Kentucky Oaks Contender Daddys Lil Darling Works

Rocket Fuel

LEXINGTON, KY (April 28, 2017) – Jockey Julien Leparoux was in the midst of a flurry of activity Friday morning after the renovation break.

After working Toyota Blue Grass (G2) winner Irap a mile, Leparoux dismounted from the colt as soon as the pair walked off the track and ran several feet to get a leg up on Normandy Farm’s homebred Daddys Lil Darling, second in the Central Bank Ashland (G1) on April 8 here.

Trainer Kenny McPeek wanted Leparoux to ride Daddys Lil Darling in today’s work, her final move before next Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), because he assumes the mount on her from regular rider Robby Albarado, who was injured when his mount stumbled and he was unseated at the start of the eighth race at Keeneland on Sunday.

McPeek had his exercise rider Danny Ramsey warm Daddys Lil Darling up on the track before Leparoux was able to climb aboard.

With Ramsey moving to ride workmate Wholehearted, Daddys Lil Darling and Leparoux worked five furlongs in company in 1:01.80. (Click here for a video of the work.)

Keeneland clockers caught the final quarter-mile in :23.80 and a gallop-out time of 1:15.

“It was just a nice maintenance work,” McPeek said. “We wanted to let Julien get the feel of her.”

Today’s work was the second for Daddys Lil Darling since the Central Bank Ashland. A week ago, the Scat Daddy filly worked a half-mile in :47.40.

McPeek said Daddys Lil Darling, who has two wins in eight starts, including last year’s Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill Downs, likely will ship to Churchill on Monday. He plans to school the filly in the Churchill paddock on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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