The TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10 for Feb. 11
In the month since we last served up a TDN Kentucky Oaks Top 10, there have been a number of stakes for 3-year-old fillies, but not a lot of movement on our list. Sun Path (Munnings) drops off the list after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Silverbulletday and we’ll wait to include Girl Daddy (Uncle Mo) until she has her first official workout in 2021. Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) came out of last weekend looking like the top threat from the West after her win in the GIII Las Virgenes S., but has been sidelined with a knee chip. Charlie’s Penny (Race Day), the winner of the Silverbulletday S., is also off the trail after suffering a hairline fracture in her shin.Fair Grounds will host the GIII Rachel Alexandra S. Presented by Fasig-Tipton this Saturday, which features the return of the Brad Cox-trained Travel Column (Frosted). Meanwhile, the GII Davona Dale S., to be run Feb. 27 at Gulfstream, is shaping up as the best 3-year-old filly race so far this year with several members of the Top 10 slated to take part.
1) VEQUIST (Nyquist–Vero Amore, by Mineshaft)O-Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable & Swilcan Stable. B-Swilcan Stables (KY). T-Robert E. Reid, Jr. Sales History: $120,000 RNA ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: MGISW, 4-2-2-0, $1,235,500.Last Start: 1st GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Spinaway S., SAR, Sept. 6, 2nd GI Frizette S., BEL, Oct. 10Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 24To the surprise of no one, Vequist was named the champion 2-year-old filly of 2020 when the Eclipse Awards were announced last month. She wrapped up the title when winning the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over rival Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief). She’ll attempt to become the first horse to pull off the Breeders’ Cup-Kentucky Oaks double since Silverbulletday, the 1999 Oaks winner. After giving his filly some time off over the winter, trainer Butch Reid has started to get serious with her in the mornings. She’s had three listed workouts this year at Palm Meadows, the latest five furlongs in 1:00.95, and will breeze again Saturday. It won’t take long to tell how she has progressed since winning the Juvenile Fillies, as she will need to be at her very best to win what will be a loaded Davona Dale.
2) DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE (Into Mischief–Gottahaveadream, by Indian Charlie)O-Blazing Meadows Farm & Siena Farm. B-Siena Farms (KY). T-Timothy Hamm. Lifetime Record: GISW, 4-3-1-0, $556,500.Last Start: 2nd GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, KEE, Nov. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Frizette S., BEL, Oct. 10, 1st GIII Schuylerville S., SAR, July 16Next Start: UndecidedEquineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 18Dayoutoftheoffice returned to the Tampa Bay Downs barn of Tim Hamm last month and breezed five furlongs there Jan. 24 in 1:01. Hamm does most of his winning at B and C level tracks like Mahoning Valley, which makes him easy to root for when he goes up against the Bafferts and Pletchers of the world. Her team reports that they have yet to decide on this one’s next start. She hasn’t had a work since the Jan. 24 move, which is a concern, but the connections say the Oaks remains a goal.
3) TRAVEL COLUMN (Frosted–Swingit, by Victory Gallop)’TDN Rising Star’ O-OXO Equine. B-Mr. & Mrs. Bayne Welker, Jr. & Denali Stud (KY). T-Brad Cox. Sales History: $850,000 ylg ’19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 3-2-0-1, $209,184.Last Start: 1st GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28Accomplishments Include: 3rd GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE, Oct. 2Next Start: GII Rachel Alexandra S. presented by Fasig-Tipton, FG, Feb. 13Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 12Since his emergence as a top trainer, Brad Cox has always been loaded with 3-year-old filly talent and has won the Kentucky Oaks twice in the last three years. Travel Column appears to be his best filly at this point. After running third, beaten 7 1/2 lengths in the GI Darley Alcibiades S. in October, she fared much better when winning the GII Golden Rod S. She goes next in Saturday’s Rachel Alexandra S. at the Fair Grounds, which should be a good test as she headlines a solid field that includes Golden Rod runner-up Clairiere (Curlin). An $850,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, she is by Frosted out of a Victory Gallop mare and should have no problem getting the Oaks distance of nine furlongs.
4) MALATHAAT (Curlin–Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy)’TDN Rising Star’ O-Shadwell Stable. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales History: $1,050,000 ylg ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 3-2-0-0, $172,150.Last Start: 1st GII Demoiselle S., AQU, Dec. 5Accomplishments Include: 1st Tempted S., AQU, Nov. 6Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10There’s a lot to like about the daughter of Curlin who was a $1.05-million yearling buy. Trained by Todd Pletcher, she is undefeated in three starts and has already won at a 1 1/8 miles, which she did in the GII Demoiselle S. The main knock on her is that she isn’t that fast. She got a 76 Beyer in the Demoiselle, a slight decline from the 83 she got when winning the Tempted S. She will get a serious test in the Davona Dale and if she were to win that, she’d likely assume the top spot in this and other polls.
