FRANKLIN, KY – The microshare ownership group MyRacehorse.com hopes to continue last Saturday’s two-win momentum (including the Kentucky Derby [G1]) when Carpe Vinum enters Thursday’s $500,000 Exacta Systems Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs.
The Dueling Grounds Oaks is a 1 5/16-mile turf route restricted to 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the eighth event on a 10-race card (including the Gun Runner Dueling Grounds Derby) and has a local post time of 3:59 PM.
Here’s a look at the full field for the Dueling Grounds Oaks:
1. Sursum Corda 30/1 – She enters this tough test after breaking her maiden in his sixth career start, a 1 3/8-mile route at Saratoga that came over a next-out maiden winner who was purchased for $800k. She has improved her Beyer Speed Figures with every start, but she’ll need continued improvement in order to contend here.
2. Carpe Vinum 8/1 – She makes her first start away from southern California, where she put together a 6-2-0-2 record for trainer Phil D’Amato. That circuit’s top rider, Flavien Prat, joins her for the trek east, but she’ll need to take a step forward here after failing to hit the board in her 2 prior attempts at the stakes level.
3. Lucky Polly 8/1 – She returned from a four-month break to win the mile-long Martha Washington Stakes by a nose over the Gulfstream Park lawn last time out. Trainer Mark Casse hits at a 17% clip with horses making their second starts after similar layoffs and will give a leg up to Florent Geroux, with whom he enjoys a 20% success rate since 2019.
4. Stand Tall 30/1 – She takes a major step up in class after breaking her maiden last time out in a 1 3/16-mile route over a good Keeneland turf, which happened to be Sursum Corda’s final start before that rival’s maiden score. Similar to Sursum Corda, her Beyer Speed Figures have improved with each start, but there’s still a large gap between her and her top foes.
5. Stunning Sky 3/1 – She appears here after coming quite close in each of her last 2 starts, missing the 1 1/8-mile Lake Placid Stakes (G2) by a head and the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Oaks by a 1/2-length. Unlike several of her rivals, there appear to be no questions regarding her handling this extra distance, and she attracted Irad Ortiz, Jr., to ride for the third straight start.
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6. How Ironic 20/1 – After breaking her maiden on debut, she struggled to find the same success until her 10th start, when she defeated older runners in a first-level allowance field at Ellis Park last time out. She has prior experience over the local course, finishing fourth in last year’s Juvenile Turf Sprint against a field of mostly males.
7. Embossed 20/1 – One of two Godolphin homebred fillies from trainer Mike Stidham, she brings a 4-1-0-3 turf record into the race that includes back-to-back narrow defeats as the betting favorite. Jockey Umberto Rispoli makes his Kentucky Downs stakes debut just four days after piloting Pixelate to win the Del Mar Derby (G2) for Stidham and Godolphin.
8. Micheline 6/1 – The second Godolphin/Maker entry has become known for her take-back-and-rally running style, which she used to find success in the Honey Ryder Stakes and the 2019 Sorority Stakes. Her style makes her very dependent on a fast pace and a clean trip, but she retains the riding services of Joel Rosario, one of the sport’s most respected closing jockeys.
9. Harvey’s Lil Goil 9/5 – The morning line favorite showed 2 starts back that she can be quite tough on turf, holding off all comers in the stretch to win the Regret Stakes (G3). A daughter of 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, her dam (Gloria S) is a half-sister to the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) champion I’ll Have Another.
10. Luck Money 30/1 – She broke her maiden at Laurel Park in her sixth attempt and was at a pace disadvantage last time out in a Colonial Downs allowance. She finished second in a local mile-long maiden special weight while making her second career start last year, and trainer Arnaud Delacour has won 7 of his past 19 starts (37%) when Javier Castellano rides.
Island Hideaway 20/1 – Scratched.
12. Ask Bailey 20/1 – After breaking her maiden last summer at Ellis Park, she rallied from last to finish second in the local Juvenile Fillies Stakes behind a runaway winner. Here, she picks up the riding services of Tyler Gaffalione, who was red-hot on the meet’s opening day (9-3-1-3) and has a strong 16% strike rate with trainer Mike Maker.
Redemption Day 20/1 (Also Eligible) – Scratched.
Blame Debbie 12/1 (Also Eligible) – Scratched.
Envoutante 6/1 (Also Eligible) – Scratched.