NEW KENT, Va. (Sept. 4, 2022) – A full field of 14 3-year-old fillies will compete in the New Kent County Virginia Derby’s key undercard stakes this coming Tuesday September 6 – the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks. The Oaks will be the ninth of 11 races on the card and will go to post at 5:29 PM. The Derby itself will be carded as race 10 with a 6:14 PM post.
The morning line choice in the field is Little Red Feather Racing’s Oakhurst, who sports a bankroll of $157,805. The Mr. Speaker filly scored maiden and allowance wins in back-to-back starts earlier this year at Gulfstream and Keeneland, respectively, and then was a solid runner-up in the Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont. Most recently, the Chad Brown trainee took fifth in the Grade 3 Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes August 7. Manny Franco is scheduled to ride from post 13.
Augustin Stable’s Catiche has amassed $151,361 from eight starts including two stakes runner-up finishes but has yet to compete on turf. The Jonathan Thomas trainee, a daughter of Arrogate, was a close second in the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at Woodbine July 2 and in April, was second in Turfway Park’s Bourbonette Stakes. In between, she scored a dominant allowance win at Woodbine by six lengths, the same margin of victory as her maiden win at Gulfstream earlier this spring. Leading Colonial jockey Jevian Toldeo will ride from post three.
Christiana Stakes winner Sparkle Blue race for owner Catherine Parke and the Augustin Stable. The daughter of Hard Spun was one-half length the best in that Delaware Park event July 2. Sparkle Blue is familiar with Colonial Downs — she broke her maiden in a career bow a year ago but that one-mile race was taken off the turf. She also succeeded in a turf allowance at Del Mar last November. The Graham Motion trainee will have Jeremy Rose up top from post nine.
Motion, who is going for his fourth straight Virginia Derby win on Tuesday, has two other filles in the Oaks — Candy Light and Pharoah’s Song. The former will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post 10 while the latter has the services of Jose Ortiz from post seven.
Irish-bred Spirit and Glory shares 8-1 early status with Sparkle Blue. The Cotal Glory filly has made two starts in the U.S. for owners Michael Nentwig, John Rochfort, Robert N. Falcone, Jr. and Beast Mode Racing. After four starts at Dundalk Racecourse in Ireland, Spirit and Glory scored an impressive come from behind allowance win over Belmont’s grass course June 16 at odds of 24-1, then finished seventh in the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga July 22.
Other Oaks participants, with respective trainers and jockeys noted, are Treasure of War (Cherie DeVauz, Adam Beschizza, post 1), Surprisingly (Shug McGaughey, Vincent Cheminaud, post 2), Schlofmitz (Michael Maker, Horacio Karamanos, post 4), Full Count Felicia (Brittany Russell, Sheldon Russell, post 5), Lady Puchi (Ken McPeek, Julien Leparaoux, post 8), Therearenorules (Lindsay Schultz, Feargal Lynch, post 11), Omixochitl (Fausto Gutierrez, Edgar Perez, post 12) and Thisnameisokay (Steve Cooper, Jhonatan Mendoza, post 14).
Three stakes will precede the Virginia Oaks: the Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes (race 6) kicks off an all stakes Pick-5 followed by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes as race 7 which will start the late Pick-4. The Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes (race 8) will follow. An Oaks-Derby Double will be available in Races 9-10.
Virginia Derby day festivities will be televised by FanDuel TV (formerly TVG), who will provide on-site coverage, and will be broadcast by Horse Racing Radio Network which can be found on Sirius216/XM 201 and on the Internet at horseracingradio.net.