USA: Grace Hall heads Friday’s Kentucky Oaks

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By Nicholas Godfrey in Louisville
Racing Post

Plum Pretty

Churchill Downs: La Troienne Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 4yo+ f/m (6.26pm BST)

Twelve months to the day after they were separated by a diminishing head in the Kentucky Oaks, Plum Pretty (Bob Baffert/Rafael Bejarano) bids to hold off StJohn’s River (Rosie Napravnik) in this $300,000 event, the first of six stakes on Friday’s card.

All-the-way Oaks winner Plum Pretty comes here in good shape, having returned after a five-month layoff three weeks ago towin the Apple Blossom.

Maristar (Gerard Butler/James Graham) runs for the first time since finishing third in Grade 2 company here in November.

Churchill Downs: Edgewood Stakes (Grade 3) 1m½f, turf, 3yo fillies (8.02pm BST)

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten (Wayne Catalano/ John Velazquez), who holds the Coronation Stakes entry for owner Ken Ramsey, is likely favourite. She is looking to regain the winning thread after coming third in an all-weather Grade 1 on her seasonal debut last month.

Churchill Downs: Alysheba Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 4yo+ (8.52pm BST)

Mucho Macho Man (Kathy Ritvo/Ramon Dominguez), on a four-timer here, faces Successful Dan (Charles Lopresti/Julien Leparoux),who came backafter a 16-month injury layoff to score in good-quality allowance company at Keeneland last month.

Former claimer Nates Mineshaft (Austin Smith/Jesse Campbell) won his fourth straight race with a runaway victory in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.

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