April 17, 2012, Dayton, OH, & Del Mar, CA: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s In Lingerie (Empire Maker) has been confirmed for the May 4th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks.
John Velazquez, who guided In Lingerie to a 6-length triumph in the March 26th running of the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park, has committed to ride In Lingerie in the Kentucky Oaks for trainer Todd Pletcher.
In Lingerie was acquired privately by Eclipse and Barber after she captured her career debut at Turfway Park in January. The filly was transferred into the care of Pletcher, who has sent In Lingerie to post twice. She was a troubled second behind Zo Impressive in a Gulfstream Park allowance in late February and then came back to earn a Graded Stakes win in authoritative fashion in the Bourbonette, her first start around 2 turns.
Eclipse President, Aron Wellman said, “After huddling up with Todd (Pletcher) and our partner, Gary (Barber), we decided unanimously that running In Lingerie in the Oaks was a calculated risk worth taking. In Lingerie is an extremely talented, yet relatively unseasoned filly. She’s training exceptionally well, her numbers are progressive and well within striking distance of the top fillies pointed for the race, she will appreciate the distance and she seems to really be coming into her own at the moment. Add the fact that we’ve got John (Velazquez) on board and we believe we’d be headed to Louisville with a legitimate contender. We’re extremely pleased to be able to provide our partners with the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious race with an exciting filly like In Lingerie.”