Malathaat wins the Longines Kentucky Oaks
Denali sales graduate Malathaat rallied from a stalking position to win the 147th running of the Gr. I Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on the last Friday in April. She was the 5-2 morning-line favorite and went off as such at post time.
She fought tooth and nail with another undefeated filly, Search Results, and ended up prevailing by a neck in a final time of 1:48.99. This marked the fourth Kentucky Oaks win for her trainer, Todd Pletcher, and the second for her jockey, John Velazquez. After the race, Velazquez said he never believed the race would go any way but his, and he had high praise for Malathaat’s effort.
She didn’t get away the best, but I got a spot with her…The other filly came back but I could tell I was still in control. I never thought I was going to do anything but win. – John Velazquez to AP
She remains undefeated and is being considered for a potential start in the Belmont Stakes against the colts. Should she go, this wouldn’t be the first time her trainer sent a filly with a real shot at winning: in 2007, Pletcher sent Rags to Riches and not only did she become the first filly in over a century to win, but ironically, she beat Malathaat’s sire Curlin on her way to glory.
The 147th Kentucky Oaks winner is another future champion hailing from the venerable Stonestreet breeding program, which includes her dam, Kentucky Oaks participant and grade one winner Dreaming of Julia. Malathaat was consigned by Denali Stud in the 2019 Keeneland September sale, where she hammered down at $1,050,000 to Shadwell Farm.
Another Denali Stud sales and breeding graduate in the race was Travel Column, who ultimately finished fifth after being overtaken at the top of the stretch.