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May 09, 2008

Proud Spell romps in the Kentucky Oaks

Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Proud Spell, second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly race, stalked the pace before running away from the field in Friday's $581,650 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The 134th edition of the companion race to the Kentucky Derby was contested over a sloppy track.

Proud Spell, ridden by Gabriel Saez, broke well from the middle of the 10 horse field. She settled into second to the outside of pacesetter Bsharpsonata. Tracking the leaders were Little Belle and Country Star.

The fillies maintained their positions up the backstretch and into the far turn. Around the turn for home Proud Spell drew even with Bsharpsonata and took the lead at the top of the stretch.

Proud Spell proceeded to run away from her competition to record a five length victory. Finishing second was Ashland Stakes winner Little Belle with highly regarded Pure Clan getting up for third.

The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.01 on a sloppy Churchill Downs surface.

Rounding out the order of finish was Golden Doc A, Bsharpsonata, Country Star, A to the Croft, Rasierra, Awesome Chic and Absolutely Cindy. Scratched from the race was Elusive Lady and Eight Belles who will start in Saturday's Run for the Roses.

Owned by former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones, Proud Spell is a stablemate of Eight Belles, as both fillies are trained by Larry Jones. Jones was the trainer of Hard Spun who was second in last year's Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic.

Proud Spell pockets $348,930 with her fifth win in eight career starts. Overall, she has lifetime earnings of more than $1.28 million.

This year Proud Spell was second to Indian Blessing in the Silverbulletday Stakes before capturing the Fair Grounds Oaks. Indian Blessing took the 2007 Juvenile Filly. Proud Spell came into the Kentucky Oaks off a third place finish to Little Belle and Bsharpsonata in the Ashland Stakes.

Proud Spell returned $8.80, $4.80 and $3.20. Little Belle paid $6.40 and $4.00, and Pure Clan paid $3.80 to show.

The updated weather forecast for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, is cloudy in the morning with isolated thunderstorms developing later in the day, 30- percent chance of rain. Winds from the South Southwest at 15 to 25 m.p.h. Post-time temperature: near 70.

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