May 03, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Rachel's Valentina is the 7-2 morning-line favorite in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Friday at Churchill Downs.

The Oaks is the distaff companion event to the Kentucky Derby run the following afternoon.

Rachel's Valentina drew post 11 with John Velazquez riding for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The Oaks became a wide-open contest with the defection of Songbird two weeks ago because of a fever.

A perfect 7 for 7 including a victory in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Songbird would have been the overwhelming favorite in the Oaks.

With the divisional champion sidelined, Rachel Valentina now tops the full field of 14 going 1 1/8 miles.

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