(Freydis the Red / Photos by Coady Photography)

From the KY Downs Media Team:

9th running of the $1,000,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles, Includes KTDF of $400,000

Winning jockey Brian Hernandez Freydis the Red:

(On difference from last race when she was third in Ellis Park’s G3 Pucker Up): “The added distance, and in her last race I didn’t give her the best of trips. I got stuck behind some horses, and over at Ellis you needed to make a little bit of a longer run with the shorter stretch and we just left her too much to do. Whereas today she was always kind of there for me in position. When I needed her, she overtook those horses pretty easily.”

(She’s been pretty consistent) “Yes she has. To go from breaking her maiden like she did at Churchill and she went up and ran in the Grade 1 race at Belmont, she ran respectable that day”

Declan Cannon, runner-up jockey, Sabalenka: “She ran a great race. From the three-eighths pole home, she was doing her best running, but Brian had me covered. I had a length to make up from the eighth pole. My filly gave me everything, I was just beat on the day by a better filly.”

Kenny McPeek, winning trainer: Freydis the Red, 1st

“I wasn’t surprised a bit. I think her last race (the Grade 3 Pucker Up at Ellis Park on Aug. 6) we probably woulda, coulda shoulda won it. We felt the added distance in this one would benefit her. She is the consummate professsional. We felt pretty comfortable she would handle the distance. Looking at the past performances going in, I thought the odds (7-1) were very generous. Knowing her pedigree, I knew she would be capable. You knew she would not have any quit in her. Very happy with her.

WHAT’s NEXT: “We will take a look at the QEII ($600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup G1) on Oct. 14 at Keeneland.)”

NOTE: this is the third Dueling Grounds Oaks win for McPeek; he also won with Daddys Lil Darling (2017) and Princess Carolina (2019)

WHIT BECKMAN, Trainer, Second place finisher Sabalenka

“We knew she was coming into this the right way. She ran well here before (breaking her maiden at Kentucky Downs last Sept. 13). Everything was falling into place. She always sets herself further back, for me, with her being a little closer than usual, I was fine with the position. Very proud of that effort, finishing second in a race like this? Down here, the odds don’t feel like they should bother you (she went off at 20-1). The winner is a nice horse, she just had a little bit more gear. I thought we were maybe going to get there but when we got a little bit closer, she had a little bit left. Our filly has a slow, steady grind. Sh might have leveled off in the last couple yards.”