Harvey’s Lil Goil, winner of Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 Regret Stakes on turf and third in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Alabama on dirt in her last start, headlines Thursday’s $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs. The daughter of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the capacity field of 12 three-year-old fillies, with three others needing scratches in order to run.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Harvey’s Lil Goil was bred by the late Harvey A. Clarke, who also bred 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another and 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria. Clarke died in January, 2019. Harvey’s Lil Goil races in the name of the Estate of Harvey A. Clark in partnership with Paul Braverman.
Other contenders in the 1 5/16-mile stakes include 3-1 Stunning Sky, second in both the $500,000 Saratoga Oaks and Grade 2 Lake Placid in her last two starts; the two-time stakes-winner Micheline, a late-running fourth in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Lake George; Lucky Polly, winner of Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes on grass in her last start; Ask Bailey, last year’s runner-up in Kentucky Downs’ 2-year-old filly stakes at a mile and Del Mar allowance winner Carpe Vinum, fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in her last start.
Needing three scratches to run is Envoutante, third in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Ashland and fourth in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Alabama on dirt in her last two starts.
Thursday’s Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks goes off as the eighth race with a 3:59 p.m. Central post time. The field, in post-position order with jockey, trainer and morning-line odds): Sursum Corda (Julien Leparoux/Ian Wilkes 30-1), Carpe Vinum (Flavien Prat/Phil D’Amato 8-1), Lucky Polly (Florent Geroux/Mark Casse 8-1), Stand Tall (John Velazquez/Rusty Arnold 30-1), Stunning Sky (Irad Ortiz/Mike Maker 3-1), How Ironic (Rafael Bejarano/Victoria Oliver 20-1), Embossed (Umberto Rispoli/Mike Stidham 20-1), Micheline (Joel Rosario/Mike Stidham 6-1), Harvey’s Lil Goil (Jose Ortiz/Bill Mott 9-5), Luck Money (Javier Castellano/Arnaud Delacour 30-1), Island Hideaway (Miguel Mena/Karl Broberg 20-1), Ask Bailey (Tyler Gaffalione/Mike Maker 20-1). Also eligible: Redemption Day (Jose Ortiz/Rodolphe Brisset 20-1), Blame Debbie (Joel Rosario/Graham Motion 12-1), Envoutante (Brian Hernandez/Kenny McPeek 6-1).
Photo Credit: Coady Photography