For the more casual horse racing fan, tomorrow's Kentucky Derby is the paramount of horse racing. For those more tuned into the racing scene, the Kentucky Oaks is almost as good as its brother race.
This year's field featured two dynamite favorites in Stellar Wind and Condo Commando. Condo Commando helped to set the pace, running on the lead for most of the race, and Stellar Wind ran hard down the stretch to log a fourth-place finish.
That said, these two could have run perfect races, and neither would have bested Lovely Maria. The Majesticperfection filly ran a perfect race, and it was she who proved to be the best horse in the field today, winning at odds of 6-1.
This year, a record 123,763 fans showed up to watch the Oaks at Churchill today, so let's recap what they and the many fans at home saw take place.
Final Order of Finish
|Kentucky Oaks Final Order of Finish|
|Position||Horse||Lengths Back||Post-Time Odds||Trainer||Jockey|
|1||Lovely Maria||--||6-1||Larry Jones||Kerwin Clark|
|2||Shook Up||2 ¾||26-1||Steven Asmussen||Robby Albarado|
|3||I'm A Chatterbox||3 ¾||5-1||Larry Jones||Florent Geroux|
|4||Stellar Wind||4 ¾||3-1||John Sadler||Victor Espinoza|
|5||Birdatthewire||5 ¼||5-1||Dale Romans||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|6||Angela Renee||5 ¼||21-1||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez|
|7||Oceanwave||6 ¼||18-1||Wayne Catalano||Rafael Bejarano|
|8||Include Betty||7||26-1||Thomas Proctor||Rosemary Homeister Jr.|
|9||Condo Commando||7||4-1||Rudy Rodriguez||Joel Rosario|
|10||Eskenformoney||7 ½||21-1||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|11||Forever Unbridled||8 ½||27-1||Dallas Stewart||Mike Smith|
|12||Puca||11 ¾||18-1||William Mott||Junior Alvarado|
|13||Money'soncharlotte||14 ¾||64-1||Kelly Breen||Paco Lopez|
|14||Sarah Sis||DNF||36-1||Ingrid Mason||Gary Stevens|
|NBC Sports Network|
|Kentucky Oaks Winner and Payouts|
|I'm A Chatterbox||--||--||$5.00|
|NBC Sports Network|
Condo Commando broke solidly out to the front and led the group through the first turn. Under a steady hold from rider Joel Rosario, Condo Commando led the group through a first quarter in 23.51 seconds.
Unfortunately, she burnt herself out and had very little in the way of energy when it mattered most, falling hard as they made the turn for home.
The first choice, Stellar Wind, broke dead last and rode three or four wide through the first turn before settling in for a two-wide backstretch run. Stellar Wind, like Condo Commando, had nothing close to the necessary amount of drive to catch Lovely Maria today.
Trained by Larry Jones (who also trained the third-place finisher I'm A Chatterbox), Lovely Maria and her rider, Kerwin Clark, ran a beautiful race.
The Majesticperfection filly broke third out of the gate and ran three wide through the first turn before tucking behind Angela Renee, who was running out of the two path. Clark made a great move just before the far turn, grabbing the three path as they made the turn for home.
When they straightened out for the stretch run, Lovely Maria grabbed the two path and began to pull away from Angela Renee. When it was all said and done, Lovely Maria netted herself a 2.5-length victory (pictured below) with a time of 1:50.45 and the lion's share of the $1 million purse.
Behind her were Shook Up and I'm A Chatterbox, respectively.
Shook Up ran a nice race herself, running along the rail in third place for much of the race before making a solid run down the stretch for a second-place finish.
I'm A Chatterbox barreled down the stretch run on the outside of Shook Up, and if this had been run over the 1 ¼-mile distance we'll see in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby, she may very well have won the race. However, today was not her day.
Clark became the oldest jockey ever to win the Kentucky Oaks, per NBC Sports Network, and he'll always be remembered for running what was truly a flawless race. Meanwhile, with Lovely Maria grabbing the victory, Jones has his second Oaks winner in four years after training Believe You Can to a win back in 2011, per KentuckyDerby.com.
If you're all worked up now and jonesin' for more, you're not alone. The Derby tomorrow will be a welcome follow-up performance.