Gulfstream Park Oaks 2015 Picks and Preview with Casey
Gulfstream Park Oaks 2015 Picks and Preview with Casey: The Gulfstream Park Oaks has been a major prep for some very prominent fillies over the years. Most recently, fillies such as Dreaming of Julia, Grace Hall, and the ill-fated Devil May Care have all won the race before going on to either the Kentucky Oaks or other prominent races. In the past, some have even become household names for those in the racing industry. Herecomesthebride, Davona Dale, My Flag, and Inside Information all won this Grade II race before continuing on to do bigger things.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks will be run on Saturday, March 28, on the Florida Derby undercard. The race is worth a split 100-40-20-10 points to the first four horses for a possible start in the 2015 Kentucky Oaks.
Holywell (Exclusive Quality – All Saint’s Day, by Gold Case) – This filly has three wins and two third-place finishes to her credit out of eight starts. She is a two-time stakes winner over the Gulfstream track, but lately she hasn’t been able to duplicate her winning form. Her best form has come when she is able to be on the lead. She won’t be alone in this race with the speedy, determined Ekati’s Phaeton next to her.
Sweet Swingin (Street Sense – Honest Answer, by Tale of the Cat) – This filly has found success at Gulfstream where she broke her maiden in January. Since then, she has run second in two starts, including her last outing in the Herecomesthebride Stakes. She lacks early speed and likes to sit in the middle of the pack. She needs to step up here but may be able to mess up someone’s trifecta or super extra.
Ekati’s Phaeton (Tale of Ekati – Seventh Veil, by Capote) – With her sprinter pedigree, this filly was barely able to hold off Birdatthewire and Eskenformoney in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream. This time, she has to go for another 1/16th of a mile, which is likely too far for her. With the added distance, she is going to need to be even more game than last time, perhaps an impossible task for this filly.
Devine Aida (Unbridled’s Song – Passion, by Came Home) – This filly has done a lot of winning throughout her career. In five career starts, she has four wins and a second-place finish. She has the pedigree to get the distance here, and she is up to par with this field. She is a dual stakes winner, including the Herecomethebride Stakes last time out. She likes the lead, a position that will be tough to achieve here with multiple others in the field with the same running style. With her record, don’t take her lightly.
Cristina’s Journey (Any Given Saturday – Toss the Feather, by Dixie Union) – This filly was the winner of last year’s Grade II Pocahontas Stakes, but since then, she has failed to hit the board. This will only be her second start of 2015, but she really needs to step it up here. She has a late running style, so look for her to benefit from the likely speed duel up front.
Eskenformoney (Eskendereya – But for Money, by Not For Love) – This filly had seemed to find a home going a mile on the Gulfstream dirt, but in the Davona Dale, she finished a close third behind Ekati’s Phaeton and Birdatthewire. She should actually enjoy the extra distance here just by looking at her pedigree. She does need to perform well here to make the Oaks field. She does like to be close to the pace, but with more prominent speed here, she may be a bit further back than is her custom.
Danessa Deluxe (Summer Bird – Belle’s Home, by Came Home) – One of two Summer Bird daughters in the field, this filly is making her 2015 debut. She was last seen finishing fourth in the Delta Downs Princess won by 2014 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Take Charge Brandi. She has been working well and should enjoy the distance. Her running style is more of a stalking style, so she should be making a good move in the stretch.
Birdatthewire (Summer Bird – My Limit, by Wagon Limit) – This filly has only been off the board once, and in her last race she was a close second to Ekati’s Phaeton in the Davona Dale. This filly is more than likely going to get better with both age and distance. She is a very late runner and closes like a freight train. She defied the bias at Gulfstream last time out and just missed. With the added distance, she is not likely to miss again.
Casey’s Opinions: Birdatthewire has been on my watch list since I saw her break her maiden, so she is my first major pick in here. I love her running style and the fact that this race is shaping up to have plenty of speed. Eskenformoney knows the Gulfstream track well and is likely going to be able to outlast the other speed due to her pedigree. However, she needs to take that next step to be considered a contender for the Kentucky Oaks. Devine Aida has proven her ability over and over. She has stakes wins over this track, and she is a consistent filly. She should be able to do well in this spot.
Casey’s Picks: Birdatthewire/Eskenformoney/Devine Aida/Danessa Deluxe
Gulfstream Park Oaks 2015 Post Positions & Odds
Race #12 5:35 PM ET
1 Holywell 20-1 Saez/Pinchin
2 Sweet Swingin 6-1 Ortiz/Romans
3 Ekati’s Phaeton 4-1 Saez/Kaplan
4 Devine Aida 5-1 Rios/Morales
5 Cristina’s Journey 10-1 Lanerie/Romans
6 Eskenformoney 5-2 Castellano/Pletcher
7 Danessa Deluxe 12-1 Velazquez/Navarro
8 Birdatthewire 3-1 Ortiz, Jr./Romans