Bobby Zen

Unbeaten Juddmonte homebred and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Impel (Quality Road), favored at 7-1 in last weekend’s lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager pool, is being aimed to make her stakes debut in the GI Central Bank Ashland S. on opening day at Keeneland Apr. 5.

“Brad is saying that he wants to go to the Ashland with her next, which she would have to do and perform well there to get to the Oaks,” Juddmonte USA General Manager Garrett O’Rourke said.

Brad, of course, is two-time GI Kentucky Oaks-winning trainer Brad Cox (Monomoy Girl 2018 & Shedaresthedevil 2020).

“If things don’t go right, there’s no pressure to keep moving forward,” O’Rourke continued. “If they do go right, well, it sets her up, you know? We’ll see what happens.”

Betting on the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager totaled $69,717 ($48,334 in the win pool and $21,384 in exactas). Last year’s champion 2-year-old filly Just F Y I (Justify), unraced since capping her perfect season with a win in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, closed as the second choice at 8-1. Just F Y I was scratched due to a fever just hours before what was to be her much-anticipated 3-year-old debut for Bill Mott in the GII Davona Dale S. at Gulfstream Mar. 2.

“Obviously, look, I was a little surprised that’s the way people bet it,” O’Rourke said. “It puts the pressure on when I saw that she was favored.”

O’Rourke added with a big laugh, “Also, remember, it wasn’t a huge pool, so it only would’ve taken one or two of Brad’s exercise boys to just put a few bets on her and ruin the price for the rest of us.”

Impel earned her ‘Rising Star’ badge with a visually impressive debut victory at a generous 7-2 sprinting at Fair Grounds Jan. 1. She aced her two-turn test with an explosive stalk-and-pounce 8 1/2-length victory in a deep optional claimer going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park Mar. 3. She earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure in the latter. Impel returned to the worktab with a four-furlong breeze in :49.80 (52/74) at Fair Grounds Mar. 15.

Impel’s leading sire Quality Road is responsible for 15 Grade I winners worldwide, including 2017 Kentucky Oaks heroine Abel Tasman. Juddmonte acquired Impel’s Claiborne Farm-bred and stakes-winning dam/GII Gallant Bloom H. runner-up Your Love (Flatter) for $480,000 out of the ELiTE consignment on behalf of the late Paul P. Pompa, Jr. and WinStar Farm at the 2019 Keeneland November sale.

Your Love, a half-sister to GSW & MGISP Well Monied (Maria’s Mon); GSW & GISP Happy American (Runhappy); MSW & GSP Jimmy Simms (Lost Soldier); and a full-sister to GSW & GISP Economic Model, is also responsible for a yearling filly by Curlin. After losing her pregnancy to Not This Time this year, Your Love recently checked back in foal to the promising young Taylor Made stallion, per O’Rourke. Impel is her first foal.

“She’s come along beautifully,” O’Rourke said of Impel. “She’s a lovely, big scopey filly. The well-bred ones that look good are the ones that are supposed to be good. It’s nice when they are. I guess there was always a doubt in the back of mind about her staying. Her mother was a sprinter and the Quality Roads can go both ways. She was so impressive when she broke her maiden and also when she went the two turns so readily.”

O’Rourke concluded, “But from here on in, she’s gonna have to step it up to be confident that she’s an Oaks winner.”

The @juddmontefarms homebred #5 Impel stretches out and romps to stay perfect in R4 at Oaklawn Park for trainer @bradcoxracing with @christiantorr64 aboard!

A bright future ahead for this 3YO filly! You can add her to your TwinSpires #StableAlerts!

#TwinSpiresReplay pic.twitter.com/xyjJS3FYeq

— TwinSpires Racing (@TwinSpires) March 3, 2024

The post Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Favorite Impel Pointing for Ashland appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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