A full field awaits the starting gate for the 2016 Kentucky Oaks. Several logical contenders will be prominent in this year’s field and Steve Asmussen brings out the stable. With a full field I will discuss the top contenders.
2016 Kentucky Oaks Preview
Terra Promessa has won 4 straight races with authority including a win at Churchill Downs last fall. The presser racing style has served her well and recent works have been good. Needs to run faster to emerge the winner but that may be possible. Can press the pace and could possibly be leading 6 furlongs into the race. Rail draw should be good slot as she can sit in 2nd flight and get first run.
Weep No More picked up the pieces when Cathryn Sophia and Rachel’s Valentina engaged in a ding-dong duel in the Ashland. Spead figures have gotten faster 3 straight races. Chance of a new lifetime top figure in this race.
Lewis Bay ran a visually good race in the Gazette. Dominated the Demoiselle last fall with a circle the field move. She should work out a trip and can sit mid pack. Homebred should hit hard down the stretch. Speed figures look a little light but recent works indicate top fitness and has proven class to fit with this field. By all accounts training well and is a must use in Oaks/Derby doubles.
Go Maggie Go is lightly raced with only 2 starts and got the perfect pace set up in the Florida Oaks. Facing a bulky field with several horses making moves at the same time. I think she will regress in this spot and won’t be on my tickets.
Land Over Sea lost to Champion Songbird 5 races and finished 2nd to Songbird 3 times. Broke out in Louisiana last race. She has run solid races and should get the distance. Running style has her sitting 6-8 lengths off the pace in this race.
Rachel’s Valentina ran a corker off the bench, but dueled the entire way around the racetrack. A contender on paper, but hasn’t really wowed me in any one race. Possible chance she bounces off the huge effort in the Ashland, but seems like a classy type and should be forwardly placed again. Morning live favorite is a little vulnerable if she is pressured early. If no one else wants the lead this horse is capable of taking the lead.
Royal Obsession has had rough trips in both the last 2 races and now on a fast track could improve dramatically. Outside chance at the upset. Has always been placed aggressively may need a race to get an easy win. But still think has outside shot in a contentious race with the long price being worth a shot including in a few tickets.
Taxable is the horse on the improve has a 7 length win at Churchill Downs. Long string of works and ran sporadically down the stretch in the Fantasy. Looked clearly best in the Fantasy 3 times and could never switch leads and straighten out. Expecting a big performance in the Oaks. Outside post is a concern but can be used on all tickets.
Cathryn Sophia started her career with modest beginnings. Was dueled into submission in the Ashland Oaks. Was originally going to cut back to sprinting but with Songbird passing on the Oaks is now back in the race. I don’t think the extra 1/16th of the mile is going to help her. The can take the filly out of Parx but they can’t take Parx out of the Filly.
The pace should be contentious and several horses should make their move four furlongs into the race. The fractions should be demanding on the favorite Cathryn Sophia. Taxable is the top selection. Seems to be on the improve. Taxable, Rachels Valentina, Terra Promessa and Lewis Bay are all usable in Daily Double and exacta Tickets. Royal Obsession is a exotic add for the Trifecta and Superfecta.