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Bourbonette Oaks Preview: Wait for Nairobi Stretches Back Out
Wait for Nairobi after winning the Cincinnati Trophy (Credit: Coady Photography)

Bourbonette Oaks Preview: Wait for Nairobi Stretches Back Out

FLORENCE, KY After a pair of strong sprint scores including the Cincinnati Trophy last time out, local hero Wait for Nairobi stretches back out to try two turns again in Saturday’s $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park.

The Bourbonette Oaks is a 1-mile synthetic route restricted to 3-year-old fillies that offers 20-8-4-2 Kentucky Oaks (G1) points to the top four finishers. This year’s edition is the 10th event on a 12-race card that includes the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race, and has a local post time of 5:45 PM.

Here’s a look at the full field for the Bourbonette Oaks:

1. Speeding 12/1 – The first of two from trainer Mark Casse was a well-beaten fourth in the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy last time out in her first try on synthetic after putting together a 3-1-1-1 record between the Gulfstream Park turf and dirt. Her only victory came in a 5-furlong grass sprint when using race day Lasix (not permitted here), but her pedigree hints that this distance is up her alley.

2. Roll Up Mo Money 12/1 – The first of three from trainer Kenny McPeek was a gate-to-wire winner over this course and distance last December in her first try routing and on synthetic while making her barn debut. She broke her maiden on debut at Del Mar last year over future graded stakes champ Moonlight d’Oro but was most recently a well-beaten sixth in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

3. Oliviaofthedesert 8/1 – McPeek’s second runner put together a strong juvenile campaign, winning 3 of her 7 starts including the Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park while going a two-turn dirt mile. She returned from a 2 1/2-month layoff to finish fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park and makes her synthetic debut for a barn that hits at 22% with first-timers on artificial ground.

4. Wait for Nairobi 6/1 – She rides a pair of local 6 1/2-furlong sprint victories into her third route attempt after finishing third in both prior tries, including a 1/2-length defeat over this course and distance last December. Trainer Rey Hernandez repeats at 13% with last-out winners but only 3% when his runners go sprint to route, so which stat will come through? Jockey Edgar Morales retains the mount.

5. Spritz 15/1 – She steps up to the big leagues off a hard-fought, maiden-breaking gate-to-wire score by a 1/2-length while going 1/16 of a mile longer over this course than what she’ll go here. Trainer Rudy Brisset hasn’t saddled a back-to-back winner in over 570 days and she’s never gone off at under 10/1 odds, so bettors looking to play her will likely receive every cent of her morning line odds.

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6. California Lily 5/1 – Casse’s second runner was a strong gate-to-wire winner over this course and distance on March 12 while making her first start in over 2 months. She broke her maiden on debut in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint on Woodbine’s synthetic course and reunites with Rafael Hernandez, the winning rider that day and Casse’s first-call rider at Woodbine who’s won 30% of their shared mounts since 2020.

7. Into Vanishing 7/2 – She won 2 straight last winter over this course and distance, including against optional claimers last time out on January 15. Jonathan Thomas’ barn is strong on synthetic (37% winners) but hits at just 13% with runners returning from similar layoffs. Jockey Chris Landeros has won 9 of his past 15 mounts with a $4.09 ROI for Thomas, including both local tries that resulted in victory.

8. Adventuring 3/1 – Trainer Brad Cox puts her on synthetic after trying and failing to enter her in a Fair Grounds turf race; each 3 of her starts was a route rained off the lawn onto the main track. She broke her maiden last time out with a 6 1/2-length score over fast dirt and Cox hits at 24% with a positive ROI in synthetic races, plus the barn’s invading first-call rider Florent Geroux picks up the mount.

9. Forever Boss 12/1 – The third head of McPeek’s Medusa was kissed into breaking her maiden 2 starts back after finishing second behind the disqualified original winner. She was a non-factoring eighth in Tampa Bay Downs’s Florida Oaks (G3) last time out and tries synthetic after putting together a 3-1-1-0 record, all in turf routes. Venerable 66-year-old jockey Perry Ouzts rides her for the first time.

10. Candace O 5/1 – She gives synthetic a try after putting together a 4-1-1-0 record on turf while facing several of the crop’s best grass routers. Last time out, she was a decent fourth in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3), a race that saw the second, third, and sixth-place finishers all win their next starts, and trainer Graham Motion wins at a 14% rate with a positive ROI on synthetic ground.

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