On Friday at Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) heroine Chocolate Martini recorded her final major work for the 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 4.
The Tom Amoss-trained filly breezed a bullet five-eighths in :58.80 over the fast main track with jockey James Graham aboard.
Chocolate Martini galloped a mile before working in company with stablemate Tied Up. She started behind that sophomore lass, recording fractions of :23.20 and :35, but finished 10 lengths in front on the six-furlong gallop-out in 1:13.20, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
“It was a really nice breeze,” Amoss said. “The major work is done for the Oaks.”
Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) victress Coach Rocks also breezed five furlongs at Churchill on Friday, clocking a time of 1:00.20 with Tammy Fox in the irons.
The Dale Romans-trained daughter of Oxbow, who parlayed an eight-length maiden win into Gulfstream Park Oaks glory last out, posted splits of :11.60, :23.20 and :47.40 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven furlongs in 1:27.20.
“I thought she worked awesome,” Romans said. “She continues to show us her improvement and we are looking forward to the first Friday in May.”
Grade 2 vixen Wonder Gadot breezed a half-mile in :48.20 at Churchill on Friday with exercise rider Froylan Garcia holding the reins for trainer Mark Casse.
The dark bay daughter of Medaglia d’Oro was caught in splits of :13.20, :25 and :37, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.20.
“She did it well within herself and galloped out well,” said Nick Tomlinson, who is overseeing the Churchill Downs string for Casse. “(Assistant trainer) David (Carroll) and his crew did an amazing job with her (this winter at Fair Grounds). It makes our job easier.”
The Canadian champion filly was scheduled to work Saturday, the same day as stablemate and Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful Flameaway.
“I talked with Mark last night and he said to just go ahead and go today,” Tomlinson explained. “That would be seven days out (from the Oaks) and make it easier on Saturday.”
Trainer Bret Calhoun sent his pair of Kentucky Oaks contenders – Patrona Margarita and Classy Act – out for half-mile breezes on Friday at Churchill.
With exercise rider Simon Camacho up, Grade 2 scorer Patrona Margarita posted a maintenance move in :50.80 after setting splits of :13 and :25.20. The Texas-bred daughter of Special Rate galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.40 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:17.80.
Classy Act and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. breezed four furlongs in :47.40. The dark bay Into Mischief filly, fourth in the Fair Grounds Oaks and second in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) in her past pair, logged fractions of :12.20, :23.40 and :35.20 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.80.
“I thought it was a great work,” Calhoun said in regards to Classy Act. “If we want to go 1 1/8 miles on the first Friday in May she’ll have to learn to relax a little bit and get off the bridle.”
Heavenhasmynikki and Jake Radosevich took a spin under the Twin Spires in company with four-year-old Trustworthy.
The Majestic Warrior filly breezed five-eighths in 1:00.20 after setting fractions of :12.20, :24, :35.80 and :48.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.20.
“I was happy with it,” trainer Anthony Quartarolo said. “I want to go in a minute and change or 1:01. She runs well fresh.”
Heavenhasmynikki currently sits in 17th on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard and needs three defections to make the 14-filly field. If she does enter, the chestnut miss will be going for her first stakes win in the 144th Run for the Lilies after finishing fourth in the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) and third in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2) in her two stakes tries to date.
“I have been wanting to run her two turns,” owner Ron Paolucci said. “It is a long year and if we get in, we get in.”
My Miss Lilly walked the shedrow on Friday, one day after breezing a half-mile in :48.80 for trainer Mark Hennig at Churchill Downs.
“We are all good here,” Hennig said. “She’s happy, so we are happy.”
The gray daughter of Tapit earned her shot at Kentucky Oaks glory taking the Gazelle Stakes (G2) last out at Aqueduct over the Oaks distance of 1 1/8 miles.
Oaks hopefuls scheduled to work under the Twin Spires on Saturday are Monomoy Girl, Sassy Sienna, Blamed and Kelly’s Humor. Red Ruby has a Keeneland move planned for Sunday.
U.A.E. Oaks (UAE-G3) winner Rayya is expected to work at Santa Anita Park over the weekend for Bob Baffert. The conditioner who took over training on the Tiz Wonderful filly after her runner-up effort behind Kentucky Derby contender Mendelssohn in the U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) on Dubai World Cup Day.
Rayya posted her first move stateside on April 21 at Santa Anita, clocking six furlongs from the gate over the fast dirt in 1:12.80.
“She worked well the other day and she’s doing really well,” Baffert said Thursday on a NTRA National Media Teleconference. “She came from Dubai and I’m asking her to do something that’s impossible – run in Dubai, then come here (to Santa Anita), then run in the Kentucky Oaks.
“But she came over in really great shape and she’s happy and healthy. Last time she got beat by Mendelssohn, who was an absolute freak that night, but she beat the rest of the boys there so she’s a tough filly and I expect her to run a big race.”