Post by Neco on May 15, 2020 9:51:19 GMT -5
Kentucky Oaks 2020 - Your Field for the Lillies
Welcome one and all to our Kentucky Oaks pre-show! The race will be run tomorrow (sometime hopefully haha) and the owners of our fabulous fillies have graciously given their time and photos to give everyone a small history and behind the scenes look at their contenders.
I wanted to do more with these images, but unfortunately I just ran out of time. My deepest apologies, if you'd like a full Oaks image of your horse, PM me and I'll do that once I have a bit more time on my hands.
Owned by Aragorn
Girl Gone Wild
Owner Background: Wildie's full showname (Girl Gone Wild) is pretty accurate - she has tons of energy and is not always easy to work with. This chestnut lady has her own ideas, which often makes me laugh and also consumes training time. She loves short and intense trainings, especially when you have some time to play with her on pasture after work. :) She was titled 2019 Champion 2 yo Female [of 2019]!
Analysis: "Wildie" has certainly earned her name and her Eclipse accolades. She blazed through her juvenile campaign, trouncing some of the best of her generation - including the champion 2 year old male on several occasions. With such high hopes, she was entered in the Oaks and while she hasn't quite carried her form over to her sophomore season, she's still one to watch. She appeared only in the first four preps, finishing fifth twice and second twice behind Under The Mask and Coco, putting her right in the mix. She's shown a willingness to cut between horses, but when floated wide, she hasn't been able to put it all together and doesn't do her best running. With a recent second against Heathen in Grade 2 company, if she's able to get a good post position and get away clean, she may be the one that can come out on top on Oaks day.
Owner Background: Known on the track as Under The Mask, she is fast on her feet and always ready for new exercises. What really moves her are western disciplines - she love to spread her wings in canter, gallop, then perform some fast spins on barrel racing... But in all these dynamic exercises, she remains focused and you can really feel, that you can trust her. I love to watch her racing - she often starts fast as lightning and sometimes keeps her first position til finish line! She gets a huge advantage over other horses and runs effortlessly, as it's just some play for her. On good days of course - she fights til the end, but she often loses her fighting spirit, when she gets surrounded by rest of the pack. Lately her form has been a bit down, but we hope that she will show what she's got on Kentucky Oaks day!
Analysis: Under The Mask exploded onto the Oaks scene with style, winning two preps with ease by opening up huge margins and running the field off their feet. However, after that, her form has tailed off, and she has been absent from the last several preps. Outside of the Oaks trail, she's shown swings from great to questionable, most recently finishing third behind stablemate Girl Gone Wild and Derby hopeful Heathen. With only two speed horses in the field, if she can get away faster than Coco, she has a good chance to open up in the way she prefers and leave the field with too much to do to catch up. Regardless of her quirks, she has a real chance on Saturday and could be the one to take them home.
Owned by valeera
Write Up: Coco exploded onto the scene without warning, blitzing a maiden field with ease as a juvenile before adding black-type to her resume in her very next start. It would take her a few more tries to win a stakes, then she would enter a slump that saw her finish out of the money nearly a dozen times before being shelved for the year. At 3, she returned with a vengeance and has become the top leading three-year-old filly on the forum - and possibly top 3 year old period. Owned by Lavender Hill, a newcomer to the Thoroughbred racing scene, Coco is doing what no one thought possible - toppling the long-established racing stables with a legitimate chance at both the Derby and the Oaks IN THE SAME YEAR. She is a flashy filly with the speed to match - and the attitude to bring it home for Lavender Hill.
Analysis: Can you say heavy even money favorite? Because I can. Coco has won four of the seven Oaks preps by an average of three lengths, and set a new stakes record in the Fairgrounds Oaks for fun. As one of only two speed horses in the race, it's practically hers to lose at this point - if she can get away clean and open up like she usually does, I don't see more than one or two fillies in this field that can catch her. Unless she falls flat on her face at the break, she may have this race in the bag - but with how heavy she'll be as the favorite, you won't get much money in return. At least she'll be fun to watch.
Owned by Neco
Owner Background: Buchiko is another filly of mine hexed off of an actual horse (Google Buchiko, you won't be disappointed) that was hexed by the ever-lovely Warhorse. Buchiko in Petz was a surprise - she could actually run! Usually my 1st gen fillies are nowhere near as good as any of my colts, but she surprised me greatly by blitzing her way through her juvenile season with seven wins, four in stakes, and continuing that trend as a sophomore with several graded wins and other placings. Although I'm a bit disappointed for her - poor Buchi was born in the wrong year what with Coco and Under The Mask in the game! But it's not all bad - it's a year of absolutely beautiful fillies and I'm happy to say that in that respect, at least, Buchiko is pretty high class.
