FG Oaks (KYO) (Grade 2)- $400.000 Purse
FG- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 24, 2018
The KYO is getting closer, and there is no better way to realize that to see that the 100 point prep races are beginning. The FG Oaks is the first of the races that offer 100 points in the KYO chase, and it has attracted good talent in the past. Just two years ago, the great Wicked Heat won this race in what would become a special season, becoming the first filly to win both the KYO, and later the BC Distaff at the end of the year. Last year’s winner, French Connection did not have as glorious of a career afterwards, and she would never win again. This year, our winner would probably be satisfied for somewhere in the middle of those two ends, but would love to pour on the wicked heat. Our field this year is highlighted by a filly who’s name gives the impression of a french connection, with La Terrifant, the BC Juvenile Fillies champion. She faces several who come out of the Grade 2 Alexandra run here last month, and some up and comers. Let’s take a look at this field.
#1- Diminuendo (Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Leparoux)- We start with one of several that have stayed here since running in the Alexandra last month. Diminuendo ran with the leader most of the way in that race, but while she held tough in the stretch, she was not able to challenge for the win. She did pick up some KYO points with the 4th place effort, and she is presently 22nd on the KYO leaderboard. With several 100 point KYO races to go, she’ll have to find a way to hold on stronger here then she did last month, and get points for at least second.
#2- La Terrifant (Jive Inc, ridden by J R Velazquez)- A fantastic two year old season culminated in winning the BC Juvenile Fillies last November, doing so as a 22/1 longshot. The trainer didn’t end her year there, though, and she followed it up with another victory in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at AQU in December. Afterwards, she has spent the early months of this year resting, and made her 2018 debut three weeks ago at GP for the Davona Sale Stakes. After leading most of the way, she tired in the stretch, and could do no better then an 8th place finish. It is imperative that she bounces back well in this field to show that she has not been left behind by the competition. Her 34 KYO points place her 7th overall.
#3- Enoughs Enough (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- This Grandeur filly has enjoyed her time in Louisiana, and in just her fourth career race, she was victorious in the Grade 2 Alexandra here last month. She spent most that race running near the back of the field, but always was able to have a clear lane in front of her. Within the final turn, she made an outside move, and was the best of them all in the stretch to pick up that victory. Enoughs Enough now has 60 KYO points, and that’s probably enough to lock her into the race, but the trainer has the additional concern of having to limit his entries to three, so he still will want to see a strong race out of her here.
#4- Most Charming (Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- So, speaking of Mb Stables in the Alexandra, he didn’t really have to sweat out the photo finish, but Most Charming was the one that Enoughs Enough caught just in time to get the win. Most Charming was towards the front most of the way, and was in good shape at the top of the stretch. There was really only one that made a strong run at her, and the jockey on that one was wearing the same silks. Most Charming will like the revenge opportunity on her stablemate, though, for sure. She has 30 points, is 8th on the overall leaderboard, but below the Mb leaderboard cutoff, where she is 4th.
#5- Sports Creek (Estero Farms, ridden by R J Albarado)- Three weeks ago, Sports Creek made her debut for Estero Farms and finished a strong second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale, and it’s possible she would have won that race if it was an 8.5 furlong race like this one instead of being an even mile. She had a steady effort in that, but I am concerned about her overall consistency. Maybe and hopefully Estero Farms can figure out why she is rotating “10’s” and “2’s” in her past performances, and keep those numbers good. I have to shy away from her, though, until she can prove to me she can run well in back to back races. Her 20 KYO points have her in a four way tie for 10th on the leaderboard.
#6- Blue Jeans (First Class Stable, ridden by J S Rocco Jr)- This filly has run in some pretty big races, and they don’t get any bigger then the BC Juvenile Fillies for her age group. However, she was never a threat in that race, and finished near the back. A month later in the Demoiselle, the result was a little better, but she still finished off the board. I am not sure if even now that she has recovered from the disappointment in the BC. She loves to come from behind, and maybe there’s a good setup for her here, but if nothing else, her career needs a jolt of positive energy. 29th on the KYO leaderboard, with six points.
#7- One Hen (Gdp Inc, ridden by E A Roman)- This one has taken a different path to the FG Oaks, as up to this point she has primarily raced on the grass, other then her debut. She’s won two of those races, but neither of them were one of the stakes she attempted, which does include a Grade 3. The trainer hopes that she transitions to the main track well here, and even if she does, this field may be a little too much for her. I do like her work times though, if she wins, I’ll look for her on her next time out.
#8- Levi Broom- Scratched
#9- Light From Above (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- Last year, the trainer found himself in the winners circle with French Connection, and looks to duplicate what Sanny Village accomplished in 2014 and 2015, and win the race in back to back years. I believe that he has a very good shot to do that. Light From Above comes out of the Grade 2 Alexandra, and the only problem she had there was waiting too long to start her run. In the stretch, she was the best filly in the field, and that includes Enoughs Enough. Unfortunately, she dug herself in too deep a hole at the start of the race and could only dead heat with Diminuendo for 4th. Only has 5 KYO points. For now.
#10- The Unburnt (Night Mare Racing, ridden by J L Ortiz)- This Lettucerocku filly has two wins in four starts, but has yet to take on the type of competition she sees her. She was impressive in her maiden win, and scored a solid win here at FG in an allowance last month. That was probably a better effort then her 89 SRF for the race implies. She’s earned the right to be here and to take the shot, but when she took one earlier in her career, she was soundly beaten in the $100.000 Busanda at AQU, and was almost a full second behind Blue Jeans in that race, and that only was only third. Everyone deserves a second chance, though.
#11- Magic Wheels (Mcl Stables, ridden by D Van Dyke)- Starting on the far outside and dealing with the problems of this post in our game is this Magic Wand filly. Fortunately, she has a magical name, and that’s what it might take to win from this post. Magic Wheels comes out of the Alexandra, and though it seemed like she had a good trip for most of that race, she came up empty at the top of the stretch, and could only muster a sixth place finish. Therefore, she’d probably have a tough time in here even if she was in a better spot in the starting gate.