I was fortunate to see some great friends in the Paddock, enjoy a few moments in the rare air of the 4th and 6th floors, see Bobby Petrino, Jack Conway and Bruce Lunsford, and watch Paula celebrate a win ticket on Lovely Maria from a great vantage point– Rick
From Churchill Downs. . .
LOVELY MARIA TAKES $1 MILLION LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS BEFORE RECORD OAKS DAY CROWD OF 123,763
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Jones boys struck again in the Kentucky Oaks.
Owner-breeder Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones (no relation) combined to win their Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) when Lovely Maria charged to a 2 ¾-length victory over Shook Up to win the 141st running of the $1 million race for 3-year-old fillies before a record Oaks Day crowd of 123,763 on a mild, sunny afternoon.
Friday’s attendance shattered the mark of 116,046 established in 2010.
Brereton Jones and Larry Jones combined to win the 2008 Oaks with Proud Spell and the 2012 running with Believe You Can.
The victory, the second consecutive Grade 1 score for Lovely Maria, was worth $570,400 and increased her earnings to $973,000 with a record of 7-4-3-0.
Lovely Maria was ridden by veteran Kerwin Clark, who scored his first career Grade I victory aboard Lovely Maria in Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes last month.
Lovely Maria, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Majesticperfection out of the Thunder Gulch mare Thundercap, ran the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.45.
Condo Commando, ridden by Joel Rosario, led the field of 14 through early fractions of :23.51 and :47.26 with Angela Renee and John Velazquez in closest pursuit. Racing in the second tier were Shook Up with Robby Albarado and Lovely Maria.
On the far turn, Condo Commando began to retreat as Angela Renee took over entering the stretch with Lovely Maria and Shook Up closing in. Angela Renee dropped out before the eighth pole and I’m a Chatterbox closed to get third and give Larry Jones a 1-3 finish in the race.
Lovely Maria returned $14.60, $7.80 and $5.40. Shook Up, returned $20.20 and $11.40 and finished a length ahead of I’m a Chatterbox who paid $5 to show under Florent Geroux.
Favored Stellar Wind finished another length back in fourth and was followed in order by Birdatthewire, Angela Renee, Oceanwave, Include Betty, Condo Commando, Eskenformoney, Forever Unbridled, Puca, Money’soncharlotte and Sarah Sis, who did not finish.