Abel Tasman Takes 2017 Kentucky Oaks

Watch Abel Tasman’s brilliant win from last to first in the slop at Churchill Downs in this evening’s running of the Kentucky Oaks!

Fourteen of the best three-year-old fillies in the country loaded into the gate on a very wet main track at Churchill Downs this evening for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Oaks — the female counterpart to the Kentucky Derby. Paradise Woods was the morning-line favorite at 5-2, but several fillies including Farrell, Miss Sky Warrior, Abel Tasman and Salty went off at favorable odds. Noticeably absent was early spring favorite Unique Bella, who is recuperating from a shin injury.

Paradise Woods and Miss Sky Warrior jumped right to the lead, setting up a speed duel that would tick off fast fractions for the first half. Abel Tasman broke poorly and found herself last heading into the first turn — a position that jockey Mike Smith might find familiar at this point, having piloted the legendary Zenyatta from last place on many occasions as well as whipping out a huge win on the typically front-running Arrogate in this year’s Dubai World Cup from a terrible start.

Watch Abel Tasman, the 13 horse in red silks, first slowly picking off runners as the field turns into the backstretch and then making her sweeping move in the turn for home:

The intense early fractions in fact set up perfectly for Abel Tasman, who was able to pounce as Paradise Woods and Miss Sky Warrior faded at last in the stretch. Lockdown found a hole near the inside to move up and Daddys Lil Darling put pressure on from the outside, but Abel Tasman dug deep and powered ahead to capture the Oaks.

For trainer Bob Baffert, the Oaks victory comes as a consolation prize, with his Derby prospect out of contention after an injury earlier in the spring. Abel Tasman was bred by Clearsky Farm and is owned in partnership by China Horse Club.

Go Abel Tasman! And go riding.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *