The IND Oaks (Grade 3)- $200.000 Purse
IND- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
July 14, 2018
This Saturday, we’ll get treated some racing at IND, as the sixth running of the IND Oaks takes place. It is a race that recently, Mb Stables has had a stranglehold on, winning the last two events. Last year, it was Musical Treat, a filly who is still going strong now in her four year old season. Prior to that, it was Proud Bird, in what would be her final graded win. To make it three in row, Mb has a single entry in this field of five. Let’s meet the field! Due to time constraints, this preview will not be as in depth as I would prefer to make it.
#1- Confidently In Love (Mb Stables, ridden by F Pennington)- Nothing but the greatest jockey in the game, F Pennington, for Mb’s entry in this race. Confidently In Love has been in the money in eight of ten started in her career, and really her only bad race was the BC Juvenile Fillies, and that can always be forgiven. Despite that consistency, she has not picked up a win in 2018. Placed second in the WO Oaks in her last start, and seems poised to finally snap that winless streak here. After some consideration of making La Terrifiant my pick, I will go with her.
#2- Nice Tactical Speed (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by J K Court)- After attempting a couple of highly competitive Grade 2 events, the Gazelle and the Black Eyed Susan, and finishing fourth in both of them, Nice Tactical Speed was dropped into an allowance two weeks ago, and came out on top. Didn’t face much there, but if it was a confidence booster she needed, that would help. Likes to live up to her name, and this is potentially a great spot for her to score that big win. She’ll be happy to simply see a dry track.
#3- La Terrifiant (Our Athletes, ridden by J Talamo)- The winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies is still looking for her first win of 2018, and she has no excuses here. While she has not picked up that win, she’s been competitive, and even ran third in the KYO. Following that, she was a bit of a non factor in the Grade 2 Acorn last month, but this isn’t the Acorn. Sure, these aren’t pushovers here by any stretch of the imagination, but if La Terrifiant wants to show she is still a top filly, then this needs to be a win, or at worst, a strong second behind Confidently In Love.
#4- Iris Nebula (SamIam, ridden by M J Sanchez)– This Sweep The Nebulae has tried a few stakes over the course of her career, and they are the least successful lines in her past performances. When not running at this level, she has been very good, as evidenced by a solid LAD allowance win in her last start. Now, it’s back in a stake, and a graded one at that. Maybe the smaller field is something that will suit her well, but it is time for her to back up her trainers confidence in her with a big run in a race like this.
#5- Sweetgrass (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by C Hill)- Has spent a lot of her career running in NY-bred stakes, which are always tough field, or ungraded stakes, and she has been a consistent performer in them. Until her last race, I could say the same thing about her as I did Iris Nebula, and that is that she needs to actually win one of these stakes. She finally did that, taking the $50.000 Niagara at FG. Fitting that a D J C horse would win that. Though Sweetgrass sounds like she should have been a turf horse, her efforts on the main track have been consistent, and she can be a threat here.