We had an amazing Kentucky Oaks card to kick off Derby weekend. There were six graded stakes races worth a total of $3 million on the line. Here's what happened, starting with the premier race on Friday.
The $1,250,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) was won by MALATHAAT, ridden by John Velazquez, trained by Todd Pletcher, owned by Shadwell Stable — in a thrilling stretch drive against SEARCH RESULTS.
MALATHAAT did not have the best of breaks but recovered under John Velazquez, who moved her up a few spots for better positioning as they reached the first turn. She took a wide trip through the backside, racing mid pack in eighth before making her move with three furlongs to go. Turning for home, she unleashes her rally and surges past TRAVEL COLUMN to hook up with SEARCH RESULTS, and through the length of the stretch, levels out and drives home for the win. SEARCH RESULTS was game in defeat but settled for second. WILL'S SECRET got up for third. The final time was 1:48.99 for the one mile and one-eighth.
MALATHAAT paid $7.00 to win, $4.60 place, and $3.40 to show. She is by CURLIN out of DREAMINING OF JULIA by A.P. INDY. She won her fifth race in a row, pushed her earnings to $1,125,150, and achieved her highest speed figure to date.
The $400K Alysheba Stakes (G2) was won by MAXFIELD, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by Brendan Walsh, owned by Godolphin LCC — in a clear-cut victory.
MAXFIELD raced mid pack in the clear, about two lengths off the pacesetters before ranging up at the turn, then powering clear to a three-length victory. VISITANT ran well with the eventual winner but could do no better than second. CHESS CHIEF ran third. They stopped the clock in 1:41.39 for the one mile and one-sixteenth.
MAXFIELD paid $3.00 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. He is by STREET SENSE out of VELVETY by BERNARDINI. He improves his record to 6 wins and 1 third in 7 total starts, pushing his earnings to $908,782, while achieving his highest career speed figure.
The $300K Edgewood Stakes (G2) was won by GIFT LIST, ridden by Javier Castellano, trained by Brian Lynch, owned by Amerman Racing LLC — with an impressive turn of foot.
GIFT LIST was positioned in third along the rail, about three lengths off the dueling pacesetters, before Javier Castellano angled her out into clear for her stretch run. Through the stretch drive, she drove past heavy favored AUNT PEARL and then widened to a four length victory. BARISTA ran on to be second, LINE DANCING ran third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth on turf was 1:42.52.
GIFT LIST paid $10.80 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4.00 to show. She is by BATED BREATH out of BIRTHSTONE by MACHIAVELLIAN. She earns her first U.S. victory, improving her overall record to 3 wins and 4 seconds from 7 total starts, pushing her earnings to $281,814. She ran her highest speed figure in this effort.
The $500K La Troienne Stakes (G1) was won by SHEDARESTHEDEVIL, ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Brad Cox, owned by Flurry Racing Stables LLC, Qatar Racing Limited and Big Aut Farms — with a determined run.
The 2020 Kentucky Oaks heroine SHEDARESTHEDEVIL broke out on top and secured the lead for Florent Geroux, setting a moderate tempo which ultimately left her with enough in the tank to dash for home full of run. She held off the late rally of ENVOUTANTE to her inside, who finished second. It was a gap of another two lengths back to FINITE in third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth was 1:42.69.
SHEDARESTHEDEVIL paid $5.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. She is by DAREDEVIL out of STARSHIP WARPSPEED by CONGRATS. She's now won five of her last six starts, while pushing her earnings to $1,807,318.
The $300K Eight Belles Stakes (G2) was won by OBLIGATORY, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by William Mott, owned by Juddmonte — with a come-from-behind rally.
OBLIGATORY raced at the back of the pack for Jose Ortiz, sheltered from the hot early fractions of 21.89 and 44.6. Turning for home, she's swung widest of them all but runs down her rivals down the stretch for the victory. DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE ran second, then it was two lengths back to MAKE MISCHIEF in third. The final time for the seven furlongs on dirt was 1:21.89.
OBLIGATORY paid $35.00 to win, $12.40 to place, and $9.80 to show. She is by CURLIN out of UNO DUO by MACHO UNO. She earns her first graded stakes victory, pushing her earnings to $217,780, while achieving her highest speed figure to date.
The $250K Turf Sprint Stakes (G2) was won by FAST BOAT, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., trained by Joe Sharp, owned by Brad Grady — with a burst of speed down the stretch.
FAST BOAT raced reserved toward the rear of the field, about five lengths from the dueling leaders, then was angled to the outside by Irad Ortiz Jr. while traveling extremely well. Irad Ortiz Jr. pushes the button and FASTBOAT explodes home, charging past his rivals with good energy to the wire. SOMBEYAY momentarily went with him, but was left behind and finished second. CLASSY JOHN ran well to be third. The final time was 1:03.29 for the five and a half furlongs on turf.
FAST BOAT paid $10.40 to win, $5.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. He is by CITY ZIP out of YELLOW BOAT by LEMON DROP KID. He's now won two consecutive races and pushed his earnings to $541,849.