Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Top Oaks Fillies

Jubilation. From Julien Leparoux. Wow!
The usually reserved jockey flashed a celebratory fist pump while coasting to an easy win in the Grade 2 Golden Rod aboard KATHMANBLU at Churchill Downs November 27th. One could not help but think that the filly had just stamped her ticket for the 2011 Oaks. And Julien knew it.

Kathmanblu (Bluegrass Cat) Julien Leparoux up, wins The Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs 11.27.2010. Owner Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables, Trainer Kenny McPeek (1/2000 @ f/3.2, iso 1000, 300mm. Photo: Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos)
  Said Leparoux after the race, "She broke good; she was very relaxed laying third. And when I asked her she finished very good." The daughter of Bluegrass Cat opened up a slight lead coming out of the turn after stalking the leaders down the back stretch, and cruised home by 8 lengths. Leparoux went on to say "I don’t know how good she can be. I think she is a very good filly on the turf. And she proved today she can run on the dirt, too. We’ve got options.”

Trainer Ken McPeek got in on the excitement about Kathmanblu as well, “She is now a big time Oaks prospect. She’s not a big filly; she is a little compact filly, and as the months go on she has gotten better and better. I’ll think she will keep going as a 3-year-old."
As for the filly's future, "We will probably put her on the shelf for a while" McPeek said. "At this point, we will take her to Gulfstream for the winter and take it one day at a time. She probably won’t run until late February or early March. I like to have two races in them before the Oaks.”

AWESOME FEATHER should be on everyone's list of top Oaks prospects after a nice win the the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies November 5th at Churchill Downs. The likely Eclipse Award winning daughter of Awesome of Course improved her record to 6 for 6.

Awesome Feather (Awesome of Course), Jeffrey Sanchez up, wins the Juvenile Fillies for Stanley Gold and owner Jacks or Better Farm at Churchill Downs 11.05.2010 (1/1000 @ f/4, iso 1000, 200mm. Photo: Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos)

 Sold at Auction a few days after the Breeder's Cup for $2.7m, look for Awesome Feather to race in 2011 under the colors of Adena Springs. “I just hope she carries on,” said new owner Frank Stronach, who described Awesome Feather’s 2 1/4-length Breeders’ Cup victory as “pretty impressive.”

Originally campaigned by the breeder, Fred Brei, of Jacks Or Better Farm in Florida, Awesome Feather's selling price "was enough to make me smile. It wasn’t much over the reserve," Brei said. Explaining his reason to go ahead with the planned sale of the filly, Brei said, “We don’t race much out of Florida. And when it comes to going up North, where certainly she belongs in the grade Is that will be coming up when she’s a 3-year-old, it’s just best for the filly and best for us that she’s in somebody else’s hands."

Look for Awesome Feather to show up in late February at Gulfstream Park in the early Oaks preps.

More later.. mw.

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