The Fantasy (KYO) (Grade 3)- $600.000 Purse
OP- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
April 2, 2022
There was plenty of reason for trainers to choose The Fantasy if they wanted to run in a KYO prep this weekend, as the $600.000 purse shares the distinction with the Ashland as being the races that offer the most to be awarded out. As if that was not enough, it also has 100 KYO points on the table for its winner. Looking back at past winners of this race, the first thing that stands out at you is the overall variety of trainers that have won it. This is not a race like the GP Oaks, where one trainer has won it four times in the last five years. In fact, that trainer has yet to add his name to the Fantasy’s winner list. There has never been a trainer that has won this race more than once, as well. That is something that could change here, however. In 2021, the race was won by Naples, for Arindel, and she would go on to follow up that victory by winning the KYO a month later. She did not stop there, either, winning the CCA Oaks, Alabama, Cotillion, and then ultimately the big price, the BC Distaff. Those are big shoes to fill, but let’s meet the eight who will look to be the next Fantasy winner.
#1- Sensation (Mb Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- Mb Stables has given other trainers a chance to win the Fantasy while he has been dominating the GP Oaks, but he will have a couple good ones in here looking to change that. Sensation showed early promise by winning the Frizette last fall then earned her second graded win this February in the Las Virgenes. Then, the Davona Dale happened. I can’t remember even mentioning Sensation in that article except for saying where she started and where she finished. It probably will be just a blip on her radar, and she is 19th on the leaderboard now with 20 points.
#2- The Intouchables (Smokey Stover, ridden by F Arrieta)- We thought we might see her in the FG Oaks last week, but she would be scratched out of it. For whatever that reason was, the trainer now has the opportunity to cash in on a much better purse, so it should only be a good thing. She’s won her last two, one a little more and one a little less than a mile, and each coming on the grass. Has been a turf horse for her career, and it seems as though she has a great future there, but the money gets made on the dirt, so we’ll see how she handles the switch.
#3- Hollywood Babe (Maxmillion Farm, ridden by Ru Gonzalez)- At the moment, Maxmillion would be missing out on the KYO, and we know a trainer of his caliber expects to have something in the race. While he has one in 24th, he’s is also hoping that this lightly raced third quarter two year old can get in on her likely last chance. She opened a lot of eyes with an impressive maiden score, then moved to the grass to win the $100.000 China Doll. One to watch in the summer, if not now.
#4- Theres No Doubt (Angelos Stable, ridden by M Franco)- Picked up by the trainer with a $75.000 claim in January, she now has had two strong races in the silks of Angelos Stable. At first, she took the $100.000 Ruthless at seven furlongs at the Big A, then had a good third place finish in the Davona Dale. That’s a race that we saw a lot of good horses in that did not finish as well, so I find that result even more appealing. M Franco is back in the saddle once again, and she will like just a little more ground to race.
#5- Present Tense (Mb Stables, ridden by E Jaramillo)- Her name is Present Tense, and she was definitely a trend setter. Her win in the Grade 3 Holy Bull kicked off a lot of fillies being entered into the KYD preps, creating some February hysteria about fillies in those races. Things are playing out now that the best fillies are coming back into the Oaks preps, and we can all have different theories as to why. Mb has three solidly into the KYO right now, and Present Tense sits in 15th. It’ll be another year where Mb has to pick three of his best for the race while others look on and wish they had one.
#6- Last Call (YME Stable, ridden by D Davis)- A winner of two out of four over her career, highlighted by a four lengths win in the $65.000 BorderPlex Stakes at SUN. Off of that, she would run a mile for the first time, coming in the Davona Dale, and she would be passed in the stretch, settling for seventh. She had some fight there, so it very well may be something the trainer can fix with a tactical move. Not going to be the pick of the litter here, but if she can run a little better in the stretch, she can surprise.
#7- Exactly (Smokey Stover, ridden by J C Ferrer)- While the trainer has several with a chance to get into the KYO in this last month of preps, he has two in the top four right now that are safe to be in as long as he wants them there. Exactly is one of them, thanks to winning the Grade 3 Honeybee five weeks ago right here, coming after he purchased the filly from Fractious for $500.000. That price tag tells me that if the trainer needed to choose his top three, Exactly would certainly be one of them. But the filly could also leave no doubt about it by winning this race. Horses with the style she usually, but not always, runs, are tough to feel good about in our racing world right now, but she certainly does it well.
#8- Curlina (Arindel, ridden by L Saez)- A lot of what was said about Exactly can also be said about Curlina. They were both a big private sales purchase from Fractious, this being for $450.000 a week before Exactly changed hands. They are also both in good position to make the KYO right now, just as long as their trainer wants them here. For Curlina, that is not necessarily automatic because Arindel might also be in a situation where has to choose between three qualifiers if he gets more in. Given the price tag, Curlina would probably be one of them, but if she doesn’t run well here and Lailoni runs big in the GP Oaks, then maybe not. Paris Broadway will likely be one of them, so then Curlina would have to hold off any potential new entrants to the list that you know Arindel has the potential to add. But she did win the Davona Dale, and I like that. Because I have talked a lot about the Davona Dale with other horses running this weekend.