The superlatives keep pouring in for 3-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, the 3-5 morning-line favorite in Friday’s $500,000 Kentucky Oaks — the filly version of the Kentucky Derby.
Here’s what D. Wayne Lukas had to say about the Oaks drawing only eight fillies:
“Two words: Rachel Alexandra. I think she’s the strongest favorite since Winning Colors’ year (1988) if she had raced in the Oaks.”
Winning Colors was trained by Lukas and became only the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby. She’s also the last filly to do it.
He was asked why he’s running three fillies in the race if he thinks Rachel Alexandra is such a strong favorite.
“If you could guarantee me second place right now I’d be a happy man,” he said.
Lukas, who’s won the Oaks four times, will saddle a trio of long shots this year — Be Fair, Stone Legacy and Tweeter.
Neal McLaughlin, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s brother and assistant trainer, had this to say about Rachel Alexandra:
“She’s an amazing filly. You hear a lot about fillies taking on the boys in the Derby. This filly is probably that caliber,” he said. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us, but if we have our best day and she doesn’t, who knows? If we both have our best days, we might be in trouble.”
The McLaughlins are running Justwhistledixie, the 7-2 second choice who has won five consecutive races.
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