Believe You Can wins Kentucky Oaks
KENTUCKY OAKS | PURSE: $1,000,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD | FILLIES | GRADE 1 | 1 1/8- MILES
|9||Believe You Can||$29.60||$11.80||$6.40|
Brereton C. Jones' homebred Believe You Can ran past Broadway's Alibi in the stretch to win the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks by three-quarters of length at Churchill Downs. Grace Hall, the 5-2 favorite, rallied to finish third.
Rosie Napravnik -- the first female jockey to win the Oaks -- was aboard the winner.
"It's unbelievable," said Napravnik, who also landed the first grade I win of her career. "I'm just so happy and so grateful to be here. I cried a little, but I don't think I'm done crying yet."
Last year Napravnik finished a fast-closing second to Plum Pretty in the Oaks aboard St. John's River.
"Last year was kind of a tease," she said. "I was so close but not there and this year I was determined to be the one in the winner's circle and I had the right horse to do it."
Broadway's Alibi was the leader first time by the wire and was followed by Believe You Can, Colonial Empress, and On Fire Baby. Broadway's Alibi set early fractions of :23.12, :47.47, and 1:11.08 on a track labeled fast but slightly dampened by a storm that came through the Louisville area and delayed racing for 45 minutes.
Broadway's Alibi and Believe You Can pulled away from the rest of the field as they straightened away for home and they hit the eighth pole together after a mile in 1:36.33. The final time for the nine furlongs was 1:49.50.
"I think she handled the track OK but the first time over a track she paddles a lot," said jockey John Velazquez of Broadway's Alibi. "She lost some momentum. The ground broke away from her. I don't think the distance hurt her; she ran a huge race."
Sent off a 13-1, Believe You Can paid $29.60, $11.80, and $6.40. Broadway's Alibi paid $6 and $4.20. Grace Hall returned $3.20 to show. The 9-6 exacta paid $173 and the 9-6-2 trifecta paid $587.20.
"The track was playing for speed today," said jockey Javier Castellano, who was aboard Grace Hall. "Unfortunately it didn't work out for me. They didn't come back to me."
Castellano was lucky to ride in the Oaks. He fell off his mount Star Channel, turning for home in the American Turf Stakes, the race prior to the Oaks.
Grace Hall was followed by Summer Applause, On Fire Baby, Hard Not to Like, Sacristy, Amie's Dini, And Why Not, Jemima's Pearl, Colonial Empress, Karlovy Vary, Yara, and Eden's Moon.
Believe You Can is a daughter of Airdrie Stud stallion Proud Citizen out of the El Prado mare El Fasto. She came into the Oaks off a head win over Summer Applause in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II).
Believe You Can broke her maiden in her second attempt in July, then won a six-furlong optional claiming race at Delaware Park Aug. 16. Given a break until October, Believe You Can won the one-mile Tempted Stakes in the mud at Belmont Park. She ran sixth behind Oaks runners On Fire Baby and Summer Applause in the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs.
During the winter at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots, she won the Jan. 21 Silverbulletday Stakes and then ran a dull fourth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. She then wired the field in the Fair Grounds Oaks.
Confidence exuded from the Jones' barn after Believe You Can fired a bullet :58 2/5 work in the mud April 29.
She earned $564,200 for her Oaks victory, lifting her career earnings to $1,059,484 with six wins from nine starts.
The win is the second for the Jones boys -- breeder/owner Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones -- as they sent out Proud Spell to win the Oaks in 2008. Proud Spell was later named champion 3-year-old filly.
"It's not Brereton Jones, it's Larry Jones and his team and the staff at Airdrie Stud that makes this," Brereton Jones said after the race.
Napravnik was aboard the Jones-trained Totally Tucker to win the race after the Oaks.
With a 45-minute wind/rain delay prior to the American Turf, the race prior to the Oaks, the post time for the Oaks was delayed from 5:45 to 6:20 p.m.
Churchill reported Oaks day attendance of 112,552, the second largest in Oaks history.
MORE HORSE RACING HEADLINES
- Enhanced security measures set for Belmont
- Over 100 horses feared dead after OK tornado
- Preakness champ Oxbow pointed to Belmont
- Oxbow wins Preakness; Orb finishes fourth
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
THE TRIPLE CROWN
Belmont Stakes • Saturday, June 8
More Triple Crown
• Oxbow pointed to Belmont Stakes
• Oxbow upsets Preakness Stakes
• Freedom Child wins Peter Pan; Belmont next
• Orb wins 139th Kentucky Derby
• Princess of Sylmar rules Oaks
• Baffert out of Kentucky Derby
Bob Ehalt's Hot List
• Preakness Stakes review
• Breaking down the Preakness Stakes
• Derby recap and a look at the Peter Pan
• Breaking down the Kentucky Derby
In The Gate Video/Podcast
• Secretariat's historic run: Pt. 1
• Secretariat's historic run: Pt. 2
• Secretariat's historic run: Pt. 3
• Secretariat's historic run: Pt. 4
• Secretariat's historic run: Pt. 5
• Paul Hornung talks Titletown Five
Triple Crown Live Chat Schedule
• Belmont: Saturday, June 8 (3 p.m. ET)
• Preakness chat wrap
• Kentucky Derby chat wrap
• Kentucky Oaks chat wrap
• Derby Giveaway: Join Digiturf.com with reference code KD13 and race to Win $500!
• Derby Bonus: Join Digiturf.com with reference code KD13 and race in Kentucky Derby New Stable races to get an unlimited Match Bonus!
Triple Crown Video
• Watch the 138th Preakness Stakes
• ABR: A day with Orb
• TCI: Derby recap
• Kenny Mayne: Between two horses
• West: Look past Orb's bad day
• Cronley: Preakness traps
• Finley: Why Lukas is a winner
• Moran: Stevens all smiles
• Ehalt: Dark days
• Cronley: What were you thinking?
• Novak: Hernandez in the saddle
• Duckworth: Departing up for challenge
• Ehalt: Seeking redemption
• Moran: Triple Crown should not be easy
• Mayne: When will I listen?
• West: Tradition steals Derby spotlight
• West: Calumet back in Derby spotlight
• Moran: Progress tough on Churchill
• Novak: Victory starts on the backside