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Kentucky Oaks Top 10: Casey’s Picks

Kentucky Oaks Top 10: Casey’s Picks– The Kentucky Oaks final preps are finished, excluding the Beaumont, and the list for the Kentucky just became more confused. While Songbird decimated another field, over a sloppy track, she is clearly the favorite for the Kentucky Oaks. However, she will now be the only undefeated filly in the field now that Cathryn Sophia has shown she may be distance challenged. Let’s look at the new top ten and how it has shifted.

Songbird Horse Kentucky Oaks

Fox Hill Farms’ Songbird and jockey Mike Smith win the Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA. Photo: Benoit

Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro – Ivanavinalot, by West Acre; 190 points) – Songbird annihilated yet another field in the Santa Anita Oaks, this time in the slop. All we are wondering now is how much she will win the Kentucky Oaks by and who will get the second place prize. Also, if she does win the Kentucky Oaks, it would also give her stallion a 3rd Kentucky Oaks winner.

Land Over Sea (Bellamy Road – Belle Watling, by Pulpit; 128 points) – With her being now the most accomplished from all of her siblings, which include War Story and Draw Two, Land Over Sea is running around, potentially the second best filly running. She has yet to have an official work since her Grade Two score in the Fair Ground Oaks but is currently jogging. She has been chasing Songbird around California, and once away, broke away and won big. While it flatters Songbird, it also does a lot of good for this filly and her chances in Kentucky.

Terra Promessa (Curlin – Missile Bay, by Yes It’s True; 150 points) – Terra Promessa is currently sitting second on the Kentucky Oaks. If she had not finished third in her debut, she would be undefeated. She is not only bred for the additional distance that she will get in the Kentucky Oaks, she is bred to improve with age. She fought hard and dug in to win the Fantasy Stakes and will give her a potential edge if Songbird puts up a fight, which she has never had to before.

Lewis Bay (Bernardini – Summer Raven, by Summer Squall; 130 points) – Never out of the top two in five starts, and heads to the Oaks as a top contender, Lewis Bay looks to continue on to Kentucky to take advantage of the extra distance she will receive. Chad Brown has a chance with this filly, who is bred to run all day. She is likely to arrive at Churchill soon.

Rachel’s Valentina (Bernardini – Rachel Alexandra, by Medaglia d’Oro; 48 points) – after a three-year-old debut in a tough race, Rachel’s Valentina finally jumps back into Kentucky Oaks contention. Her first race since coming in 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies to Songbird was the Grade One Ashland at Keeneland. After engaging in a dogfight with Cathryn Sophia, Rachel’s Valentine was narrowly defeated by a neck by longshot Weep No More, who took advantage of the pace scenario. If Rachel’s Valentina can improve 2nd off the layoff, she could be dangerous to Songbird now that she has a bit more experience, especially when it comes to battling head to head with another filly.

Weep No More (Mineshaft – Crosswinds, by Storm Cat; 100 points) – After taking advantage of a hot pace, Weep No More came into the Grade One Ashland off two straight wins at Tampa, one of which was her maiden score. She has only raced four times but is now on a three race winning streak. If she can get a hot pace in Louisville, I would not discount her for a possibly top three finish.

Taxable (Tapit – Jackpot Joanie, by Giant’s Causeway; 40 points) – Steve Asmussen is usually present with very hot fillies come Kentucky Oaks day. After going 1-2 in the Fantasy Stakes, Taxable seems to improving at the right time. After running late, she was narrowly defeated by Terra Promessa. If she improves of that, which she likely will, then she could be a real threat in four weeks. She has not been worse than second in three starts.

Mo d’Amour (Uncle Mo – Neverthesame, by Scat Daddy; 70 points) – She looks to be getting tired in the Gazelle as Lewis Bay and Royal Obsession took off. If she is distance limited, she could have problems at nine furlongs. However, the track at Aqueduct was very tiring, as we saw from previous races and then the Wood Memorial was a good example of tiring horses. Mo d’Amour likely will get another shot in the Kentucky Oaks, and her connections, King of Prussia Stables, are likely thinking, “well Princess of Sylmar did not win the Gazelle in her final prep either.”

Royal Obsession (Tapit – Rote, but Tiznow; 45 points) – After finishing a good second to Lewis Bay in the Gazelle, Royal Obsession will get her chance against better competition next out. She as a very expensive sales horse, and if she can improve in the Kentucky Oaks, her price will be justified. She is bred to improve with age and experience. Given time, she could prove very good and competitive.

Wonderment (Cosmonaut – A Wonder She It, by Three Wonders; 50 points) – As of now, Wonderment has not been confirmed as a starter for the Kentucky Oaks. She is a small filly who has a lot of growing to do. She trained very impressively on the Keeneland dirt before her Bourbonette Oaks (G3) score at Turfway over the synthetic track. Her stallion was a good turf route runner, and her dam side suggests turf route as well. She has trained well on dirt, and even won on the dirt, but until she wins a major stakes on dirt, her form is questionable and a bit of an unknown.

The Kentucky Oaks is held this year, rain or shine, on May 6 at the famed Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Oaks is also entering its 142nd year, as it is the sister race to the Kentucky Derby. If planning on attending the Oaks, don’t forget to wear pink and enjoy an Oaks Lily, the signature drink of the race.