Time for Night School in The DEL Oaks

The DEL Oaks (Grade 3)- $300.000 Purse
DEL- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
July 7, 2018

Over the years, there have been many great winners of the DEL Oaks. The last two winners serve as a great example of this, as Queenwood took the title last year, and Notarized Kate did so the year before. Going back a ways, you can see the likes of Bay Bound, herself a BC winner. That history did not summon a large field for this race, as only five will go to the gate, and for a little while, it even looked as though the race might not fill. Amongst this field, there is no shortage of talent, but the field lacks the headliner that at this time, looks to be following the lead of Queenwood or Notarized Kate. This can be that signature win for one of them, and set them on that path. Here’s the field!

#1- Magic Wheels (Jader Stable, ridden by A Cintron)- The trainer paid $175.000 to acquire this filly from Mb Stables, but did not just do the same thing that the prior trainer had been doing. With Mb, Magic Wheels ran in several KYO preps, mostly finishing out of the money, but did win the Grade 2 Santa Ynez. Once in the silks of Jader Stable, it was off to the grass for the Grade 2 Honeymoon Stakes, just the second time that she had run on the grass. It was a flat effort, and now she heads back to the main track. The opportunity is there for her to get a much needed career jolt back in the right direction.

#2- Velocity Falls (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J Bravo)- The Niagra filly was actually bred by Pan Farms, and sold to D J C Racing Stables after a disappointing debut that, perhaps not coincidentally, was an amount equal to his sire price plus a breeding fee. Can’t completely say Velocity Falls has proved Pan wrong if there was doubt, because the wins are very modest, but she is showing a lot of ability. Three weeks ago, she ran at the $150.000 Jersey Girl, her stake debut, and ran fifth. Fifth, in a five-horse field. I really like how she’s working and see the potential, but its time to get the result.

#3- Night School (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by K Carmouche)- After being acquired in private sales for $75.000 last November, Night School went on a three-race winning streak that culminated in winning the $100.000 NM Breeders Oaks. That streak saw her move up to the Grade 1 SA Oaks, a tough challenge, but she held the pace well until late in the race. Her last start was a second place run in a four-horse field at the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks, won by Enoughs Enough. This field is a lot more like that race without a horse of Enoughs Enough caliber, and less like the SA Oaks. I think that’s all she needs, and she will get it done here.

#4- Exhilarating (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by Mar Garcia)- Makes her debut for Maxmillion Farm after being acquired from Smokey Stover last month. In seven races, she has been in the money in all but her debut race, and has never been worse then fourth. She simply has never raced at this level before, but she has earned the chance, and this is a good spot for her, I feel. Her last two starts were on the turf, but her only wins have been on the main track. Jockey is off to a slow start with just four wins in 51 starts.

#5- Sports Creek (Estero Farms, ridden by R Chirinos)- This filly has passed through a few barns already in her career, including being acquired by Estero Farms in February for $165.000. After a good two year old season, she has not followed it up this year. Things seemed to start well when she ran second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale, but since then, she has not been in the money. In this race, she returns to going long after a couple of sprints, and based on recent works, I feel there is reason to believe things are looking up for her in this race.

Prediction: 3-5-2-4

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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