The top three finishers in last month’s Ashland Stakes at Keeneland headline a field of 14 3-year-old fillies entered Tuesday for Friday’s 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.
Rachel’s Valentina, who finished second in the Ashland on April 9, was installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite for Friday’s Oaks. Weep No More and Cathryn Sophia, who finished first and third, respectively, in the Ashland, were made co-second choices at 9-2.
The 1 1/8 -mile Kentucky Oaks will be the 11th race on Friday’s 13-race program that begins at 10:30 a.m. Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is 5:49. The Oaks is one of six graded stakes on the program that also features the $300,000 La Troienne (Grade I) and the $400,000 Alysheba (Grade II).
The Oaks, which awards $564,200 to the winner, will be shown on NBC Sports Network with its telecast running from 12:30-6 p.m.
Rachel’s Valentina is a daughter of 2009 Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra, and Weep No More is a granddaughter of 2001 Kentucky Oaks winner, Flute. Both are Grade I winners.
Todd Pletcher trains Rachel’s Valentina, who will be ridden by John Velazquez and break from post position 11.
Pletcher is seeking his fourth victory in the Oaks having won previously with Ashado (2004), Rags to Riches (2007) and Princess of Sylmar (2013). Velazquez, the only jockey in the race to have won the Oaks previously, scored with Ashado.
Trained by Rusty Arnold, Weep No More brings a three-race win streak into the Oaks.
Corey Lanerie retains the mount on Weep No More and will break from post position two.
Two other trainers will be seeking to add to their Oaks win totals Friday: Hall of Fame electee Steve Asmussen and Neil Howard.
Asmussen, who won the Oaks in 2005 with Summerly and in 2014 with Untapable, will send out three runners: Terra Promessa, Royal Obsession and Taxable.
Howard will send out Dream Dance as he seeks a repeat his 2000 victory in the Oaks with Secret Status.
Kentucky Oaks field
1. Terra Promessa, 10-1
2. Weep No More, 9-2
3. Lewis Bay, 8-1
4. Go Maggie Go, 12-1
5. Dream Dance, 30-1
6. Mokat, 20-1
7. Mo d’ Amour, 30-1
8. Royal Obsession, 20-1
9. Paola Queen, 30-1
10. Venus Valentine, 30-1
11. Rachel’s Valentina, 7-2
12. Cathryn Sophia, 9-2
13. Land Over Sea, 5-1
14. Taxable, 20-1
15. Dothraki Queen, 30-1