Sunlite Hopes to Shine in MTH Oaks

The MTH Oaks (Grade 3)- $150.000 Purse
MTH- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
August 1, 2020

A field of seven will be heading to the starting gate for the 15th running of the MTH Oaks, which is a smaller grade 3. This race seems as though it will be wide open, as we do not have that one horse in this field that stands out. Two years ago we did, when La Terrifiant got the win, but if any of these will become that good, we don’t know that yet. The race has seen an interesting mixture of trainers that have won it in the past, and many of the big names that are currently dominant are searching for their first MTH Oaks title. Let’s take a look at the field!

#1- Miss Flora (Nakamura Stables, ridden by J C Ferrer)- Starting on the rail, this filly will be looking to win her third consecutive race. Overall, she has taken four of nine in her career, and her only stake win to this point was in the Bison CIty Stakes, against three fellow ON-breds at WO. She has attempted the graded ranks a couple times, and has yet to hit the board in one, but she has earned another chance. Likes getting out on the lead early.

#2- Sayyy What (Aer Stables, ridden by C J Hernandez)- Ran second on the grass here at the end of June at the $75.000 Open Mind Stakes, and is still looking to win her second career race. Has a lot of experience running on wet tracks, but Saturday is the one day coming up at MTH that looks like it will be dry. Past races give me the impression that the trainer is still working to figure out where this filly fits best.

#3- Pink N Bold (Iolaus Racing, ridden by C P DeCarlo)- The trainer hopes for their first graded win, at least when the silks were not purple and yellow (or was it white?). Pink N Bold got him an ungraded win in her last start, about six weeks ago in the $200.000 Melair Stakes out at SA for CA-breds. This is a great landing spot for her after that race, and I expect her to run well. Was a great $20.000 claim in April!

#4- Sunlite (Rampage Stable, ridden by J A Vargas Jr)- In terms of earnings, she is the most accomplished filly in the field, having won $320.680. Going a long way in that was her win in the Grade 3 Honeybee at OP at the beginning of March. This got her into the KYO, but she would only finish in the middle of the field. That can be acceptable, but her fourth place run, out of six, at the Grade 2 Mother Goose five weeks ago was a downer.

#5- Early Mornings (Mb Stables, ridden by V R Carrasco)- The trainer is looking to pick up that elusive MTH Oaks victory this Saturday. Ok, fine, I’m sure he doesn’t care all that much about not having this trophy, but chances of finding one that he has not won becomes more difficult. Early Mornings has run on the turf in her last three races, but has been able to win on the main track as well. Of course, she has not been tested in the same way on the dirt, so it will be interesting to watch her.

#6- Shake The Stick (Nakamura Stables, ridden by R R Maragh)- She is a lot less heralded then her stablemate even though she has managed four wins in ten starts. Those victories simply have not come in glamorous races. She did make her graded debut in the Grade 3 Regret in late May, and finished last after pacing the field. Likes to run well early, but I am not sure if both of the Nakamura runners are going to go to the front.

#7- Heartthrob (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by A A Gallardo)- The King of Hearts filly has won two of her seven starts thus far, and takes it into her first graded race. She has mainly been a sprinter, but is not totally unfamiliar with going long. Won an allowance here a few weeks ago against older horses, but now will not get any weight allowances. We shall see how much that matters.

Prediction: 4-3-5-1

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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