Photo Credit: Robert Yates
Oaklawn Park Press
Unbeaten Taraz got her first feel of the Oaklawn Park racing surface Wednesday morning, galloping approximately 1 ½ miles shortly before the first renovation break for trainer Brad Cox and owner Juddmonte Farm, which also bred the massive daughter of Into Mischief.
Taraz was vanned Tuesday from her winter base at Fair Grounds to run in Saturday’s $150,000 Martha Washington Stakes, a 1-mile event that is Oaklawn’s first of three Kentucky Oaks points races.
“She’s big, isn’t she?” Cox’s assistant, Jorgito Abrego, said as he watched Taraz gallop in advance of her scheduled two-turn debut.
Taraz (2 for 2) won her career debut by 7 ½ lengths Nov. 14 at Churchill Downs and the $75,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes Dec. 21 at Fair Grounds by 11 ¼ lengths. As expected, the towering presence of Taraz will lead to a short field for the Martha Washington. Only four other horses were entered Wednesday morning – O Seraphina, High On Gin, Shedaresthedevil and Princesinha Julia. Taraz is scheduled to break from post 3 under Florent Geroux.
The Martha Washington offers 17 points to the top four finishers (10-4-2-1) toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Oaks, the country’s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies. Probable post time for the Martha Washington, which goes as race 6, is 3:39 p.m.
The Martha Washington and $125,000 American Beauty Stakes for older female sprinters highlight Saturday’s nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m. (Central).
Defending champion Amy’s Challenge is among eight horses entered in the 6-furlong American Beauty. Also entered are Talbeya, Three Chords, Mt. Brave, Special Relativity, Raintree Starlet, Ascot Day and Irish Mischief. Amy’s Challenge is scheduled to break from post 3 under 2019 Oaklawn riding champion David Cohen.
Probable post time for the American Beauty, which goes as race 8, is 4:38 p.m. (Central).