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Fantasy Preview: Sun Path Still Seeking Stakes Score
Sun Path (Credit: Coady Photography)

Fantasy Preview: Sun Path Still Seeking Stakes Score

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Juddmonte Farms homebred Sun Path, still seeking her first career stakes score, returns to Oaklawn Park hoping to finally break through in Saturday’s $600,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3).

The Fantasy is a 1 1/16-mile restricted to 3-year-old fillies that offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Oaks (G1) points to the top four finishers. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 12-race card and has a local post time of 5:54 PM.

Here’s a look at the full field for the Fantasy:

1. West Side Girl 12/1 – She’s won 2 straight since trainer/co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer acquired her late last year and brought her to Oaklawn Park. She broke her maiden over a sloppy (sealed) version of this course while entered for a $30k tag before defeating starter allowance foes going a two-turn mile here last month. Francisco Arrieta is aboard the off-the-pace runner for the third straight start.

2. Ava’s Grace 8/1 – She returned from a 7-month layoff to finish third in a local 6-furlong sprint against optional claimers, where she sat just off the pace but couldn’t capitalize when needed. With the rust knocked off, expect a better effort from the Robertino Diodoro-trained stablemate of Keepmeinmind, who also shares her same sire (Laoban), breeder, and majority owner but has a late-running style.

3. Sylvia Q 5/1 – She returns to the stakes level after finishing a well-beaten fourth in the local 1-mile Martha Washington Stakes, though her poor effort could be attributed to that being her only start wearing blinkers. Her non-stakes record is 4-2-2-0 with both wins at this distance, including a local last-out 3-length score against optional claimers, and her 2 defeats came by a nose and a 1/2-length.

4. Coach 5/1 – The first of two from trainer Brad Cox went perfect to start her career, winning 3 straight including the Rags to Riches Stakes last October, but then fell into a tailspin, losing each of her last 3 starts by multiple lengths. The good news is that the filly who beat her in her last 2 starts (Will’s Secret) left for Keeneland; the bad news is that others who finished ahead of her last time out return.

5. Take Charge Lorin 6/1 – Trainer Dallas Stewart sends this intriguing prospect to the big stage after breaking her maiden over this course and distance with a front-running effort, and the secon- and third-place finishers both won next out. Stewart’s confidence is further bolstered by having shipped her stablemate Will’s Secret – winner of both local preps for this race – to Keeneland for the Ashland (G1).

6. Sun Path 2/1 – She broke her maiden at second asking and romped next out by nearly 13 lengths while routing against Fair Grounds allowance rivals, but her 2021 campaign hasn’t gone as smoothly. She was fourth in the Silverbulletday Stakes before shipping here for the Honeybee Stakes (G3) last time out, where she finished third by 1 1/2 lengths. Jockey Joe Talamo rides for the second straight start.

7. Pauline’s Pearl 9/5 – She broke her maiden at third asking while routing over a sloppy (sealed) Fair Grounds course, then brought her tack to Oaklawn Park and finished second by 3/4 of a length in the Honeybee. With that race’s winner not returning here, she has as good a chance as anyone, especially if she takes another step forward with her Beyer Speed Figures, as she’s done in all 4 starts so far.

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