Plum Pretty, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, took command at the top of the stretch and held off a late charging St. John's River to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.
Plum Pretty won her last race by over 25 lengths in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 27th and backed that effort up with a fantastic run in today's Kentucky Oaks. Martin Garcia rode a masterful race on Plum Pretty, sitting her just off the early speed and in the clear of any possible trouble. St. John's River was pulled over to the rail by Rosie Napravnik right after leading the gate en route to a rail riding trip around the track. Inside the final furlong, Napravnik guided St. John's River off the rail in on last attempt to run down Plum Pretty. She got within a neck of the winner but didn't have time to make a final surge to the front.
Favored Joyful Victory (2/1) finished a disappointing fourth.
Players tend to debate the importance of jockeys in a race - some believe they are the key to the whole puzzle while others merely note that they are nothing without the horse underneath them. Both of those thoughts have merit, depending on the situation, but after watching the Oaks this afternoon, it's hard to argue that a confident ride by a competent jockey doesn't make the difference between winning and losing. Martin Garcia got every ounce of effort out of Plum Pretty that he could and he was rewarded with a win in a Grade 1 stakes race. Credit should also go to Rosie Napravnik who continues to show why she dominated the jockey standings at the Fair Grounds this winter.
12-Plum Pretty: $14.60, $7.00, $4.60
13-St. John's River: $13.20, $7.20
$2.00 Exacta: $163.00
$0.50 Trifecta: $207.90
$1.00 Superfecta: $2,055.10
$1.00 Double: $44.30
$0.50 Pick 3: 126.15
$0.50 Pick 4: $1,544.65
$0.50 Pick 5: $8,085. 55
$0.50 Pick 6: $865.00