Analysis: Diminutive Buchiko is the outlier here among the Top 5 fillies on the Oaks trail. She managed to score the Gulfstream Park Oaks by a hard-fought 3/4 of a length over Under The Mask, but has come up second to Coco three times in a row in the last three preps. In any other year, Buchiko would be a heavy Oaks favorite but she's run into the devil this year and unfortunately she can't shake her off. That being said, Buchiko will be in just the right place if either Under The Mask or Coco fail to fire, and if those two fillies run themselves into the ground, Buchi will be there be there to pick up the pieces, in my opinion.
Owner Background: Dapper Doll has a pedigree to match her looks - the splashy filly is a daughter of Bold Lady, herself a daughter of the great John Henry, both Eclipse winners, and of Nizmo, a top-notch OTTB whose sire, Wild Card, is an Eclipse winner, and his dam, Shizuka, a Rio bronze medalist. Her talent, however, hasn't quite been up to the snuff of the rest of her family. In racing ability, she takes after her sire, who didn't set fire to the track, but she tries - at least I think she does. She's much more adept on turf than on dirt, I've found, and so I've kind of spoiled her by racing her mostly on the grass, while keeping my other Oaks contenders on the dirt. I'm very hopeful she'll take after another 3rd gen of mine, Noble Hierarch, who went on to win the Epsom Oaks - but I don't honestly know if I see that happening with her! She's just a very pretty filly and I'm content with that!
Analysis: Dapper Doll's got that lovely high knee action of a turf horse and has done some of her best running on the grass, including several high placings on the Guineas trail, but for a while she was a question mark to me on dirt. However, she has run solid thirds in the last four Oaks preps, showing good closing speed and a determination to pass horses that several fillies in the field lack. She's not afraid of some kickback and has shown a willingness to dive between horses or even drive up the rail, which you don't see very often in the girls. I don't know if she'll get there first, but she will definitely be running at the end as a good roundout to your trifecta or superfecta.
Owner Background: Groupie Doll was hexed by Jewellz after the actual, faaar more talented Groupie Doll IRL. Sadly, my Groupie Doll seems to have little interest in racing, unless she can run out in the parking lot. She's a very grumpy, quirky filly, and almost always has the angry eyes when I bring her out to work, as if she was quite content to sit in a folder, thank-you-very-much. That being said, she's not all bad! She loves her fourth place finishes, which seem to account for half of her placings, but if she can get her way and find her way to the far outside of horses, then she's finally ready to roll. Granted, it's usually too late by then, but she won several minor stakes at least. She's also already shown she'll be a great OTTB in the future - she was nearly undefeated in Halter with a 2nd and 3rd marring all those 1sts. At least she's good at SOMETHING.
Analysis: Groupie Doll was probably thrown in the deep end too soon. Her juvenile form was all over the place, but the one constant about this girl is that she can't stand being between horses. Those ears get pinned and that tail starts swishin, and she just gives up before she even starts. She doesn't have a lot of consistency when it comes to the Oaks trail, finishing sometimes in the bottom half of the field or breaking into the Top 5 by the skin of her nose. When she can get around horses and out into the center of the track, that's when you'll see her fly and she's shown that ability in several allowance victories outside of the Oaks preps. However, with such a large field coming together for this year's renewal, she probably won't get her way and I don't see her making much of an impact.
Owned by Jewellz
Owner Background: Thistle *sigh* she's a feisty one. There's just something in her eyes - a little bit wild. She can be such a sweetheart if she's getting her way, but things can go south quick if she isn't. She can run amazingly fast if she wants to. That's the key, she has to want to. And I haven't really been able to convince her that she should listen to the jockey and not run willy nilly all over the place during the race and tire herself out early. She was definitely a bit better-behaved last year. But, as she's gotten a bit older, and bigger, even though she's one of the smaller fillies in the racing stable right now, she's turned into just a bit of a bully and it's hard finding a jockey that will put up with it, especially given her not-so-great performance so far this year. However, her win in the Fred Darling Stakes was a nice pick-me-up and shows that maybe she just likes turf more. I guess we'll see, she's pointed towards several big races this year, both turf and dirt, so we'll see what she's made of.
Analysis: Thistle is a late addition to the Oaks trail, much like the Derby road, and her form has been less than stellar. She has racked up a number of wins and placements outside of the Classics battle, including G2 black type, and has scored on the Guineas trials with an easy victory in the Fred Darling Stakes by daylight over her rivals. However, both her black type and trials victories have come over the grass and she's proven more suspect over the dirt. However, she has great gate skills and can get away faster than anyone else, which will put her in good position on Saturday to grab that coveted spot right behind the speed, where she's done her best running.
Turn & Burn
Owned by Ryder ☆
Write Up: Duchess is another filly by Akiba's Idol, making her a half-sister to Derby hopeful Checkers, and sporting the same eye-catching black and white coloring. By Baldur, she's also a half sister to fellow Oaks entrant Mary Lou, making both the Oaks and the Derby a solid family affair for Turn & Burn! Duchess also has a heaping helping of talent, breaking her maiden at first asking, then grabbing black-type in her next start with a hard-closing second. She scored her first stakes five starts later, then graduated to graded company where she couldn't quite breakthrough in allowance company, but decimated her first Grade 3 field with ease, setting her up for a run in the Oaks. Off track, she's continued the family tradition of sport horses, joining her siblings in earning ribbons for Western Pleasure and most assuredly looking at disciplines and venues to conquer.
