WO Oaks Set to Springboard Winner Into Bigger Things

WO Oaks Stakes- $500.000 Purse
WO- For Fillies Three Years Old Foals in Canada
One Mile and an Eighth on the Dirt
June 14, 2015

This weekend at WO, we will have our biggest race of the year that is exclusively for three year old Canadian bred females.   The $500.000 trails only the prestigious Queens Plate in terms of purse money that can be won while racing against fellow Canadian-breds.    It comes as no surprise though that while the race is denoted for being for any Canadian bred, that the entire field is bred in ON.  After all, breeding in ON is a hot commodity in our virtual world and will often lead to races like this being of very good quality.    Mb Stables will be looking to extend his winning streak in this race to three, and will have three entries, or two less then last year, in the field.   Last year, he won with Distinguished, a horse that now serves as a broodmare for Sanny Village, having recently been sold for $200.000.  Two years ago, he won with Carnegie Steel, who was also retired earlier this year (and produced a nice looking foal named Steal Your Heart who is already impressing).  Other past winners include Hehehe, who at six is still winning graded stakes, though the most prolific winner is Rhythm Line, who won in 2010 for Paradise Stable.  No jockey has ever won this race more then once.

This year, the race lacks the standout.   It’s a field of eight that has only seen one horse earn more then $100.000, and no one has won more then $150.000.  So even the third and fourth place runners may be in line for one of their biggest paydays of their career to this point.    This doesn’t mean there is a lack of talent here though, as many are in their best form now and figure to have strong careers going forward, and this race can get them moving further along.  Let us meet this field then, without any further ado.

#1- Toronto Candy (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by Alan Garcia)- Recently appeared in the G1 Ashland at KEE in an effort to get into the KYO, but finished sixth in that race.  That was one position better then Tightrope, who she will see again today.   Last month, she went off at 1/10 in a four horse statebred allowance, and proved that you can win with those odds in the morning line.   While you have to like that she has won three of her eight career races, she is 0-for-2 when going long, and failed to hit the board in both.  You can’t count anyone out in this field, but her work times look like she will come up a little short here.  Note that while adding lasix for her win in that small allowance seemed to yield a good result, she looks as though she will be without it for this one.

#2- Trail Mix (Rfjr Racing, ridden G Stevens)- The relatively new to the scene trainer has won one stake before, but there would be a big difference between a win in the $35.000 Glendale Handicap and the $500.000 WO Oaks.  To accomplish this, Rfjr Racing brings Trail Mix north of the border, a horse they recently claimed from Nakamura Stables for $32.000.   She has won only once in her career, coming at the free track PEN in her third start.   Now while some of this might lead to you wanting to look at the next horse already, note that she turned in a strong second in the $100.000 My Trust Cat at DED last October with a pretty competitive SRF.  If she is on her game, she should not be dismissed.

#3- Tightrope (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- It appears as though Mb Stables made a last minute decision to enter Tightrope in this field, having worked the filly at BEL on Monday.  That was an impressive work for her, shaving a second from a similar work in May, although she had run in the low 1:37’s previously.  Perhaps that work was the difference, and while on paper she looks a tenth or two slower then Toronto Candy, if she has improved since the Ashland, then that could put her in the winners circle, although I do like one of Mb’s other entries a little more.   Despite the potential in improved works, Tightrope needs to show that she can step it up against better competition, and so far she has not done that, with disappointing results when the trainer has attempted to advance her career.

#4- You Better Run (Cajun Stables, ridden by G Olguin)- Since being purchased by Cajun Stables, this filly is 2-for-2, taking a pair of turf races right here at WO with G Olguin in the saddle for each of them.  The grass is where she has made her living so far, but now the trainer hopes that she can carry it over on the main track.  If she does, then You Better Run has the potential to not only win this race, but be that horse mentioned in the opening that use the race to truly springboard herself into becoming a very high earner, and I am a believer that she will be able to make this surface transition without a problem.  I was impressed with the way that she won her last race, earning a 96 SRF in a statebred allowance.  She does not have a public mile work on the dirt to go by, but it’s very possible that based on her turf works, that she could be in the 1:36’s, and if that is the case then the rest of the field better do what her name says if they want a chance to beat her.

#5- Rhaella (Night Mare Racing, ridden by J J Castellano)- Rhaella comes from the same sire as does You Better Run, that being Dawn Invasion, who is by Steel Ball.   This foal, however, Night Mare Racing has elected to keep for herself, and she has managed two wins in her five career starts thus far.   She broke her maiden earlier this year, and went on to take a GG allowance three months after.  She steps up here, but can take solace in the fact that seemingly everyone else in the field is as well.  Rhealla’s works look a little inconsistent to me, so hopefully her most recent mile dirt work, which is way back in February was on the slower end of her ability.  It will have to have been for her to have a shot here.

#6- Angelic Appeal (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- The only entry in this field who has over $100.000 in career earnings, this Square Edge filly has won $146.840 in her nine career starts, four of them wins.  Most recently, and very recently (just a little over two weeks ago), she looked good in taking a six furlong sprint at CD, where she defeated Flashy Spirit, who was coming off winning a Grade 3 event.    But there will be no rest for Angelic Appeal after that, and the trainer gives her another opportunity in a big race.  She is 0-for-3 in her three graded stake opportunities, having done no better then fourth.   So far, going longer has not looked to be her strong suit, but with her recent works you have to believe it’s just a matter of time before she changes that.   Angelic Appeal is my favorite of the three horses in which Mb Stables has brought to WO for this race, and I expect her to be in the top three.

#7- Unsecured (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by J Alvarado)- Yes, you just saw this sire/dam combination in a big race last week.    You will recall that last week in the Acorn at BEL, the second place finisher, Hydro, was by Charley Farley and out of Beautiful Era.  So too, is Unsecured, in another fine example of how breeding can indeed work well within our game.  Now, Unsecured will have a bit of additional motivation for this race, as after all she will not want her sister to have bragging rights, and would love to do one better.   So far this filly has been lightly raced, hitting the track only three times so far, but the most recent start was a game fourth in the Grade 2 Gazelle, only missing by a length.    In that, she came from way back in the stretch, and I do see some potential in this race for their to be a quick pace set, so if it collapses in the stretch, she may the one who picks up the pieces from behind.  Her work times are consistent, and she looks like she is still improving.   I have a good feeling about her in this one, and am going to make her my pick.

#8- Bright Vision (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Finally, we come to the third Mb Stables entry, and Bright Vision will be making her sixth career start.  In them, she has won only once, but has also managed two seconds.  Those two runner up finishes are the bookends of her lone graded stake attempt, the G1 SA Oaks, where she was 6th, and six lengths back.  This seems to be a theme of the Mb Stables runners in this field: horses that have done well in the allowance ranks and show that they should have plenty of potential, they just have not stepped up in prior chances they have had to move their career forward.  Bright Vision has some very impressive five furlong works, but the longer works just seem to put her in the pack.  In this field, you can make a case for any of these horses to win the race, and Bright Vision is no exception.  As was said with Unsecured, it’s very possible we have a quick pace in this race that could fall apart, and Bright Vision is also one that seems able to capitalize.

Prediction: 7-6-4-8

– NS



Categories: NG Stakes

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