HORSE RACING

Kentucky Oaks Undercard Results and Payouts for 5/6/22

Pauline's Pearl rallies to victory in the Grade 1 La Troienne. (Coady Photography)
La Troienne ResultsPayoffs - Win Place Show
1Pauline's Pearl - $5.80, $2.80, $2.40
2Shedaresthedevil - $2.60, $2.40
3 Ava's Grace - $4.40

Pauline's Pearl Rallies to Win La Troienne Stakes

Trainer Steve Asmussen kept insisting the version of Pauline’s Pearl he has seen this season is not just physically bigger than her graded stakes winning form from last year, but markedly faster as well.

As the daughter of Tapit came three-wide off the final turn and took aim at the defending race winner on the lead, she showcased to the Churchill Downs faithful just how on the nose her Hall of Famer conditioner was in his assessment.

The potential Pauline’s Pearl teased of during her sophomore season has taken a massive step forward during this her 4-year-old campaign with her biggest jump coming right in time in the $750,000 La Troienne Stakes (G1) as she caught pacesetter Shedaresthedevil in late stretch to prevail by a half a length on May 6.

The La Troienne was part of a 13-race program at Churchill Downs on Friday highlighted by the 148th running of the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1).

A Stonestreet Stables homebred out of Grade 1 winner Hot Dixie Chick, Pauline’s Pearl has long carried strong regard that she would add to her family’s history of top-level success. After opening her 2022 campaign with a victory in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) on Jan. 30, the gray filly put in a game effort to finish second to champion Ce Ce in the March 12 Azeri Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.

That incremental progress continued in the 1 1/16-miles La Troienne as jockey Joel Rosario rated Pauline’s Pearl three-wide just behind Shedaresthedevil and Ava’s Grace as the former cut fractions of :24.02 and :47.80 in her attempt to repeat in the race she captured one year ago.

In the stretch, Shedaresthedevil maintained her inside position while being challenged by eventual third-place finisher Ava’s Grace with Pauline’s Pearl surging by both just passing the sixteenth pole.

“I was worried every step of the way,” Asmussen said. “I was hoping Ava’s Grace would pressure Shedaresthedevil and you could tell when they left the gates that (jockey David) Cohen (on Ava’s Grace) was going to sit the trip. Joel did a wonderful move going into the first turn, a touch wide but put her in position and when they lined out down the backside, she had her chance and proved narrowly best.

“She’s grown up and filled out into that frame and….just a wonderful pedigree on a sound filly is continuously getting faster as she gets older.”

Shedaresthedevil, the 2020 Kentucky Oaks winner, stumbled at the start but otherwise got an ideal trip before suffering her first loss in six starts at Churchill Downs.

“(Jockey) Florent (Geroux) said he thought he had a good trip, a comfortable trip,” said Brad Cox, trainer of Shedaresthedevil. “I don’t know that there is much of an excuse. We were a length behind that filly in our last start (third in the Azeri) and a half length behind today. It was a good effort, it just wasn’t a winning effort.”

Sent off as the 9-5 second choice, Pauline’s Pearl completed the distance in 1:42.46 over a track rated fast. With the win, she improves her overall record to five wins from 13 starts with $1,494,200 in earnings.

“She was a nice filly early that continuously competed and got better,” Asmussen said. “She came back a 4-year-old and all four races this year have been tremendous. It is so satisfying for her to come back and get her first Grade 1 on Oaks Day. She did her best last year (when eighth in the Kentucky) Oaks. You can see the improvement one year has made in her.”

Olympiad Battles Back to Win Alysheba Stakes

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables and LNJ Foxwoods’ Olympiad battled back along the rail after being passed by Happy Saver to post a 2 1/2-length victory in the 19th running of the $500,000 Alysheba Stakes (G2) for 4-year-olds and up Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Olympiad completed the 1 1/16-miles on a fast track in 1:41.60.

Weyburn set the pace with Olympiad tracking to his outside in second through fractions of :24.21 and :48.43. Going into the far turn, Olympiad began to close in on Weyburn with Happy Saver making a three-wide move that propelled him to the front at the head of the stretch.

Although he was in tight between Happy Saver and a fading Weyburn, Olympiad found himself in the clear at the eighth pole and pulled away for the victory.

