With six of the seven sophomore fillies entered in Saturday’s Grade III Arlington Oaks listed with morning line odds of 6-1 or less, it is safe to say the $150,000 race over nine Polytrack furlongs is a contentious affair. Slight favoritism in the morning line goes to Naveed Chowhan’s Seaneen Girl, listed at 5-2.
The chestnut daughter of Spring At Last is looking to improve off a runner-up finish in the Grade III Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows on June 29. The Bernie Flint trainee is a graded stakes winner having capture last November’s Grade II Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs. Earlier this year, Seaneen Girl ran a solid third in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks in New Orleans before finishing ninth of 10 in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks. Leandro Goncalves has been named to ride and the pair will leave from the rail.
Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey’s Bold Kitten, trained by Wayne Catalano, last appeared when beating Illinois-restricted company in the $100,000 Purple Violet Stakes at mile over the local Polytrack. This is the same route used by last year’s Oaks victress La Tia. The Kitten’s Joy filly is two for six in her brief career but clearly in good form off a string of solid works since winning the Purple Violet. Leaving from the outside post, she will be ridden by Florent Geroux.
Another Illinois-foaled filly, Timothy Keely’s My Option, also is using the Purple Violet as a stepping stone to the Arlington Oaks. The Chris Block-trained daughter of Belong to Me was just a half-length behind Bold Kitten in the June 1 race. Prior to that, the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 2012 won the $125,000 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante at Hawthorne Race Course in December to close out her freshman campaign and returned in April to win the $100,000 Pretty Jenny Stakes at Hawthorne. Eduardo Perez gets the call aboard the gray/roan filly who starts from post 3 on Saturday.
Invading from Kentucky for Saturday’s headliner is Jay Em Ess Stable’s Sky Girl. The Paul McGee-trained daughter Sky Mesa carries a two-race win skein into the Arlington Oaks, with her most recent score being in a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs over a sloppy race track. Corey Lanerie will make the trip in from Kentucky to guide the filly who drew post 6.
Others in Saturday’s Oaks (with jockey and post position listed) are: G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Frivolous (Francisco Torres, post 2), a recent Churchill Downs maiden winner; Unlimited Equine’s Mary Bernice (Ronnie Allen Jr., post 4), who broke her maiden last out at Presque Isle Downs July 2; and James F. Miller’s Gold Edge (Channing Hill, post 5), winless this year but a graded stakes victress over this course as a 2-year-old when taking the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie.