The 2011 Kentucky Oaks, a precursor to Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, gets underway on Friday afternoon as the fillies take center-stage. Where Saturday's race is open to any three-year-old thoroughbreds, Friday is for the fillies as they run for the lilies. Friday's Kentucky Oaks singles the beginning of the derby weekend, culminating with the big race on Saturday afternoon: The 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Here is the information for Friday's Kentucky Oaks race at Churchill Downs.
Start Time: Post time for the Kentucky Oaks is at 5:45 p.m. EDT, or 2:45 p.m. here on the West Coast.
Field: 13 horses are entered in the Kentucky Oaks, led by Joyful Victory. It's a three-year-old filly race and serves as the precursor to Saturday's main event: The Kentucky Derby. The field is as follows
Lilacs and Lace
Suave Voir Faire
St. Jonn's River
Preview: You can find Matt Gardner's preview of the 2011 Kentucky Oaks over at SB Nation. Matt also expanded on the topic a bit at his home blog, And Down The Stretch They Come. While Joyful Victory is the favorite, and rightfully so, he has his doubts about whether she can bring home the Kentucky Oaks title.
Honestly, I don't know what to really think of the favorite. You don't dominate a couple of graded races like she did at Oaklawn without possessing some quality. And Joyful Victory's two morning works at Churchill Downs since the Fantasy were both strong, including a bullet five furlong blitz in the slop on Sunday, so she's appears to still be in good form. But the major question I have is this: if she runs the same race in the Oaks as she did in the Fantasy and the Honeybee, will that get it done? I have my doubts.
Gardner adds both Kathmanblu and Zazu could see success in the Kentucky Oaks, thanks to their closing ability.
The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.