Analysis: Duchess is a headscratcher of a horse - she is the daughter of an Eclipse winner and a Dressage Champion, but hasn't been able to put the talent and action together to live up to that lofty pedigree. She was a sharp juvenile, scoring several wins in a row before graduating to open company, and since then she's fought to regain that juvenile form. With a sharp dip at the beginning of her sophomore season, she's finally managed to get her hooves underneath her, earning black type with a Grade 3 victory and since then finishing third and fourth in consecutive stakes. She's finally on the upswing and seems to be peaking at the right time. I'd definitely peg her as another live longshot.
Write Up: Gracie is one leggy filly, with those white legs going for days, just like her dam's. Another joint breeding between Hard Tack and Turn & Burn, Gracie is by Nizmo, a decorated OTTB who wasn't quite as good on the track, and Bold Lady, the 2017 Eclipse champion turf female that remains one of the best turf fillies in SS history. Gracie hasn't seem to have inherited her mother's talent, taking three tries to break her maiden and failing to win a stakes at either 2 or 3, but still racking up black-type placings here and there. Instead, this overo lady has turned to the West to make her Amark, using those long legs of her to bull her way to a barrel racing championship and scoring ribbons in Western Pleasure. Any OTTB is a great OTTB and even if she fails to find her way on the track, she'll always make a splash in the show ring.
Analysis: Gracie is one of the those hard-luck horses that is consistently outrun and outgunned. Her pedigree counts some of the top turf horses on her dam's side, while her sireline traces back to a Rio Silver Medalist and Rio Bronze Medalist - again, all on turf. She has been a spotty participant on the Oaks trail and when she has appeared, her runs have been uninspired. She's consistently finished in the bottom of the field in every prep she's entered, while her form outside of the Oaks trail has been a bit more consistently. She's recently finished fourth twice in a row in allowance company, but has shown more kick than in her prior races. However, in terms of Oaks chances, I can only give her a slim one and don't see her making an impact this time around.
Write Up: Mary Lou continues Turn & Burn's tradition of pinto ponies! The gorgeous tovero filly is a daughter of Baldur, 2017 champion older dirt horse, and Buchiko, another leading contender for this year's Kentucky Oaks. Mary Lou broke her maiden at first asking, then struggled a bit to find that wire, racking up seconds and thirds before finally scoring two stakes wins in a row before graduating to graded company. Since then, she's had some trouble finding her footing, but most recently snagged her first Grade 3 stakes to prep herself nicely for the classics. And if that's not enough, she's also continuing T&B's tradition of OTTBs. Mary Lou already has ribbons in Western Pleasure and Hunters, with more ribbons looming on the horizon for this striking bay filly.
Analysis: Mary Lou is a question mark of a horse - she's the daughter of an Eclipse champion but her form has not been the most consistent. She has shown a gradual upswing on the Oaks trail, scoring a Top 5 placement in the Gazelle behind several of the top contenders. She's had more success outside of the Oaks trail, scoring black type in a Grade 3 race with a runner up finish and finishing second again in an allowance. She seems like she's peaking at the right time, and against females, she has obviously had more luck than in open company. With her recent upswing in form, I would definitely peg her as a live longshot.
Owned by gemz
Owner Background: Intuition and I are still getting to know each other as she was a purchase claim from a race a few months ago. She just had a stunning color and gorgeous blue eyes, I had to have her! I was brand new and had no idea what I was getting into, or how to handle a Thoroughbreds' racing career. I threw her into everything she qualified for and she quickly let me know she wasn't ready for it, telling me she's more of a 'go at my own pace' type horse. She's a middle of the pack runner and she's honestly content to stay there and even drift back, but off of the track that is her best quality! She is an extremely patient mare, content to just trot around and wait while I figure out this whole racing world. Odds are she won't do very great in her races, probably thanks to me, but she will walk away a happy little girl and ready to learn the next thing. She is currently doing wonders at In-Hand showing, never placing below 3rd, and working her way through the Dressage ring as well!
Analysis: Intuition is another latecomer to the Oaks party and unfortunately her Oaks lead ups have been less than inspiring. She has finished last in the final three preps, but certainly not for lack of trying; with so many G2 horses in the field, she's been outgunned from the start. However, she has shown an upswing in her form outside of the Oaks trail, most recently finishing third in an allowance with a late-running drive, at nine furlongs on dirt, which may bode well for a Top 5 chance in the Oaks. I can't see her finishing higher than that due to the overwhelming talent of some of the other entrants, but Intuition has shown more grit lately and may be able to translate that into a decent Oaks run.