G1 winners Gamine and Swiss Skydiver are among the seven graduates of Keeneland sales entered today in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies who will contest Friday’s 146th running of the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Gamine has consecutive wins in the Acorn (G1) at Belmont and Test (G1) at Saratoga, while Swiss Skydiver was second against males in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G2) in July and next won the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga in her two most recent starts after taking the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn.
Gamine and Swiss Skydiver both were sold at Keeneland’s 2018 September Yearling Sale. The 2020 September Sale begins Sunday, Sept. 13.
Gamine is the even-money morning-line favorite and Swiss Skydiver is the 8-5 second choice for the Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile stakes run the day before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). Post time for the Oaks, the 12th of 13 races at Churchill on Friday, is 5:45 p.m. ET.
Keeneland sales have produced 13 Kentucky Oaks winners since 1994. They include the past three winners: champion Abel Tasman (2017), champion Monomoy Girl (2018) and Serengeti Empress (2019). Other Keeneland sales alumni to win the race include Racing Hall of Famer Ashado and Belmont (G1) winner and champion Rags to Riches.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank Ashland has been a steppingstone to Oaks success. Thirteen fillies have won the two races, most recently Monomoy Girl. A total of 34 fillies who have competed in the Central Bank Ashland have won the Oaks. They include 2016 Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia, third in the Central Bank Ashland.
The Keeneland sales graduates entered in the 2020 Kentucky Oaks are:
Bayerness (Bayern-Weight No More) – Select Sales, agent for breeder Machmer Hall, consigned the Indiana Oaks (G3) and Dogwood (G3) third-place finisher to the 2018 September Sale. Spartan Bloodstock bought her for $170,000. Belladonna Racing owns Bayerness, who is trained by Cherie DeVaux and will be ridden in the Oaks by Rafael Bejarano.
Donna Veloce (Uncle Mo-Coin Broker [IRE]) – Coin Broker Syndicate bred the Santa Ysabel (G3) winner, who was second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Starlet (G1). Consigned to the 2018 September Sale by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, the filly sold for $450,000 to Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds. Simon Callaghan trains Donna Veloce for Kaleem Shah, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith. She will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr.
Gamine (Into Mischief-Peggy Jane) – Grace Thoroughbred Holdings bred the multiple Grade 1 winner, who was consigned by Summerfield, agent, to the 2018 September Sale. Grand Oaks purchased the filly, who races for Michael Lund Peterson, for $220,000. John Velazquez will ride Gamine for trainer Bob Baffert.
Hopeful Growth (Tapiture-Maiden America) – Crupi’s New Castle/J.J. Crupi, agent, paid $160,000 for the Monmouth Oaks (G3) winner at the 2018 September Sale. Bred by Phillips Racing Partnership, she was consigned by Darby Dan Farm, agent. Manny Franco will ride Hopeful Growth for owner St. Elias Stable and trainer Anthony R. Margotta Jr.
Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil-Starship Warpspeed) – The Indiana Oaks (G3) and Honeybee (G3) winner is a graduate of three Keeneland sales. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned her as a weanling to the 2017 November Breeding Stock Sale, where she sold for $100,000 to Big Cuse Bloodstock. Warrendale Sales, agent, offered Shedaresthedevil at the 2018 September Sale. At the 2019 November Sale, Flurry Racing Stables purchased the 2-year-old filly, who by then was a Grade 2-placed winner, for $280,000 from the consignment of Hunter Valley Farm, agent. Brad Cox trains Shedaresthedevil for Flurry and co-owners Qatar Racing Limited and Big Aut Farms. Florent Geroux will ride the filly, who was bred by WinStar Farm.
Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil-Expo Gold) – Trainer Kenny McPeek, agent, purchased the multiple graded stakes winner for $35,000 at the 2018 September Sale from the consignment of Select Sales, agent. WinStar Farm bred Swiss Skydiver, who races for Peter J. Callahan. She will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione.
Tempers Rising (Bayern-Marchmont) – Bred by Dr. Bryan Boone, the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) runner-up is an alumni of three Keeneland sales, the most recent being the inaugural Online Select Sale of Horses of Racing Age Sale in June. Tempers Rising was a weanling when Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, sold her for $50,000 to Baccari Bloodstock at the 2017 November Sale. Baccari Bloodstock, agent, consigned her to the 2018 September Sale, where she sold to McKathan Bros. I for $70,000. Dallas Stewart trains Tempers Rising for Stanley and Nancy W. Stanley. She will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.