Farrell will not hold her position without challenges, of course, and one of them announced herself on the New York circuit on Saturday as Yorkiepoo Princess won her third straight stakes race plus 50 points on the Longines Kentucky Oaks (USA-I) leaderboard in winning the Busher Stakes (USA-L). While the daughter of Kantharos and the Unreal Zeal mare Kickapoo Princess has a pedigree that suggests speed as her strong suit, her race in the Busher---her first around two turns---showed a nice maturity that may stand her in good stead in trying to stretch out to 9 furlongs, as she relaxed off the early pace and saved her speed for when it counted. Her performance suggested that she is becoming the most dangerous sort of speed horse, the type that can kill you on the front end if she is left alone or burn you from behind if she needs to take back off of a potential speed duel.
Still, the queen of the day was pretty plainly Farrell, who would probably be the unquestioned favorite for the Oaks were it not for the brilliance shown by her "cousin" Unique Bella (also out of an Unbridled's Song mare) in the Las Virgenes Stakes (USA-I) on February 5. The Fair Grounds Oaks (USA-II) on April 1 now seems to be squarely in the sights of the Coffeepot Stables homebred, and unless something else can pull off a major upset, look for Farrell to go into the Run for the Lilies unbeaten in 2017 and ready to take on all comers.