The Enlightened Oaks Trail wraps up on Saturday with 4 divisions to be decided, racing at Aqueduct, Keeneland, Oaklawn and Santa Anita. The colts in the Enlightened Derby Trail have 3 divisions being decided in the same tracks, save Oaklawn Park (the Fantasy Stakes will be contested 4/11).
On this major day, I’ll post my top 3 in the 7 races and explain my reason for choosing the particular top pick.
Following this I’ll give you the possible scenarios for those who may qualify for my Enlightened Derby and Oaks fields. A lot will be happening over a series of hours; Twitter is the best place to stay abreast, at @idealisticstats
Santa Anita Oaks:
Top 4: #6 Stellar Wind. #4 Singing Kitty #2 Glory, #7 Wild At Heart
Stellar Wind is the class of the field, winning the Grade 3 San Ysabel last out here 5 weeks ago.That race came just after layoff and claim, and at today’s 8.5 furlong distance. Broke maiden with a 90 Brisnet, and followed it up to begin her 3YO campaign with a 95 in the San Ysabel. Track bias is favoring stalking-type horses in 8.5 furlong races at a 41% win rate. Posts through 4 through 7 are winning at 16% at that distance. Only possible bounce risk in the field.
Enlightened Trail impact: Doesn’t get much simpler: First 2 finishers are in the mythical Oaks field. 3rd place finisher here may outrank the others.
Santa Anita Derby:
Top 4: #1 Dortmund. #2 One Lucky Dane #4 Bolo. #5 Prospect Park
No stopping the top 3YO in the country. Dortmund won the Los Alamitos Futurity in December, then raced at SA, winning the San Felipe and Robert B. Lewis in triple-digit Brisnets. Forging small new tops of that height at 3 makes him a very strong candidate. From 6 races contested on this track, stalking horses won 2 of them, plus a win from an inside post.
EDT impact: Metaboss is locked in with 1000, as is Cross The Line with 500. There are just a few scenarios that would knock Dortmund out of the picture…4th place finish, with Cross the Line 3rd or out of the top 4; or finishes 5th or 6th and Cross The Line finishes worse than 2nd. Top 2 or 3 finishers may well get into my Derby field here. American Pharaoh and Conquest Typhoon remain alive with 250 but need help.
Top 4: #5 Condo Commando #2 Sweet Corine #7 Noble and a Beauty #3 Money’s oncharlotte
Condo has a nice advantage against this field. Winner of the Spinaway (Grade 1) at Saratoga and Demoiselle (Grade 2) here with a 102 Brisnet. 4 works in prep here, 2 very fast, 1 a bullet. Track bias is favoring sprinters with an 8 race sample of races at 9 furlongs; 6 winners in those 8, in fact! Last out winner of the Busher here on 2/21 with a 97 Brisnet. Already a winner moving up in class and stretch out. Also switches back to Joel Rosario, with whom he won the Demoiselle.
EOT impact: Dortmund is very close to being a lock. Only finishing out of 4th will eliminate her. Wonder Gal has 12 scenarios that favor here out of a possible. By The Moon sitting with 350 has 10 scenarios. Outside of that, it will likely go to whomever finishes 1-2.
Top 4: #4 Frosted #2 Toasting Master #6 Daredevil #3 Lieutenant Colonel
So far this is a rather competitive race. Frosted broke maiden here in 3rd start with 94 Brisnet. Following a 2nd in the Remsen (at today’s 9 furlong distance) and layoff he was shipped to Florida, placing 2nd in the Holy Bull (matching 98 Brisnet lifetime best), and 4th last out in the Fountain Of Youth. This stalker is the speed of the field; last 3 2nd call figures are 111, 93 and 98. 4 works at Palm Meadow, all 4 very fast with 2 bullets.
EDT impact: Daredevil is locked into the mythical Derby field. Even if he finishes out of the money, he wins a tiebreaker based on longer distance entered. 12 scenarios see El Kabeir win, all of which mean placing in the top 3. Top 2 in this race get in regardless. Competitive Edge wins all tiebreakers against Conquest Typhoon for getting points in a Grade 1 race prior but must finish in the money for that to take place.
Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn:
Top 4: #5 Lady Tapit #2 Sweet Opportunity #9 Super Saks #4 Feathered
Looks like another strongly competitive race, and an upset pick this time, including the first 3 spots. With a name like Lady Tapit, being sired by Tapit, you’d have to be really good, right? She was 5th in her maiden debut, 56k level, going 6.5 furlongs at Santa Anita. 5 weeks later, she defeated 42k maiden company at Los Alamitos. Tapit gives her 7.4 average winning distance. Damsire Kingmambo grants 8.5 AWD. Best works of the field. Laid off since the 12/12 race at Santa Anita, John Sadler has worked her 10 times, 7 of them very fast, last one a bullet. Freshest among those stretching out too.
EOT impact: All new shooters to the EDT here. This means the current top 2, I’m A Chatterbox and Birdatthewire, are locked in to the Oaks field with their 1000 points. Winner today joins them. Nothing simpler than that. Quality Rocks, also with 1000, is reportedly off the real Trail so that disqualifies her from my list.
And off to Keeneland for the last two:
Ashland Stakes: Top 4:
#3 Peace and War #5 Silverpocketsfull #6 Lovely Maria #4 Angela Renee
This race looks rather dominant in favoring Peace and War. On the bench 6 months, she made her US debut here in the Grade 1 Alcibiad, posting an 86 Brisnet paying off at 23-1. Her prior 3 races were in GB, which doesn’t provide Brisnet numbers but I gathered that she’s actually peaking here, as she ran slower mph in her prior 2 races. Very hard to discern easily but that’s what I had to do to figure this out. Best track performance of this field. She won her prior race off layoff so don’t expect rust. In a relative sense this closer had the best trip coming into today’s race.
EOT impact: West Coast Belle is the only filly with points in the division running today. If she finishes in the money, she’s in the mythical Oaks field. Don’t Leave Me is already locked in with 1000 points, which means Sweet Success is out at 500 points. Winner of this race is in the show, and all circumstances save one will allow the 2nd place finisher advancement to the Oaks field.
Finally the Blue Grass Stakes:
Top 4: #5 Carpe Diem #2 Gorgeous Bird #3 Pepper Roani #4 Unrivaled
Carpe Diem is the odds-on choice in the morning line but he barely ranks ahead of my contenders. The inherent influence is prominent. Sire is Giant’s Causeway (8.3 AWD), dam-sire Unbridled’s Song (7.2). Won the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Futurity on this track in October, 100 Brisnet. This stalker I’ve rated fastest of all. One of 2 horses coming out of very good trip.
EDT impact: None of this field have points in the Heartland division. Dubai Sky will advance with 1000 points, and so too Conquest Typhoon with 500. Top 2 finishers in this race will join them
Keep watch for all the madness with updates as fast as I can churn them out, as the Enlightened Trails reach the near-end point. Twitter: @idealisticstats
Refer to the main page to read how the Trails work.