In the prelude to the Run for the….uh…what is it for the Oaks? The Lillies? For the fillies? OK then. The Run for the Lillies. The prelude is the Alysheba Stakes, presumably with no floral arrangement thereafter. But there are horses, 4 of them, who participated in the Kentucky Derby in 2013. And that’s why I’m giving you some detail on each horse and what their chances appear to be.
6 horses of the 8 have some amount of ability to win. Let’s go horse-by-horse:
MOONSHINE MULLIN has spent his 6YO campaign at Oaklawn Park running claiming and optional claiming races from 40k to 8k. Approached triple digit Brisnet speed figures last 2 tho not setting a lifetime best. Winning 102 Brisnet at today’s distance was acheived in an optional claimer last time out. Since last layoff in late November, his best race following first off layoff was on February 13. I believe he’s still under influence of that race considering his age. . Ultimately I don’t see this stalker run fast enough.
WILL TAKE CHARGE has run in nothing but Grade 1 and 2 races for over a year, along with last year’s Triple Crown events. The speed figures are very consistent, running 103 to 109 since the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga last year. I judge him as having some of the best breeding of the field. Unbridled’s Song and Take Charge Lady being multiple Graded stakes winners. He does have the inherent factors to contend but I give much more weight to those who have the ability to win today. Compared to this field, he’s rather unlikely.
MYLUTE makes 2nd start at age 4, and also returns to the site of his 5th place finish in last year’s Run for the Roses. Almost excusively runs in Graded events, tho a few times, including last time out, has run optional claiming events as prep. Last race was a commanding victory with a 97 Brisnet, above his 83 in the Jim Dandy. I suspect a bounce down. Not a contender in my book
COIN BROKER enters with very good breeding (sire Tapit, and prolific damsire Red Ransom). 5th lifetime start, has increased speed figure since maiden debut, pairing up with 94 and 97 in last two. All four races at Gulfstream Park. Both wins, from his last 2 races, were from a middle post. Contender.
GOLDEN SOUL ,despite running exclusively in Graded events since a dazzling 2nd place finish in last year’s Derby, has not run nearly as well since. He doesn’t appear in any of my variables, and hasn’t even appeared as close as 4th to any point of call since last year’s Belmont, going back 4 races.
GOLDEN TICKET has 6 races under the twin spires, with 1 win and 3 2nds. The 107 score he acheived in the Stephen Foster Handicap combined with a win over the surface, gives him something of an advantage. Also doesn’t appear to rank in my variables, and no indication that he can win today.
APPEALING TALE is an example of a horse I favor when it comes to trips. Any sprinter who is loose on the lead in a route, or a deep closer who is fairly close to the lead throughout during a route race, gets extra credit from me. This West Coast sprinter did likewise in an ungraded race at Santa Anita, on March 30. Tripled up in pace, too. Last 3 races scored 97 and two 101s. Even though there are too few races run in this meet to develop track bias, it’s worth noting that this horse is the lone speed of the field. Contender
BRADESTER is 3 of 4 in the money at Churchill, and has a Grade 3 win at Fair Grounds 2 races back. Best Brisnet for the distance is a 102 in the Indiana Derby in October. What I really like is the work tab, 3 since his last race, 2 fast ones at Churchill, one with a bullet. Plus: 2 wins from an outside post, where his today. Contender.
My selections are these:
1st 9 Bradester
2nd 4 Coin Broker
3rd 8 Appealing Tale
Next post examines, in like manner, the run for all those lillies.
After having written exhaustively on this Enlightened Derby Trail subject on the blog, you may have wondered why I haven’t attempted an Enlightened Oaks Trail. Frankly, I’m exhausted. I may examine ths after the fact, but I’m more than likely to wait for June to start looking at those ungraded 2YO filly races.
As for the Oaks, here’s what’s already play from the future wager:
$2 win bets on Please Explain (26-1) and Untapable (5-1). $1 Exacta bets between these and with field over and under these horses. For this race, the one horse from the ‘field’ selections of the future wager is Aurelia’s Belle (5-1). If either of my 2 horses are taking less money minutes before post time, I might make a second win wager on them.
Now the capsule view, where 9 of the 13 fillies have any shot:
PLEASE EXPLAIN I ranked as having among the best fitting pedigrees for horses winning at Churchill. Yes, I’ll explain. I take the chef-de-race points of each horse, and compare it with the average winning number for the track from www.chef-de-race.com
The lowest differential earns the lead in that variable. Actually the variable is shared with the horse whose pedigree has the highest average winning distance. In this case, Please Explain has the better chef-de-race number (Sire is the world-class Curlin, dam is Lizzy’s Bluff, unraced). 3rd in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes. Lot of talk on Twitter re her true eligibility. Nevertheless she’s a contender and a good one. Both lifetime wins have come from an outside post, and she’s on the rail here. I’m playing the bounceback angle too: Scored an 82 Brisnet in the Suncoast at Tampa Bay in February, then 91 in the Honeybee, suggesting a bounce. And she did bounce in the Fantasy Stakes with an 81. Only can move up in this race.
