There are few debuts as highly anticipated for 2016 as that of Songbird, who is currently training at Santa Anita Park and pointed towards a long term goal of winning the Kentucky Oaks. Her next challenge will be the Las Virgenes Stakes on February 6th at the renowned California-based track. She is already clocking ridiculous training times.
With Mike Smith in the saddle, Songbird ran a blistering 0:58 1/5 over five furlongs during training runs at Santa Anita Park. “She just did everything real easy,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer observed. “She has a good mind. Mike knows her and has been on for most of her works. I’m satisfied.” It was also a sight to behold for those in attendance.
Songbird is owned by Fox Hill Farms and is the offspring of legendary mare Megdalia d’Oro.
Like their male counterparts, three-old fillies earn entry to the marquee events at Churchill Downs through a series of prep races known as the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. Songbird has already logged two victories from this series at the Chandelier and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, which are both grade I stakes races. Most of the earlier prep races for the Kentucky Oaks offer a similar 10-4-2-1 points split just like the derby qualifiers. Songbird’s amazing victory over Rachel’s Valentina at the Breeders’ Cup, however, offered a 20-8-4-2 points distribution. In the race towards the Kentucky Oaks, Songbird already has 30 points.
The Las Virgenes will also offer a 10-4-2-1 split to the top four finishes and is the last race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks to do so. Starting February 20th at the Rachel Alexandra, prep races for the Oaks will grant a 50-20-10-5 points split.
Songbird is also the leading nominee to win the 2015 Eclipse Award for Two-Year Old Fillies. The winners for the awards will be announced on January 16th and there’s little doubt that the 2016 season will start off brilliantly for the Kentucky Oaks favourite.
If you haven’t witnessed Songbird run yet, please feel free to enjoy her incredible run at the Breeeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies from last year’s world championships at Keeneland.