expected to draw support is Gary Barber, Baccari Racing Stable and Chester Prince’s Salty.
Listed at 6-1 and the fourth choice on the morning line, Salty also has had only three starts and made her stakes debut a winning one by taking the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII) by 4 ½ lengths on April 1.
Trained by Mark Casse, Salty will be ridden by Joel Rosario and break from post position 14.
The field for the Longines Kentucky Oaks with jockey and morning-line odds from the rail out, is: Ever So Clever (Contreras, 20-1), Lockdown (Jose Ortiz, 20-1), Mopotism (Mario Gutierrez, 20-1), Paradise Woods (Prat, 5-2), Jordan’s Henny (Joe Rocco, 30-1), Vexatious (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Farrell (Hill, 5-1), Sailor’s Valentine (Lanerie, 30-1), Wicked Lick (Brian Hernandez Jr., 30-1), Miss Sky Warrior (Lopez, 9-2), Tequilita (Luis Saez, 20-1), Daddys Lil Darling (Julien Leparoux, 20-1), Abel Tasman (Smith, 5-1) and Salty (Rosario, 6-1). Also-Eligible: Summer Luck (Javier Castellano, 30-1). All starters will carry 121 pounds.
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