LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Gamine is the even-money morning-line favorite for the Kentucky Oaks after drawing the No. 5 post position Monday in the marquee race for 3-year-old fillies.
Swiss Skydiver will start from the No. 1 post as the 8-5 second choice at Churchill Downs, with Speech at 5-1 from the No. 4 post. Nine fillies are officially entered in Friday’s $1.25 million race to be run over 1 1/8 miles.
Jockey John Velazquez will ride the Bob Baffert-trained Gamine, who enters the Oaks with consecutive Grade 1 victories by nearly 26 lengths combined and won three of four career starts this year.
Gamine ran to a seven-length victory in the seven-furlong Longines Test Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 8, nearly six weeks after she dominated the Longines Acorn Stakes at Belmont by 18 3/4 lengths. She was disqualified from an allowance optional claiming race victory at Oaklawn Park on May 2 due to an excessive amount of the legal medication lidocaine.
Swiss Skydiver enters as the runaway leader in Kentucky Oaks points and has won four of her last five starts. Her only loss in that stretch was second in the Blue Grass Stakes to Art Collector, considered a strong contender for Saturday’s 146th Kentucky Derby. She also has a third in seven starts this year and has won five of nine career starts.