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Polar River unlikely to contest Kentucky Oaks

By Vance Hanson

The three-year-old filly Polar River, who has gained a worldwide following during her four-race career in Dubai, has essentially been ruled out of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 by trainer Doug Watson.

Polar River has won her four races by a combined 32 lengths. Although a 13-length winner of the Dubai 1000 Guineas last month, she won by a narrower three-quarters of a length last Thursday in the UAE Oaks (G3). She is on track to face males in the UAE Derby (G2) on March 27.

“I would doubt that very much,” Watson told the Press Association when asked about Polar River running in the Kentucky Oaks. “She will have had five races since the beginning of December and shipping her all the way out there, I think that would be too much for her.

“Besides, there’s a horse running in the Kentucky Oaks, Songbird, who looks an absolute freak and we’d find it tough against her.

“It would be a shame if she did well in the Derby to end her year there, though, so I wouldn’t rule out taking her to America in June for something like the Acorn Stakes (G1).”

The Acorn will be run over a distance of one mile at Belmont Park on June 11.

(Andrew Watkins/Dubai Racing Club)