When it comes to three-year old fillies Oaklawn Park is second to none! Rachel Alexandra, Eight Belles, and Blind Luck are some of the recent names of fillies that ran at Oaklawn before going on to bigger and better things. While the track is known for its three-year old colt program, the fillies have been just as dominant. Last year it was a down meet for the track as Terra Promessa dominated the scene, but had very little success the rest of her 2016 season. None of the Oaklawn participants went on to have success in the Kentucky Oaks which is what this series has been all about in previous years. This year’s crop looks to be shaping up to have a million question marks without any answers, but maybe one or two can jump up and surprise us. Even if they do…can anyone beat what looks to be a monster out west in Unique Bella? Can anyone become a legitimate Kentucky Oaks threat?
We’ll start our breakdown with Torrent, a Ron Moquett trained filly who is bred to be something special. She’s by Breeders Cup Classic winner Blame out of former Oaklawn star Tidal Pool. Two races back she broke her maiden nicely at Churchill Downs, and last time out was a game second to Perfect Wife in the Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park. It’s also important to note that Torrent swam in the deep waters to start her two year old year at the very difficult Saratoga meeting so you know she has a good amount of class. Trainer Ron Moquett is no stranger to campaigning three year olds of either gender here at Oaklawn so you can bet he’s ready to see what this filly can do.
Perfect Wife actually beat Torrent last time out in the Trapeze Stakes, but I mentioned Torrent first because it’s unclear where Perfect Wife will be pointed to for her next race. Logically you would think the Trapeze Stakes winner would target Oaklawn Park, but trainer Ken McPeek trains at a few different places so it’s hard to know where this filly will show up next. This filly is two for three on her young career, and broke her maiden on debut at Keeneland this fall. She hasn’t recored a workout in awhile so we’ll have to keep an eye out for her on the workout tab.
While those two are the established fillies, lets talk about a few that are flying somewhat under the radar. Bella Verde is the first that comes to mind. This Tapizar filly was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill Downs after finishing fourth in her debut. The lightly raced filly has looked solid in the mornings according to some of the local clockers. Chanel’s Legacy is another filly with a decent record who will be targeting Oaklawn. The Iowa Bred has won twice in open company, and also finished fourth in the Delta Downs Jackpot and Trapeze Stakes. These two are just a couple that come to mind, but if you’ve got any sleepers for us let us know! As previously stated this division is completely wide open and could be won by a horse that hasn’t even made a start yet. Last year nobody had heard of Terra Promessa before the meet, however she ended up dominating the local scene.
So it’s that time of year where we are looking for the next big thing to win the Kentucky Oaks. It’s also that time of year where we speculate who might ship into Oaklawn to take advantage of this great series of races. With Unique Bella on the west coast it could be very possible that we see several from California invade Hot Springs. As of now we know Torrent and cast of others are the names we recognize, but things can change quickly in racing. We’ll see who comes out of Oaklawn and takes the next step towards greatness in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs!