Just two horses bred in the mid-Atlantic region are slated to race in stakes at Churchill Downs on Friday, Kentucky Oaks day, one in the big race itself.  They are:

  • Thank You Marylou. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

    Thank You Marylou. Photo by Laurie Asseo.


    • Bred in Virginia by Mr. and Mrs. C.W. McNeely, III
    • Three year-old daughter of Birdstone out of the stake-winning Menifee mare Menifeeque
    • Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey
    • Record: 4-2-1-1, earnings of $178,200
    • Ranked second among three year-olds on the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll 
    • Named to honor Marylou Whitney, who raced this horse’s sire, Birdstone, and who assisted the Ramseys after Sarah suffered a stroke
    • Won at first asking on the turf at Colonial in the Tippett Stakes last July
    • Scored in the Any Limit Stakes in her seasonal debut before running a solid third in the Grade 1 Ashland
    • Though bred for a distance — Birdstone won the Belmont Stakes, while Menifee won the Haskell — has not won beyond seven furlongs and tired late in the Ashland
    • Trained by Mike Maker and retains top rider Julien Leparoux
    • Rates a legit shot to outrun long odds
    • For more info:


    • Bred in Maryland by Silverton Hill, LLC
    • Seven year-old gelded son of Great Notion out of the winning Spectacular Love mare Piconeach
    • Owned by his breeders
    • Record: 27-9-0-3, earnings of $619,800
    • Unranked in latest Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll 
    • Five-time graded stakes winner ran fifth in this event — beaten two lengths — a year ago
    • Ran seventh in his seasonal debut, in Keeneland’s G3 Shakertown
    • Two-time Breeders’ Cup participant
    • Always a closer, has been troubled by recent slow starts that have turned him into a deep, deep closer
    • Trained by Darrin Miller, will have ultra-productive Javier Castellano aboard
    • Cross-entered in Thursday’s Elusive Quality Stakes at Belmont
    • Drawn outside, which with his style won’t hurt and could help
    • For more info:

(Featured image, of Thank You Marylou, by Nick Hahn.)