Enlightened Oaks Trail update: California Oaks

The latest Enlightened OaksTrail race brings us to the 3YO season. The points are higher for the top 4 finishers in today’s California Oaks at Golden Gate. 500-250-100-50 are the scores assigned.  And this goes double for Graded stakes events.   This race is the 5th at 8.5 furlongs in the Trail series. Take Charge Brandi has won two of those, but she is not present for this one, having already won in the Martha Washington Stakes on 1/31. Her next start would appear to the Honeybee Stakes on 3/7, then the Fantasy Stakes, another EOT race, on 4/4.
So while the leader in points steers away a bit from the Trail, we have 8 fillies going 8.5 furlongs on the all-weather track in the Cali Oaks, all with 0 points on the EOT yet.  Here’s how they look:
#2 GLORY is the lone speed here, broke maiden in 2nd lifetime start with a 95 at Santa Anita going 6.5 furlongs. Prior to that, her debut was a 2nd place finish in December, with speed figure of 84.  Best pedigree of the bunch (Tapit-Ki Maniere, by Sadler’s Wells). Top jockey/trainer of the meet too with Russell Baze at 31% wins, and Jerry Hollendorfer at 28%.  Stretching out a ton to 8.5 furlongs is the one concern, but she is one of 4 horses getting the max weight allowance of 6 lbs.   Deserves to be morning-line pick of 1/1
#3 NIASSA  is a stalking type horse who threatens here with great speed. The majority of races have seen her in a middle post. She dazzled here last month in a 1 mile 40k optional-claiming race, wiring a short field by 9 lengths. She might prove to be the ‘now’ horse. 7/2 morning line does match her ability.
#6 SWISS SKIMMER is one of the longshot. It took her 8 tries to break maiden status, then failed miserably in the Cal Cup Oaks at Santa Anita 2 weeks ago.  Despite the 7th place finish, she did narrowly post her best lifetime speed figure of 81.  That suggests she should do better today or next race. Also, she had broken maiden switching to all-weather. Here today she’s coming out of a mixed turf experience, so this rather makes a positive impression on me.  Looks like 4-1 but morning line suggests 12-1. Top overlay in this race.
2-3-6, then are my picks for these EOT debutantes.
With Golden Gate as part of the Minor category in my system, note that this category is seeing a lot of new shooters. No one’s repeated in scoring, and the trend will continue today. For the California Oaks, the top 2 finishers, for now will enjoy an advantage  in points. That will be enjoyed for a brief while, as the next race involving Minor tracks, the Arizona Oaks at Turf Paradise, is not until 2/21
Back later with my long-awaited Derby Future Wager Pool 2 analysis and selections.

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