Craig Upham’s homebred Patrona Margarita, a Texas-bred daughter of Oklahoma stallion Special Rate, recorded a half-mile breeze in :48.80 on Sunday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for a start in the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) on Friday, May 4.
The Texas-bred breezed through eighth-mile splits of :12.60, :24.60 and :36.80 before galloping out five furlongs in 1:02 and six furlongs in 1:15.60, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols.
“She’s been doing very well,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “She had a couple of rough months at Fair Grounds with some fungus on her leg that we had to treat with antibiotics and give her some time off. I think now she’s just really getting turned around from the antibiotics. She wasn’t close to top shape in the Ashland but is doing really well now.”
Patrona Margarita kicked off the Road to the Kentucky Oaks with a 3 ¾-length upset victory in the Sept. 17 Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill Downs. The filly returned as a 3-year-old with a fourth-place effort in the Feb. 17 Rachel Alexandra (G2) at Fair Grounds prior to her third in the April 7 Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.
Patrona Margarita joins Kentucky Oaks contender and stablemate, Classy Act, in Calhoun’s Barn 23 at Churchill Downs.
Patrona Margarita, who finished third in last year’s Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star Park, is a half sister to two-time Texas Horse of the Year and millionaire Texas Chrome.