Aiken-trained horse to run Kentucky Oaks

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. --- Stonerside Stable's Country Star, the Aiken-trained Horse of the Year in 2007, is one of 11 fillies entered in today's $500,000 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

Country Star, a multiple Grade I stakes winner broken and trained in Aiken by Tim Jones, will be saddled by two-time Oaks winner Bobby Frankel.

Others in the field are Grade I stakes winners Little Belle and Golden Doc A and Proud Spell, who hasn't finished out of the money in seven career starts.

Post time for the 1e-mile race is 5:45 p.m. It will televised on ESPN2.

On the Oaks undercard, Dogwood Stable's Blackberry Road will make his turf debut in the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes.

"I resisted the idea (of switching from dirt to turf) for a while," Dogwood president Cot Campbell said. "But (trainer) David Carroll wanted to run, so I finally told him to put him in.

"It's not the toughest field ever assembled," Campbell said. "He's bred for grass. But, of course, you need luck with an 11-horse field. Hopefully, a hole will open on the rail at the right moment."

Chief opposition in the Crown Royal for the Dogwood colt should come from Cannonball, a seasoned grass campaigner, and Nistle's Crunch, the sharp winner of a Keeneland allowance race on the grass two weeks ago. Halo Najib, No. 21 on the Kentucky Derby earnings list and therefore excluded from running in Saturday's classic, will also make his grass debut in the Crown Royal. Boss Lafitte and Prussian round out the contenders.

-- From staff reports


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