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May 06, 2011

Favorite draws rail for Kentucky Oaks


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Morning-line favorite Joyful Victory has drawn the inside post for Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile companion race to the Kentucky Derby has attracted 13 three-year-old fillies.

Missing from the Oaks is pre-race favorite R Heat Lightning who was withdrawn on Monday with an injury. Owned by E. Paul Robsham Stable, the filly won the Gulfstream Oaks last month and last year was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

Owned by Rick Porter, Joyful Victory is the 5-2 program favorite and will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. The filly, trained by Larry Jones, won the Honeybee and Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park this year.

"Everything is good," said Jones, who saddled 2009 winner Proud Spell. "We're happy with the way everything has turned out."

Joyful Victory has won three of five career starts for $380,100. She was fifth in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and third in the Frizette Stakes.

Kathmanblu and Zazu are each 4-1 in the morning-line and have drawn posts four and six respectively.

Trained by Ken McPeek, Kathmanblu will be ridden by Julien Leparoux for owners Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stable. The filly won the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds Racecourse this year and was third in last month's Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

In 2010 Kathmanblu was third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and won the Golden Rod Stakes both at Churchill Downs. She has earned $510,731 in nine starts and five wins.

"She's doing well and we're looking forward to running her in the Oaks," McPeek noted.

Shipping in from California is Jerry and Ann Moss' Zazu. Regular rider Joel Rosario will again be in the saddle.

Zazu won the Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita Park in February and followed with a second-place finish in the Santa Anita Oaks. The gray filly, trained by John Sadler, has won two of seven career starts for $290,985.

Here is the complete field for the Oaks in post position order: Joyful Victory, Mike Smith, 5-2; Lilacs and Lace, Javier Castellano, 12-1; Summer Soiree, Gabriel Saez, 5-1; Kathmanblu, Julien Leparoux, 4-1; Suave Voir Faire, Miguel Mena, 50-1; Zazu, Joel Rosario, 4-1; Her Smile, Garrett Gomez, 20-1; Bouquet Booth, Robby Albarado, 20-1; Daisy Devine, James Graham, 20-1; Street Storm, Shaun Bridgmohan, 50-1; Holy Heavens, Kent Desormeaux, 50-1; Plum Pretty, Martin Garcia, 5-1 and St. John's River, Rosie Napravnik. 30-1.

Post-time for the race is slated at 5:45 p.m. (et) and will be broadcast on Versus.

Blind Luck won the Oaks in 2010 one year after Rachel Alexandra devastated the field by more than 20-lengths.

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