Trainer Vicki Oliver high-fived jockey Rafael Bejarano after Flippant won the Kentucky Downs TVG Preview Dueling Grounds Oaks to give them a sweep of the two 3-year-old stakes at Ellis Park.
In three months, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s homebred Flippant has gone from a maiden winner to a two-time stakes winner to a contender in this Saturday’s 38th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana at Keeneland. The race is for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
“She is doing very well,” trainer Vicki Oliver said. “This is a race I have always wanted to win, and I hope she is the one.”
A daughter of Tapit out of the two-time Grade 2-winning mare Frivolous, Flippant began her career on dirt at Churchill Downs. She started her 3-year-old campaign on the dirt at Tampa Bay Downs.
“Being a Tapit, we thought dirt for her,” Oliver said. “It was almost by default that she wound up on the grass here in April, and she ran so good on it (a runner-up finish) that we left her there.”
Flippant notched her first victory July 4 at Ellis Park and followed that with a victory Aug. 7 in the Kentucky Downs TVG Preview Dueling Grounds Oaks at Ellis. In her most recent start, Flippant won the Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks (L) at Colonial Downs on Aug. 31.
“Going to Virginia (with Flippant) gave me an extra week for the Queen Elizabeth,” said Oliver, who trained Flippant’s dam and grandam Sixty Rocketts.
Oliver said there was no one moment when the light went on for Flippant’s recent success.
“Never Forget (Frivolous’ first foal) is like that,” Oliver said. “Frivolous didn’t really get good until she was 4. The whole family is like that.”
Oliver has a half-brother to Flippant getting ready to debut named Levity. She plans to start the son of Candy Ride (ARG) on the dirt “at the end of the meet or early during the Churchill meet.”
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