Stellar Wind 7-2 Oaks favorite


Stellar Wind was installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite when 15 fillies were entered for the May 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. With a $1 million purse, the 1-1/8-mile test is worth $564,200 to the winner.

The Oaks is limited to 14 starters, based on points earned in designated prep races, making Peace and War the lone horse on the also-eligible list.

Post time for the Oaks is slated for 5:49 p.m. and can been seen on NBCCN.

Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind has cruised to a pair of wins at Santa Anita Park in two starts at 3 for her new owners and trainer John Sadler. At 2 she was raced by Barbara Houck and trainer Donald Barr. In California she won the Santa Ysabel Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks in back-to-back efforts under Victor Espinoza.

The daughter of Curlin drew post 12.

The lead in the Oaks figures to be set by Condo Commando, who will break from post 5 under Joel Rosario. The Tiz Wonderful filly has won both of her starts at 3 at Aqueduct. She has been on the lead in five of her six starts … and has won five of her six starts.

"She's got speed and the jockey knows how to ride her," trainer Rudy Rodriquez said. "You just have to break nice and clean and take it from there. We don't need to change anything. It looks like she'll go the lead, we'll let them come and catch us."

Condo Commando, owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and The Elkstone Group, is the 4-1 co-second choice on the morning-line set by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. She shares that honor with Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's I'm a Chatterbox, winner of all three 3-year-old filly preps at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

I'm a Chatterbox, a homebred daughter of Munnings -- hit Chatter, by Lost Soldier, is the lone horse the Grays have in training with Larry Jones. Jones has saddled a pair of Oaks winners in Proud Spell (2008) and Believe You Can (2012).

I'm a Chatterbox drew post 8 and Jones' other runner, Brereton C. Jones' Lovely Maria, drew post 7. I'm a Chattterbox will be ridden by Florent Geroux and Lovely Maria will be ridden by Kerwin Clark.

"That was nice of them; that way I don't have to walk too far to saddle the horses,' Jones said after getting side-by-side assignments. "I'm a Chatterbox will be the first to load and Lovely Maria will be the last to load."

Jones was happy with the middle posts.

"I don't want to be 1 and I don't want to be 14 … I also don't want 13. I'm not a good 13 person," Jones said earlier in the week.

Lovely Maria, second to I'm a Chatterbox in the Feb. 21 Rachel Alexandra Stakes, won Keeneland's Central Bank Ashland Stakes. The filly from the first crop of Majesticperfection was made the 5-1 third choice.

Brereton Jones, owner of Airdrie Stud and owner of both Proud Spell and Believe You Can, is also the co-owner (with Airdrie manager Tim Thornton) of Oaks runner Include Betty, winner of Oaklawn Park's Fantasy Stakes. Include Betty is a 20-1 chance and will break from post 3.

At 6-1 is Forum Racing's Birdatthewire, winner of the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes and 1-1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks for trainer Dale Romans. The Summer Bird filly has post 13.

Every trainer polled prior to the draw shunned the rail, which was slotted to Charles Fipke's Forever Unbridled. The Unbridled's Song filly was on the outside looking in prior to the defections of the Bob Baffert-trained Maybellene and Luminance from the Oaks. She's 15-1 on the morning line.

"Better than being the 15," trainer Dallas Stewart said.

The also-eligible, Qatar Racing's Peace and War, has made only two starts in the United States after an early 2-year-old season in England. She won the Darley Alcibiades Stakes last October at Keeneland at 23-1 and was seventh in her lone start this year in the Ashland.