The 5-2 favorite Malathaat, ridden by John Velazquez, held off Search Results to win the Kentucky Oaks by a neck at Churchill Downs on Friday.
She completed the mile-and-an-eighth race in 1 minute 48.99 seconds, the sixth-fastest time in Oaks history, and paid $7 on a $2 bet to win.
It was Velazquez’s second Oaks victory, and the fourth for her trainer, Todd Pletcher. Velazquez will be riding Medina Spirit in the Derby for the two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert. Pletcher will be saddling four horses: Known Agenda, Dynamic One, Bourbonic and Sainthood.
Pletcher and the filly’s owners, Shadwell Stable, did not rule out Malathaat taking on the boys in the Belmont, the final leg of the Triple Crown, on June 5. Malathaat, a daughter of the Belmont runnerup Curlin, is well bred for the grueling mile-and-a-half race.