Now that we know Devil May Care is definitely going to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) field has been drawn, I decided to start zeroing into some of those fillies, namely one that has very much been under the radar: Ailalea.
A stablemate to Devil May Care, Ailalea’s resume isn’t close to the caliber of Devil May Care, so why did trainer Todd Pletcher feel that she was ready for such a daunting task as the Oaks?
My co-worker and friend Alex Cutadean, who is on the digital media team here at Blood-Horse, hung out with Pletcher this morning on the muddy Churchill backside during his daily press conference and caught some of the trainer’s thoughts about this filly on camera. What do you guys think of her?
Bred in Kentucky by BryLynn Farm and owned by Jack Wolf’s Starlight Partners, Ailalea (still not sure how to prounounce her name) has a record of 2-0-1 from six starts heading into the Oaks, and earnings of $104,300. While the bay filly won last year’s Tempted Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct as a 2-year-old, she has been unplaced in both her efforts this year: the Forward Gal and Fair Grounds Oaks (both gr. II), in which she ran sixth to Bickersons and Quiet Temper respectively.
Does Ailalea have what it takes to make a splash in the Oaks? I guess only time will tell…