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LOUISVILLE, KY – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will try to win his fourth edition of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) when he saddles Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine, who drew post 5 and was made the even-money morning line favorite for Friday’s feature event at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Oaks is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route for 3-year-old fillies that attracted a field of nine for the 2020 edition. The Oaks has a scheduled post time of 5:45 PM Eastern and is slated as the penultimate event on a 13-race Friday card that begins at 11:00 AM Eastern.
Gamine enters the Oaks after back-to-back eye-popping performances in the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park and the Test Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. The 3-year-old Into Mischief filly has never crossed the wire behind another horse; the lone loss on her resume is a result of having failed a post-race drug test after an Oaklawn Park optional claiming event in early May.
Though 3 of her 4 career starts came sprinting, the Oaklawn Park race was contested at 1 1/16 miles. Any questions regarding her ability to handle the slightly longer Kentucky Oaks distance may be moot if she gets an uncontested early lead under John Velazquez, who won this race in 2004.
Swiss Skydiver drew the rail post and was named the 8/5 second choice on the morning line. The Kenny McPeek trainee will have Tyler Gaffalione back aboard for the second straight time after she galloped home an easy winner of the 1 1/4-mile Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
The well-traveled Daredevil filly has won each of her 4 graded stakes scores at a different location across the country and broke her maiden under the Twin Spires when debuting last fall, making that 5 wins over as many tracks for owner Peter Callahan.
The Michael McCarthy trainee Speech has shown steady improvement throughout the year, finishing second to Swiss Skydiver in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) before taking the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last time out. She also just missed defeating Gamine by a neck in the aforementioned Oaklawn Park optional claiming event, later getting promoted to first via disqualification.
Javier Castellano, aboard both at Oaklawn Park and at Keeneland, will have the mount for the third time. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Madaket Stables co-own the Florida-bred Mr Speaker filly, whose most dangerous weapon is her tactical speed.
Here is the full field for Friday’s $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1):
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