This Friday marks the running of the 2013 Kentucky
Oaks. There are many capable 3-year-old
fillies in this field, and Todd Pletcher is becoming a common theme in both the
Oaks, where he has four entered, and the Derby.
Nevertheless, there are some who are capable of an upset. Let’s look at the field:
Todd Pletcher; Jy. Gary Stevens) She
has only had four outings, her most recent a victory in the Bourbonette
Oaks(Gr. III), going the distance of a mile at Turfway Park over
synthetic. She has experimented with all
surfaces(including two on turf and one on dirt), but her worst performance was
on dirt. She acquires the services of
movie star and jockey, Gary Stevens. Her
lone dirt effort indicates that the additional distance might not be to her
liking. Her sire is Macho Uno. Career record: 4-2-0-1, $84,725.
Tr. Bob Baffert; Jy. Rafael Bejarano) Lightly-raced
Midnight Lute filly has nice connections in owner Michael Pegram(who is part of
a co-ownership) and Baffert(remnants of former Oaks winner
Silverbulletday). Retains the services
of Bejarano in the irons. Has looked
impressive against lesser competition, winning the ungraded Sunland Park Oaks
in her last effort. Career record: 2-2-0-0, $153,600.
Richard Mandella; Jy. Garrett Gomez) Juvenile
Filly champ comes into this race with nice credentials. She’s won her last three Grade I’s, two of
them going the distance of a mile and a sixteenth. She’s been the Best of the West, but this
will be her first time outside of the state of California. Keeps Gomez, who has ridden the Henny Hughes
daughter her whole career. Question is,
can she ship? Career record: 8-5-2-0, $1,575,000.
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Javier Castellano)
Undefeated Street Sense filly tries her hand at Grade I
competition. Her last effort was in the
Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks, where she was united with Castellano for the first
time. Started her career at Aqueduct, so
she has shipped well. Career
record: 4-4-0-0, $610,200.
Tr. Bernard Flint; Jy. Rosie Napravnik) Started
her career at Woodbine. Changed trainers
in November, and won the Golden Rod(Grade II) at Churchill. Last out was off of a 4-month layoff, in which
the Spring At Last filly ran a respectable 3rd in the Fair Grounds
Oaks(Gr. II). Seems they have had this
one designed for this race for a long time.
Pick up the services of last year’s winning Kentucky Oaks jockey. She has won over this surface!!!! Career record:
SYLMAR(20-1, Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Mike Smith)
Daughter of Majestic Warrior had reeled off four consecutive
victories, prior to her last race setback.
Castellano opted off of this one for Pletcher’s Unlimited Budget, so
Mike Smith fills the bill as new jockey.
She has some decent closing speed.
If a speed duel would set up in front, she could be part of the big
picture, in the end. Career record: 6-4-1-0, $238,220.
PURE FUN(30-1, Tr.
Kenneth McPeek; Jy. Julien Leparoux) Leparoux
picks up the mount on this Pure Prize filly.
McPeek has taken a mystifying journey with this one. She ran five of her first six races on
turf-nothing to write home about. She
then romped over this surface. Ran her
last three over synthetic, winning the Gr. I Hollywood Starlet, and in her last
race, she ran against the boys in the Lexington Stakes as a warmup. She adds Lasix for the first time. Maybe McPeek is onto something? Career record: 10-3-1-2, $353,699.
DREAMING OF JULIA(3-1,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. John Velazquez) Daughter
of A.P. Indy; won last race, the Gulfstream Park Oaks(Gr. II) by 21 ¾ lengths;
has the successful jockey/trainer team.
The Morning Line favorite. What’s
not to like? Well, if you’re ever going
to hit a longshot, you got to go against the favorite. Though she won by 21 ¾ lengths, who did she
beat? None of the other five fillies in
that race are coming into this race; though a successful team, Velazquez has
been on the shelf, recovering from a spill.
He has not rode a horse in, or around, a month. Maybe a little rusty? She’s only 1-for-3 in her last three Gr. I
2-turn races. I think I’d try and beat
her. Career record: 6-4-1-1, $767,000.
ROSE TO GOLD(15-1, Tr.
Sal Santoro; Jy. Calvin Borel) Borel
has been aboard the last two rides. She’s
won a large share of her races, but, she hasn’t really taken the best route to
get here(ran at Oaklawn). Her lone Grade
I experience was a 12th place finish in the Alcibiades @
Keeneland. She does know how to
win. Just don’t think the caliber of
competition has been anything compared to this race. Career record: 7-5-1-0, $717,889.
William Mott; Jy. Junior Alvarado) - ****SCRATCHED****
Tr. William Mott; Jy. Joel Rosario) First Defence filly is undefeated, and
must be William Mott’s main filly(scratched Flashy Gordon). Regular rider Rosario is back again. She’s won at Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct,
going two turns. Has had good works over
Churchill’s track. Main drawback might
be too lightly raced. Still like. Career record: 3-3-0-0, $201,300.
What a star-studded race this looks to be. With my intent of trying to beat the
favorite, let’s try the filly that’s beat DOJ, #3 Beholder. We’ll play her in a $4 Exacta Box with #2
Midnight Lucky(lightly raced, but just might step up to bat), #6 Princess of
Sylmar, and #11 Close Hatches. Let’s swing
for the fence in this hardball game, with a wiffle bat, taking #6 across the
board $10 WPS. Lastly, let’s try a
Oaks/Derby double $4 partwheel(2-3-6-11/5-12-14-20). Total bet - $142.
May the horse be with you.