Dreaming of Julia, trained by Todd Pletcher, headlines a field of 11 3-year-old fillies as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The 1 1/8-mile race is the companion event to the Kentucky Derby.
One of four in the race from the Pletcher stable, Dreaming of Julia will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez from post 8. The filly is owned by Stonestreet Stable.
Dreaming of Julia is coming off a victory on March 30 in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, she blitzed her five rivals by 21 3/4 lengths at the Kentucky Oaks distance.
"We felt she was training as well as ever and she was coming up to it in good order. But, honestly, I can't say I was expecting that kind of victory," said Pletcher following the win.
Third in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Dreaming of Julia has won four of six career starts for $767,000.
Joining her from the Pletcher-barn are Silsita (post 1), Unlimited Budget (post 4) and Princess of Sylmar (post 6).
Santa Anita Oaks winner Beholder and Unlimited Budget are the 7-2 co-second picks for Friday.
Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella, will break from post 3 with Garrett Gomez in the saddle. Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Beholder has earned $1,575,000 with five wins in eight lifetime starts.
"We're looking forward to the Kentucky Oaks. We can't go to the Derby. They don't let us in anymore," joked Spendthrift Farm's B. Wayne Hughes after the Santa Anita win.
Owned by Mike Repole, Unlimited Budget will be ridden by Javier Castellano. The filly, winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks, is undefeated in four starts for $610,200.
From the rail out here is the field for the 139th Kentucky Oaks: Silsita, Gary Stevens, 20-1; Midnight Lucky, Rafael Bejarano, 9-2; Beholder, Garrett Gomez, 7-2; Unlimited Budget, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Seaneen Girl, Rosie Napravnik, 20-1; Princess of Sylmar, Mike Smith, 20-1; Pure Fun, Julien Leparoux, 30-1; Dreaming of Julia, John Velazquez, 3-1; Rose to Gold, Calvin Borel, 15-1; Flashy Gray, Junior Alvarado, 15-1 and Close Hatches, Joel Rosario, 6-1.
The Kentucky Oaks will be televised by the NBC Sports Network with an approximate post-time of 5:45 p.m. (ET).