SUN Oaks (KYO)- $200.000 Purse
SUN- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
March 25, 2018
For those who may have been a little hesitant to try the FG Oaks, and the 100 points at stake in this race, there was the smaller option here in the SUN Oaks, as just 50 points are at stake for the winner, and a smaller purse as well. Having already written a preview for the FG Oaks, I can say that there is a definite difference in the two races, but that’s not intending to say this is a weak field. This is more of the race for the up and comers. Most of the runners going to post in the SUN Oaks are on great form, and displaying a ton of talent, they simply do not have the past accolades (as a whole, don’t be offended, Bora Bora) as the FG Oaks field. It’s a great opportunity for everyone in this field, and I am excited to see how this plays out. Let’s meet our field!
#1- City Never Sleeps (Saratoga Stud, ridden by R Bejarano)- Acquired last June in private sales from Kopites for $50.000, City Never Sleeps has won two of the five and seems to be on the cusp of something bigger in her career. After an allowance win at SA, Saratoga Stud tried to push her career forward directly to the Grade 2 Alexandra Stakes, but she finished near the rear of the field. Three weeks later, the trainer dropped her down a bit, into the $200.000 Busher, and she ran second there, picking up 20 KYO points, and that allows her to get this chance here in what is a pretty similar race. Must point out its her third race in six weeks.
#2- Dashing Throughout (Toppedout, ridden by J Carreno)- Making her 17th start, but the starts are starting to become better spaced out now. I think that went a long way in the improvement that Dashing Throughout showed at the beginning of the month in the Santa Ysabel, as opposed to her effort in the Las Virgenes. She tired too quickly in the Las Virgenes, but had much more dashing ability in the Santa Ysabel. That second place run earned her 20 KYO points. Dashing Throughout will probably have more company on the front end in this race then she saw in the last two.
#3- Bora Bora (Smokey Stover, ridden by R Chirinos)- This filly by the great Hardline has won three out of ten, but the most impressive line in her past performances is her second place effort in the BC Juvenile Fillies. She has not returned to the winners circle since September, however, and recently saw herself seeing her distance cut to seven furlongs for the Grade 3 Forward Gal, and that did not go according to plan. The time has come, now, for her to step forward, because in this field of up and comers, there are no excuses for her not to be a factor in this race. She has had plenty of rest since her last race, and its time to shine.
#4- Free Jones (Mb Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- The trainer has several strong KYO contenders, and Free Jones would like to be considered one of them. Mb Stables purchased her in private sales for $50.000 in December, and in an immediate vote of confidence, just five days later, thrust her into the Grade 1 Starlet. She had been no where near stake competition prior to that, and she’d only beat one horse. After a couple of optional claimers, she gets another chance at this level.
#5- Goosebumps (Jive Inc, ridden by L H Colon)- Like City Never Sleeps, Goosebumps is coming to the SUN Oaks after running in the Busher at AQU at the beginning of the month. Goosebumps finished third in that race, about a half length behind City Never Sleeps, and she now has 14 KYO points. Expectations on her are high, however, as a hefty $300.000 price take saw her end up in this barn from Mb Stables via private sales. With just four races under her belt, she is still somewhat of an untapped potential.
#6- Lafansee (Jive Inc, ridden by J R Leparoux)- Well, Goosebumps was not the only filly running in this field that Jive Inc spent a lot of money on to acquire. When Lafansee goes to the starting gate, it will only be six days after she was sold by Ekli Stable for $200.000. She is a NM-bred, and has two starts on this track, but both saw her finish in the third position, a spot she’s become familiar with in her five-race career. Only has a maiden victory to her credit thus far, and when attempts have made to push her career forward, she really has not stepped up. Perhaps, the new trainer can solve that, but have they been together long enough for them to figure her out for this race?
#7- Broomsticks Concerto (Drabfantasy, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- As a two year old, Broomsticks Concerto had good success on the turf, including a three race second-place streak that culminated in the Grade 1 Natalma. That saw her into the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, and she would finish in the middle of the field. After that, it was time to try the dirt, and she would pick up a win in the $85.000 Enchantress Stakes here at SUN for NM-breds, beating Lafansee by four lengths. Disappointed in the Alexandra and then the Honeybee, and a recent work has me concerned.
#8- Wine Crusade (Toppedout, ridden by J Alvarado)- There’s very little that one can go off of when looking at this filly. She has raced at small tracks for the majority of her career, and while she’s won her last two, no one in this field will be intimidated by those FON allowances. When all else fails, I normally look at the works, but she has never done anything publicly more then four furlongs. Speed figures at the smaller tracks are slow in comparison to the field here.
#9- Little Baby Sister (Oquinn Farm, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This filly makes her stake debut, and she’s earned the chance after beating up on FL-breds in two of her last three races. She’s lightly races, having only run twice since annihilating a field when she broke her maiden in September. Seems as though she likes to come from off the pace, and that’s a style that might work very well when looking at this field, but it does look like she’s going to have to find a little more speed. She’s had time to do that, though.
#10- Bangalore (Barcelona Farms, ridden by A J Juarez Jr)- It is possible that we will see some quick fractions in this race with a contested lead, and that may set up very well for a horse like Bangalore, who likes to come from well out of it. She makes that strategy work, as she has picked up wins in four of her six career starts, but only one of those races were at the stake level, and it was a smaller $50.000 race at that. The style might work, but she can’t let them get away either, and that’s my concern.
#11- Morning Tea (Mb Stables, ridden by R J Albarado)- Drawn in the 11 post, and not being scratched by Mb Stables, at least not yet. This is a talented Chai Latte filly that comes off a solid second place performance in the Suncoast last month at TAM, where she showed good closing speed. The effort earned her 4 KYO points, and if it was not for this post she would seem poised to build off of that, here. However, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a double digit number win a race like this, so the odds are against her.