The Bayakoa- Grade III
OP Race 1 1 1/16M Dirt
Purse $150.000 for Fillies & Mares
Four Year Olds and Upward
With the scratch of Simply Great we are left with a four horse field in this Grade 3 race. Always nice when you know you are going to get a check but let’s see if we can figure out who will get the lion’s share of the purse.
1 Bonkers, trained by Team 7 Illusions
This filly has only started on the dirt once in her career and that resulted in a 5th place finish in the Grade 1 Alabama. Her most recent races have been held at longer distances but she has proved versatile in her career winning at 5 furlongs all the way up to a mile and a half. She will have to carry an extra 2 pounds due to her win in the Grade 3 Red Carpet back in November. Not out of the question but with the limited dirt experience I will look elsewhere.
2 The Reaper, trained by John Henry
This 6 year old mare has had quite the career earning over $2,500.000 while winning races like the BC Juvenile Filly & Mare and the Kentucky Oaks. She does seem to have slowed down just a bit but was still able to wire the field in the Grade 3 Go for Wand back in December. Because of that win she will also have to carry an additional 2 pounds here. Has to be considered for the top prize on her resume alone and would not be surprised to see her in the winner’s circle.
3 Fancy Five, trained by Nakamura Stables
The only runner in the field that has not won a graded race is actually making her graded debut here. She is coming off a win in an overnight stake where she earned an impressive 98 speed rating. She does draw a jockey winning at a 35% clip and the public works put her right in the mix.
4 Blackberry, trained by Our Athletes
This filly will be making her first start since a disappointing outing in the BC Distaff where she ran 9th. She had a great stretch in 2017 where she finished a close third in the Kentucky Oaks and then followed that up with wins in the Black Eyed Susan and the Mother Goose. She looked poised to be a major contender the rest of the year but went off form and finished out of the money in her final 3 starts which were all Grade 1’s. Most recent works appear to be a tad slower so not sure she will be ready off the layoff.
5 Simply Great, trained by TwinTowersRacing
This small but accomplished field makes for an interesting race. While not having the resume of some of the others I am going to look for Fancy Five to break through with her first graded win here. I think she will be able to race behind The Reaper and get past that one just before the wire with Bonkers picking up the show.