LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Larry Jones is halfway to history.
Proud Spell drew away down the stretch to win the $500,000
Kentucky Oaks on Friday at Churchill Downs, giving her homespun trainer a shot at pulling off an unprecedented Oaks-Kentucky Derby
The 3-year-old filly stalked pacesetter Bsharpsonata around the far turn, then simply ran away from the 10-horse field to win by 5 lengths and set the bar pretty high for stablemate Eight Belles, who will take on the boys Saturday in the Derby.
No trainer has won the Oaks and the Derby in the same year since
1952, and none have done it with two fillies. But Jones seems to have a deft touch with the girls, and has spent the last year turning a filly nobody wanted as a yearling into one of the top thoroughbreds - male or female - in the country.
Proud Spell went off as the favorite and paid $8.80, $4.80 and $3.20. Little Belle returned $6.40 and $4, and Pure Clan paid $3.80 to show.
An afternoon downpour turned the track sloppy, though Proud Spell seemed right at home in the mud. After Bsharpsonata bolted to the lead, jockey Gabriel Saez simply kept Proud Spell under wraps over Bsharpsonata's right should, then poured it on to post her fifth career victory, covering the 1 1-8th course in 1:50.01.
Elusive Lady was scratched by trainer John Kimmel two hours
before the race due to the deteriorating conditions at the track.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)