Songbird and Mike Smith winning the Santa Anita Oaks
USA: Songbird, the unbeaten filly who had been an overwhelming favourite for the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, will miss the race according to owners Fox Hill Farm after suffering from a low-grade fever.
The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly had been as short as 1-4 in ante-post lists after making an unbeaten start to her career, which included wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and three other Grade 1s.
Songbird had been seen most recently when winning the Santa Anita Oaks at odds of 1-10, but it was reported on Sunday that the after-effects of that easy win would rule her out of Churchill Downs.
In a statement on Fox Hill Farm’s Facebook page, owner Rick Porter said: “Unfortunately we have to report that Songbird will miss the Kentucky Oaks. She developed a low grade fever after the SA Oaks and has not been able to go out on the track.
“With the fever not resolved, she has started on a course of antibiotics today, and as a result it’ll be another 7-10 days before she’s able to return to the track,” he added.
“We are sorry to have to miss the Oaks but what’s important is to get Songbird well, and we have two great vets along with Jerry and his team taking good care of her.”
With Songbird out, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Rachel’s Valentina is set to assume favouritism. She is the daughter of Rachel Alexandra, a 20-length winner of the Kentucky Oaks in 2009.
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