Oaks Notes: Asmussen ‘Ecstatic’ With Clairiere, Pauline’s Pearl In His Quest For Third Oaks Victory

Stonestreet Stables’ homebreds Clairiere and Pauline’s Pearl turned in half-mile works at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., to complete their major preparation for Friday’s 147th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Pauline’s Pearl was the first to work over a main track labeled as good during the 7:30-7:45 training window for Kentucky Derby and Oaks horses. She was clocked in :50.60.

Clairiere followed shortly thereafter, covering the distance in :49.60. Both fillies are trained by two-time Oaks-winning conditioner Steve Asmussen.

The draw for the Longines Kentucky Oaks will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday in the Aristides Lounge.

AVA’S GRACE – Cypress Creek Equine’s Ava’s Grace jogged two miles under exercise rider Walter Davila at 5:30 Sunday morning over a track labeled as good.

Sunday’s activity marked the first day back on the track for Ava’s Grace since working a half-mile in :49.20 on Friday with jockey David Cohen aboard.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro is scheduled to be on hand at the barn Monday morning.

CLAIRIERE, PAULINE’S PEARL – Stonestreet Stables’ homebreds Pauline’s Pearl and Clairiere completed their final Oaks preparations Sunday morning, working four furlongs over a “good” main track in a pair of maintenance solo drills.

Pauline’s Pearl, a daughter of Tapit, was up first immediately after the track opened at 7:30 for Derby and Oaks horses, and went in 50.60, with splits of :13 and :25.40 under exercise rider Wilson Fabian. Clairiere, a Curlin filly, followed about a minute behind under Angel Garcia and went in :49.60, with splits of :11.80, :23.80, while galloping out in 1:03.40. Pauline’s Pearl was credited with the 22nd fastest time of 27 at the distance, while Clairiere was 10th-fastest. Some 80 minutes later, Asmussen was beaming back Barn 38.

“We’re ecstatic,” Asmussen said. “Pauline’s Pearl went first and my first words to Wilson were ‘How did she go?’ and he said ‘Beautiful.’ Both are regular riders of the horses so they are good measures and extremely familiar with them.”

COACH, TRAVEL COLUMN – Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Travel Column and Fantasy (G3) third-place finisher Coach jogged at 7:30 a.m. with trainer Brad Cox watching from the five-eighths pole clocker stand.

“Both fillies bounced out of their work in good shape and we’re ready for Friday,” Cox said. “Hopefully we get a favorable draw and we’ll take our tactics from there.”

COMPETITIVE SPEED – John Minchello’s Competitive Speed had a leisurely 1 ½-mile gallop under exercise rider Anthony Gallo Sunday morning for trainer Javier Gonzalez.

Competitive Speed was returning to the track for the first time since working five furlongs in 1:02.40 on Friday.

CRAZY BEAUTIFUL – Phoenix Thoroughbred LTD’s Crazy Beautiful had a quiet Sunday morning at trainer Kenny McPeek’s barn, walking the shedrow following her workout on Saturday. Assistant trainer Greg Geier said the filly showed no problems following the workout, and is on track for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks.

On Saturday, Crazy Beautiful was clocked at :49.20 for four furlongs, with splits of :12 and :23.60, then finishing up in 1:02.60 for five furlongs.

MALATHAAT – Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat, one of the likely favorites for Friday’s $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks, returned to the racetrack Sunday morning following a walk day Saturday and jogged an easy mile under exercise rider Amelia Green for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The bay Curlin filly has raced four times so far in her career and gone to the winner’s circle following each one. She closed out 2020 with a tally in the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct in New York, then returned this year on April 3 at Keeneland in Lexington to get up for a head score in the Ashland (G1).

Pletcher has named Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez to handle the bay miss in the nine-furlong test that will be the 147th edition of the “Run for the Lillies.”

MARACUJA – Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Maracuja came out of her final Oaks work in good shape and will ship to Churchill Sunday afternoon, according to trainer Rob Atras.

The daughter of Honor Code put in her final Oaks work Saturday morning at Belmont Park, going four furlongs in 48.20 in company with New York-bred stablemate Horn of Plenty. Atras plans on arriving Thursday.

MILLEFEUILLE – Juddmonte Farms’ Millefeuille walked the shedrow at trainer Bill Mott’s barn a day after working a best-of-29 at the distance five furlongs in :59.60.

MORAZ – Don Alberto Stable’s homebred Moraz arrived at Churchill Downs shortly after noon Sunday following a flight from her Southern California base. Assistant trainer Justin Curran had a stall ready for her at Barn 37 following her flight of just more 2,000 miles.

The daughter of Empire Maker had put in her final Oaks prep with a :48.20 move Saturday morning at Santa Anita for trainer Michael McCarthy. The conditioner also scheduled a flight from L.A. Sunday and was expected to land in Louisville at some point this evening.

PASS THE CHAMPAGNE – R. A. Hill Stable, Black Type Thoroughbreds, Rock Ridge Racing, BlueRidge Stables and James Brown’s Pass the Champagne galloped Sunday morning at Palm Beach Downs.

Trained by George Weaver, Pass the Champagne will begin the van trip to Churchill Downs later Sunday with an early Monday morning arrival.

SEARCH RESULTS – Klaravich Stables’ Search Results returned to the track for the first time since completing her final Oaks work Friday for trainer Chad Brown. The undefeated daughter of Flatter walked the shedrow Saturday morning and jogged once around the main track, which was listed as “good.” Sunday morning. Brown indicated Search Results will resume galloping Monday morning.

WILL’S SECRET – Willis Horton’s Honeybee (G2) winner Will’s Secret jogged at 7:30 a.m. for trainer Dallas Stewart.

She’s scheduled to gallop at the same time Monday.

SHAPING UP: THE KENTUCKY OAKS – Likely starters in the 147th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Friday, April 30, in order of preference (with possible jockey and trainer): Search Results (Irad Ortiz Jr., Chad Brown); Travel Column (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); Crazy Beautiful (Jose Ortiz, Kenny McPeek); Pauline’s Pearl (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Malathaat (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher); Clairiere (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen); Will’s Secret (Jon Court, Dallas Stewart); Millefeuille (Joel Rosario, Bill Mott); Moraz (Umberto Rispoli, Michael McCarthy); Ava’s Grace (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro); Pass the Champagne (Javier Castellano, George Weaver); Maracuja (Kendrick Carmouche, Rob Atras); Competitive Speed (Chris Landeros, Javier Gonzalez); Coach (Luis Saez, Brad Cox).

Next up in order of preference: Spritz (TBA, Rodolphe Brisset).

The post Oaks Notes: Asmussen ‘Ecstatic’ With Clairiere, Pauline’s Pearl In His Quest For Third Oaks Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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