KY Oaks Start For Fantasy Winner Yuugiri Not Firm Yet; Beguine Gets Nod - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

KY Oaks Start For Fantasy Winner Yuugiri Not Firm Yet; Beguine Gets Nod

Yuugiri captures the Fantasy Stakes by a neck over Beguine at Oaklawn Park

Yuugiri is “50-50” to make her next start in the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs, trainer Rodolphe Brisset said Sunday morning.

Yuugiri secured a spot in the Kentucky Oaks – the nation's biggest race for 3-year-old fillies – with a front-running neck victory over Beguine in Saturday's Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park. The Fantasy offered 170 points (100-40-20-10, respectively) to its top four finishers toward starting eligibility for the Kentucky Oaks.

Brisset was working on shipping arrangements Sunday morning and said Yuugiri will initially be sent to Keeneland before moving to Churchill Downs. He said he will confer with the filly's owners, Tsunebumi and Sekie Yoshihara, before confirming next-race plans.

“I've still got to talk the ownership group,” Brisset said. “We've got to see how she came out of it and how she trains. It's 50-50, I guess, for now. I'm sure the ownership is going to want to take a shot at it.”
Brisset said Yuugiri also will be considered for the $500,000 Acorn Stakes (G1) for 3-year-old fillies at one mile June 11 at Belmont Park.

Beguine will be pointed for the Kentucky Oaks, trainer Dan Peitz said Sunday morning. Beguine collected 40 qualifying points for her runner-up finish and ranks ninth on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard released Saturday night by Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 starters.

Peitz's only Kentucky Oaks starter, Real Cozzy, was runner-up in 2001 after finishing ninth in the Fantasy.

“It was Real Cozzy's fifth start and it will be this filly's fifth start,” Peitz said. “She's lightly raced. The plan right now is to go.”

Fantasy third Bubble Rock has 30 points to rank 10th on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard, but is probably not a candidate for the race, trainer Brad Cox said Sunday morning. Bubble Rock, a homebred for John Ed Anthony of Hot Springs, was making her first start on dirt Saturday after previously winning stakes races on turf and a synthetic surface.

Bubble Rock, under eight-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr., was beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the Fantasy after stalking Yuugiri throughout much of the race.

“Really proud of her,” Cox said. “I'm really glad that we gave her the opportunity on the dirt. She did not embarrass us at all. I thought it was a super-good effort. Ricardo rode her and he's a good judge of a horse. He held her together. He said when he asked her to pick it up, she went but she struggled maybe just a little bit. That made me think she is grass. We'll probably get her back on the grass in the future.”


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