RIA ANTONIA was second in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, arguably the most important race for 2YO fillies, and 2nd in the Santa Anita Oaks. Surged from an 83 Brisnet in the Rachael Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds to a 91 at Santa Anita last time out. Could bounce from that number. Very good work tab, with 3 works since that race, 2 with a bullet, 2 works held at Churchill. Dark horse at best.
SUGAR SHOCK is winner of 4 of 6 lifetime, which are her last 4 starts. These include starts in the Fantasy and the Honeybee. ROI angle: +2.10 return for trainer Doug Anderson considering the 2 Graded starts (15-1 in the Honeybee, 6-1 in the Fantasy). Pace recovery angle. After layoff to start her 3YO campaign, scored a winning 90 in a 55k maiden race. Then slight drop to 88 in an allowance race, then the paired up forged figures in the Graded races, scoring in the early 90’s. The Fantasy Stakes shows recovery in pace, and there’s promise of more. Likely contender.
ROSALIND: Here’s the filly with the best average winning distance from pedigree.
Sire is Broken Vow, great son of Unbridled, going 9-2-2 in 14 starts and multiple stakes winner at 4.
Damsire is the Irish-bred Theatrical, a champion older horse in Ireland, along with multiple graded stakes wins over turf in the US, ages 4 and 5. Also had won 10 of 22 lifetime. Rosalind herself has never been out of the top 4. Won her maiden debut, then has ran almost nothing but Graded events with a win in the Ashland at Keeneland last time out. The 100 Brisnet in that race forged herself a new lifetime best. Could bounce from that race, as her allowance race prior to that was an 87. Contender.
THANK YOU MARYLOU has 2 wins and 2 shows lifetime, with wins in the Tippett Stakes for fillies as her maiden debut at Gulfstream (!), then the Any Limit ungraded stakes at Gulfstream. Lifetime best acheived 2 races back in that event with a 98, then down to a 92 in the Ashland. I’m predicting a bounce back in pace but should not be a factor at all in this race.
KISS MOON hasn’t won since her debut at 3, doing a 2nd place finish in the Fantasy Stakes her best effort, pairing up a 92 with a 90 in the Honeybee. Probably will bounce. Unlikely.
FASHION PLATE is the class of the field, invading from the West Coast with wins in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks (Brisnet of 92) and the Las Virgenes Stakes (91), both stakes for fillies. ROI angle: Gary Stevens with Simon Callaghan retuned $4.20 to win in the Oaks. Combined with her maiden win 3 races back, scoring a 97, that is a triple-up, which can work in either direction for her. This pure sprinter held off 6 other challengers in the 8.5 furlong Oaks, an excellent trip as compared to this field. Despite the effort, given the competition in the field, she’s unlikely to contend.
AURELIA’S BELLE has won both times Channing Hill has been aboard, and he does so again today. Won her maiden debut, then in the money in Graded races since, including a win in the Bourbonette Oaks last time out. Forged lifetime best Brisnet of 91. This is one of three horses I reject completely to contend today, never mind that I have $ on her as a field selection from the future wager.
UNBRIDLED FOREVER has the name, might have the same game, but not today. A win in the Silverbulletday in January, then 3rd in teh Fair Grounds Oaks, increasing Brisnet scores from 85 to 96. Posted the best winning track speed at Churchill of the field, with a 100 in her maiden win. Both wins came from a middle post. Should bounce from the 96 score last out and should not be a contender at all here.
EMPRESS OF MIDWAY, broke maiden in 2nd start, then was 2nd in the Sunland Park Oaks, acheiving an 84, above a 78 prior to that. Likely to bounce, and unlikely to contend.
MY MISS SOPHIA won the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes last out after 2 maiden races, scoring a 97 Brisnet. That score is the fastest in this field who have run 9 furlongs. This sprinter has 1st call Brisnet numbers of 104, 94 and 95. The Gazelle was another excellent trip in comparison to the field. Outside chance.
GOT LUCKY is another throwout. Broke maiden in her 3YO debut, then 2nd by a wide distance to the winner in the Gazelle and the Rachel Alexandra. Doesn’t measure up in any of my variables.
UNTAPABLE is the deserving morning-line favorite. Won 4 of 6 lifetime including the Pocahontas, the Rachel Alexandra, and the Fair Grounds Oaks. The concern: Forged lifetime tops of 100 and 107 in last 2 races. . On the plus side, a very good work tab, with 3 works since the FG Oaks, all at Churchill, last 2 very fast. Contender.
And here’s how I rank ’em :
1: #1 Please Explain
2: #4 Rosalind
3rd: #13 Untapable
Yes I envision a strong value finish, and it’s total coincidence that I pegged 2 of my top 3 just as I did in the Oaks future wager. With this I’ll have at least 4 horses in actual $ in play.
In both races, I will wager the top favorites over my 3 horses, and straight win bets on horses worse than 5-1.
Next 2 posts, coming overnight, will be my take on the Woodford Reserve, and the Kentucky Derby,