“We thought he was a nice horse since he was a 2-year-old,” Mott said of Olympiad. “He missed a lot of time in his 3-year-old year unfortunately. The patience that we were allowed to have with him and waited until he got right paid off. He’s a really good horse and competing at a top level.

“It looked like Irad (Ortiz, Jr.) came in (during the stretch run) and shaved us a little bit, made it a little tight and the rider on the inside had to take up. I was a little concerned about it. I knew it wasn’t us and another horse caused us to put pressure on the inside horse.”

In winning his fourth consecutive race and third graded stakes score, Olympiad improved his record to 9-6-1-1 and added $303,800 to his bankroll that now totals $962,240.

Olympiad is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Speightstown out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Tokyo Time. He returned $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40.

Happy Saver, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., returned $3.60 and $2.60 with Title Ready rallying for third another 1 ½ lengths back under John Velazquez and paying $6 to show.

Bleecker Street Stays Perfect with Modesty Victory

Peter Brant’s Bleecker Street split horses at the sixteenth pole and pulled clear en route to a half-length victory over stablemate Fluffy Socks to win the 65th running of the $250,000 Modesty Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares to kick off stakes action on Kentucky Oaks Day.

Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Flavien Prat, Bleecker Street completed the mile and eighth on a firm renovated Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:50.10 to remain perfect in her six career starts.

Mona Stella led the field through slow fractions of :25.18, :50.31 and 1:14.55 as Bleecker Street raced near the back of the field.

Turning for home, Hendy Woods made the first run to the lead but was immediately challenged to her outside by Fluffy Socks with Bleecker Street looming just behind those two to the outside

At the eighth pole, Prat shifted toward the inside and found a seam between the leaders that he shot through to secure the victory.

“With both my horses far back with that pace, I was quite worried,” Brown said. “Down the back side, actually, Irad (Ortiz Jr., on Fluffy Socks) was able to extract himself off the fence and move up a couple of spots. And I saw Flavien kind of zero right in behind Irad. So I figured, OK, if the closers are going to come, Bleecker Street is going to come and Fluffy Socks will be following right behind her.

“Bleecker Street ran amazingly well, and you have to remember, Fluffy Socks is back after three weeks’ rest from a wide trip at Keeneland. These horses are pretty close, Bleecker Street had more rest, but an undefeated horse, 6 for 6, she’s hard to fault.”

Bleecker Street is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Quality Road out of the Exchange Rate mare Lemon Liqueur. In notching her third graded stakes victory, Bleecker Street increased her earnings to $434,700 with Friday’s $148,800 check.

Bleecker Street returned $4, $2.80 and $2.40. Fluffy Socks, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., returned $3.20 and $2.40 with Hendy Woods finishing another half-length back in third and paying $3.40 to show under Jose Ortiz.

New Year's Day Scores the Upset in Edgewood

Marc Detampel’s New Year’s Eve popped the cork on a 14-1 upset by circling the field to romp to a 2 3/4-length victory in the 38th running of the $500,000 Edgewood Stakes (G2) for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by Luis Saez, New Year’s Eve completed the 1 1/16-miles on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:43.39.

Spicerled the field of 10 through fractions of :24.07 and :48.64 as New Year’s Eve raced at the rear of the field.Going into the far turn, New Year’s Eve began picking off horses and swung four-wide into the stretch that propelled her to the lead at the three-sixteenths pole from where she drew off from the field.

“She’s been just a bit slow mentally,” Walsh said. “But she’s getting it bit by bit. So, we gave her some time to figure things out, then we gave her a push. We put blinkers on her for her last two works and she seemed to pick it up a bit. I was quietly confident that she’d be better today. And she was.”

New Year’s Eve is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy out of theElusive Quality mare Awesome Rafaela (BRZ). Now a winner of three of four career starts, New Year’s Eve earned $294,500 for the victory to increase her earnings to $353,600.

New Year’s Eve returned $31.20, $10.60 and $6. McKulick (GB) rallied for second under Flavien Prat and paid $4.40 and $3 with favoredDolce Zel(FR) finishing another 4 ½ lengths back in third under Irad Ortiz Jr. and paying $2.80 to show.

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