5) ZAAJEL (Street Sense–Asiya, by Daaher)O/B-Shadwell Stable (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $84,140.Last Start: 1st GIII Forward Gal S., GP, Jan. 31Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Like Malathaat, she comes from the team of Todd Pletcher and Shadwell Stable. A homebred, her dam has had four winners from five starters, but Zaajel is her first stakes winner. After toying with her opponents in her debut, she came back to win the GIII Forward Gal S. at Gulfstream at seven furlongs. She still has to prove that she can win around two turns, but based on her breeding that probably won’t be a problem. Pletcher said he has not picked out the next start for this filly. It’s likely he will want to keep her and Malathaat apart.
6) SIMPLY RAVISHING (Laoban–Four Wishes, by More Than Ready)O-Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing & Nehoc Stables. B-Meg Levy (NY). T-Ken McPeek. Sales History: $50,000 ylg ’19 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-3-0-0, $414,200.Last Start: 4th GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE, Oct. 2, 1st P.G. Johnson S., SAR, Sept. 3Next Start: UndecidedEquineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 13Trainer Kenny McPeek seems to be taking his time with this filly. He has yet to announce her first start and she only recently showed up on the work tab. Her first work came last week and it was a four-furlong breeze in :48.89. A $50,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale, she appeared to be among the best in her division when winning the GI Darley Alcibiades S. by 6 1/4 lengths, but, subsequently finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Golden Rod. McPeek will need to get her to rebound and run back to her best races to have a shot at winning the Oaks.
7) KALYPSO (Brody’s Cause–Malibu Cove, by Malibu Moon)O-David A. Bernsen, Rockingham Ranch & Chad Littlefield. B-Spendthrift Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $240,000 ylg ’19 FTKJUL. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP, 5-2-2-1, $245,600.Last Start: 2nd GIII Las Virgenes S., SA, Feb. 6Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Santa Ynez S., SA, Jan. 3, 1st Anoakia S., SA, Oct. 18, 2nd GI Starlet S., LRC, Dec. 5Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 18A $240,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling Sale, she was somewhat of a disappointment when second as the 7-10 favorite in the Las Virgenes. But with race winner Moonlight d’Oro having been sidelined, Kalypso looks as good as any of the fillies based in California. But that might not be enough as that group looks to be weaker than the groups in the East and Midwest. She’s been beaten the only two times she has gone around two turns, so that is a concern.
8) SLUMBER PARTY (Malibu Moon–Devilish Lady, by Sweetsouthernsaint)’TDN Rising Star’ O/B-Gary and Mary West Stables (KY). T-Kelly Breen. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800.Last Start: 1st MSW, GP, Jan. 24Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 0.The ‘TDN Rising Star’ snuck up on a lot of people when breaking her maiden Jan. 24 at Gulfstream by 7 1/2 lengths for trainer Kelly Breen and owners Gary and Mary West. Sent off at 5-1, she absolutely demolished the competition that day, winning in a manner that suggests there is a lot more to come. It’s not impossible to have your first start in January and then go on to win the Kentucky Oaks, but she has a lot of catching up to do. She looks like Breen’s best 3-year-old filly since he won the GII Gazelle S. and the Davona Dale in 2017 with Miss Sky Warrior (First Samurai).
9) CURLIN’S CATCH (Curlin–Catch the Thrill, by A.P. Indy)O-Breeze Easy, Inc. B-Sam-Son Farm (On). T-Mark E Casse. Sales History: $180,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP; $430,000 2yo ’20 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: SW, 4-2-1-0, $103,454.Last Start: 1st Suncoast S., TAM, Feb. 6Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Another Curlin filly and an Ontario-bred trained by Mark Casse, she started her career off at Woodbine, where she was 0-for-2 over the synthetic surface. Since switching to dirt, she’s 2-for-2, including a win in the Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs. She probably didn’t beat much that day, but looks like a horse on an upper trajectory for trainer Casse and the team at Breeze Easy LLC. She’s about to get a serious test in the Davona Dale and will be looking to give the Hall of Fame trainer his first Oaks win. Might also, eventually, wind up in the Queen’s Plate S.
10) THE GRASS IS BLUE (Broken Vow–Shine Softly, by Adebaran) O-Louis Lazzinnaro LLC. B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $20,000 yrl ’19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: SW, 5-3-0-1, $121,978.Last Start: 1st Busanda S., Aqu, Jan. 24Accomplishments Include: 3rd Anne Arundel County S., Lrl, Dec. 26.Next Start: Undecided.Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10.Just a $20,000 yearling buy who debuted in a $25,000 maiden claimer at Monmouth for trainer Jose Delgado, she has come a long way. She now finds herself in the barn of Chad Brown, who got her to win the Busanda S. at Aqueduct in her last start. She remains with Brown’s division in New York and will likely target races like the Gazelle S. This is not normally a division where Brown is strong, but this filly may be good enough for him to make some noise on the way to the Oaks.