NewsThorpedo Anna wins Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs

Thorpedo Anna wins Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs

1 of 3 | Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. on Thorpedo Anna celebrates in the winners circle after winning the 150th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Friday in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

May 3 (UPI) — Thorpedo Anna shot right to the lead and kept on running to win the $1.5 million Grade I Kentucky Oaks on Friday at Churchill Downs, scoring her fourth win in five starts.

The favorite, Just F Y I, last year’s 2-year-old filly champion, gave it her best shot at the top of the stretch, but Thorpedo Anna and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. found another gear and pulled away to win by 4 3/4 lengths.

Just F Y I, trained by Kenny McPeek, held second over late-running Regulatory Risk, with Ways and Means fourth. The race was run over a sloppy surface with rain drenching the historic track.

It was the 150th running of the race that’s the 3-year-old filly companion to the Kentucky Derby. While it lacks the wider audience that pays attention to the Derby, the Oaks is important to the Thoroughbred breeding industry, where the sport’s big money is found.

The race attracted fillies from around the country, including first- or second-place finishers in big races from New York, Florida, Louisiana and Kentucky.

“She’s 4-for-5 and she’s a great filly,” said Hernandez, who has had the mount in all of Thorpedo Anna’s starts. “Kenny’s said all along how good of a filly he had here and she’s very, very special. She’s answered every question we’ve thrown at her.

“It’s special,” said McPeek, who has saddled the runner-up in the race three times.

Thorpedo Anna, a daughter of Fast Anna, started her career in Kentucky, winning her initial start at Keeneland last October by 8 1/2 lengths. She moved on from that to win by going 1 mile at Churchill Downs on Nov 10 — by 9 lengths.

She was off a step in her stakes debut, the Grade II Golden Rod, also at Churchill Downs, and settled for second. McPeek waited until March 30 to return Thorpedo Anna to the races, and she responded with a 4-length victory in the Grade II Fantasy at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas, setting her up for the Oaks.

Just F Y I, by the outstanding young sire Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown winner, won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita en route to her divisional Eclipse Award. She suffered her first loss in the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland in her only previous start this season.

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