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May 04, 2012

Grace Hall headlines Kentucky Oaks


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Grace Hall, runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, heads a field of 14 for Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race for three- year-old fillies is the companion event to the Kentucky Derby.

Trained by Tony Dutrow, Grace Hall has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post two. The filly is coming off a win in the Gulfstream Park Oaks as the 6-5 favorite after beginning 2012 with a second in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream.

Grace Hall, owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and The Elkstone Group, was second to My Miss Auriela in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs last Nov. 4. The filly has won four of six career starts with two seconds for $809,000.

The two 4-1 co-second picks in the Oaks are On Fire Baby, who will break from the inside post, and Broadway's Alibi, who has drawn post six.

On Fire Baby, trained by Gary Hartlage, will be ridden by Joe Johnson, who has been aboard the filly in all six previous starts.

"She's ready," Hartlage said. "We know we have a good horse and it will take a good horse to beat her."

Owned by Anita Cauley, On Fire Baby is coming off a two-length win in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 10. She began the year against colts in the Smarty Jones Stakes when she finished third. The filly has four wins for $312,329.

Broadway's Alibi regains the services of John Velazquez as rider on Friday. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the filly has won her last four starts after beginning her career with a second-place finish.

"She's doing really well. Everything she's done this year has been perfect," said Pletcher.

Broadway's Alibi, owned by J. Paul Robsham Stable, won the Forward Gal and Comely Stakes this year. In her five lifetime starts she has collected $339,500.

Here is the complete field for the Oaks in post position order: On Fire Baby, Joe Johnson, 4-1; Grace Hall, Javier Castellano, 5-2; Summer Applause, Garrett Gomez, 15-1; Eden's Moon, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Hard Not to Like, Robby Albarado, 20-1; Broadway's Alibi, John Velazquez, 4-1; Sacristy, Mike Smith, 50-1; Jemima's Pearl, Joe Talamo, 10-1; Believe You Can, Rosie Napravnik, 10-1; And Why Not, Julien Leparoux, 15-1; Karlovy Vary, James Graham, 20-1; Colonial Empress, Corey Nakatani, 50-1; Amie's Dini, Jon Court, 10-1 and Yara, Jesus Castanon, 30-1.

Oaks Lily is the also-eligible and will start if there is a scratch by 9 a.m. (ET) Friday.

Post-time for the Kentucky Oaks is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. (ET).

The last three winners of the Oaks have been Plum Pretty, 2010 champion filly Blind Luck and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.

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