Tarifa 7-2 ML Fav, Tapit Jenallie Draws Post 1

April 27, 2024

Tarifa with Flavien Prat aboard wins the 44th running of the $300,000 Grade II Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds. (Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.)

150th Longines Kentucky Oaks

Churchill Downs Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Godolphin’s Tarifa, riding a three-race win streak, has been installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite for the 150th running of the $1.5 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday.

The 1 1/8-mile Oaks will serve as the centerpiece for a 13-race program that features seven stakes worth a combined $5.25 million. First post is 10:30 a.m. (all times Eastern) with the Oaks going off as the 11th race with a 5:51 p.m. post time.

Trained by Brad Cox, Tarifa will attempt to follow Godolphin runner Pretty Mischievous into the Oaks winner’s circle and make Godolphin the fourth owner to win the Oaks in consecutive years. The most recent was Cain Hoy Stable in 1959 and 1960.

A winner of four of five starts, Tarifa posted victories in the Rachel Alexandra (GII) and Fair Grounds Oaks (GII) in her past two starts. Flavien Prat, who was aboard for those victories, has the mount Friday from post 8.

Cox, who won the Oaks in 2020 with Shedaresthedevil and in 2018 with Monomoy Girl, also will send out Calumet Farm’s Gin Gin (30-1). A winner of two of seven starts, Gin Gin will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post 2.

Whisper Hill Farm’s Leslie’s Rose, winner of the Ashland, is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1.

Trained by four-time Oaks winner Todd Pletcher, Leslie’s Rose has won three of four starts and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. from post 14.

Pletcher, who won the Oaks with Malathaat (2021), Princess of Sylmar (2013), Rags to Riches (2007) and Ashado (2004), also has Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Candied, who is second on the also-eligible list.

Winner of the Alcibiades (GI) last fall before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup, Candied will be ridden by Luis Saez. Saez won the 2022 Oaks on Secret Oath.

Third choice on the morning line at 9-2 is George Krikorian’s homebred Just F Y I, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2023.

Just F Y I puts in a breeze Saturday. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)
Just F Y I puts in a breeze Saturday. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

Trained by Bill Mott, Just F Y I won the Frizette (GI) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) en route to the Eclipse Award last year for her division. Just F Y I opened her 2024 campaign with a runner-up finish in the Ashland (GI) at Keeneland on April 5.

Junior Alvarado has the mount from post 13.

The co-fourth choices on the morning line at 5-1 are Fantasy (GII) winner Thorpedo Anna for trainer Kenny McPeek and Ways and Means for trainer Chad Brown.

Owned by the partnership of Brookdale Racing, Mark Edwards, Judy Hicks and Magdalena Racing, Thorpedo Anna has won three of four starts. Brian Hernandez Jr. has been aboard for all four starts and has the mount Friday from post 5.

Klaravich Stables’ Ways and Means enters the Oaks off a runner-up finish in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII). Tyler Gaffalione, who rode Pretty Mischievous to victory last year, will attempt to become the first jockey since Eddie Arcaro won the race three years in a row from 1951 to 1953. He will exit post 11 on Ways and Means.

Brown also will send out Regulatory Risk (20-1) for Klaravich. Jose Ortiz, who won the 2019 Oaks on Serengeti Empress, has the mount from post 4.

In addition to Cox and Pletcher, one other trainer will be seeking to add to his Oaks record: D. Wayne Lukas.

Lukas, tied with Woody Stephens for the most Oaks victories with five, will send out Lemon Muffin (30-1) for Aaron Sones and Julie Gilbert. Keith Asmussen has the mount from post 6.

Lukas’ Oaks victories started with Blush With Pride in 1982 and were followed by Lucky Lucky Lucky (1984), Open Mind (1988), Seaside Attraction (1990) and Secret Oath (2022).

Kentucky Oaks Final Sheet

Click for Kentucky Oaks Overnights

Thoughts on Position: Connections Quotes From The 2024 Kentucky Oaks Post Draw

GIN GIN (Post 2, 30-1), Tarifa (Post 8, 7-2) – trainer Brad Cox – “I think post positions are a little overrated. If you have the right horse, you can really win from anywhere. I think both horses had a solid work the other morning so that’s most important at this stage to me.”

WHERE’S MY RING (Post 3, 15-1) – trainer Val Brinkerhoff – “I don’t like it, I love it.”

Regulatory Risk works in company. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)
Regulatory Risk works in company. (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

REGULATORY RISK (Post 4, 20-1), WAYS AND MEANS (Post 11, 5-1) – trainer Chad Brown – “Both of them good spots. Regulatory Risk is going to have to make up a couple lengths somewhere to get a piece of it and I think the inside draw was key for her to try and save ground. So that was really good. With Ways and Means, raw speed especially going 1 1/8 miles, I expect her to be very forward in the race. I’d rather her be outside most horses through that first run into the turn and have options out there. I’m very pleased, I didn’t want to be stuck inside with her. If she breaks clean, Tyler (Gaffalione) should have plenty of options to just choose his spot if he wants to go on or be just off the lead.”

THORPEDO ANNA (Post 5, 5-1) – trainer Kenny McPeek – “She’s got another good spot. You can let her run to the first turn. She’s fast, and has got enough early speed to put herself in a good spot (with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.). It’ll be interesting to see what’s inside of her, I haven’t really studied all of that. But I’m pretty confident with her.”

JUST F Y I (Post 13, 9-2) – trainer Bill Mott – “She won the Breeders’ Cup from the 12. Hopefully she’ll have a good clean trip and have a chance to get over. If she’s on her game, she’ll break pretty good and hope it works out as well as it did in the Breeders’ Cup.”

LESLIE’S ROSE (Post 14, 4-1) – trainer Todd Pletcher – “It’s not ideal. We’ll have to overcome it.”

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