The 16th Running of the G3 Iowa Oaks
Saturday, July 9, 2022
PRM Race #1 $225.000
3YO Fillies 11/16 Dirt 122 Lbs (plus penalties)
Track Record-1:41.20 (Crop Duster-2017)
Stakes Record-1:41.85 (Fashionable-2020)
Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa, and, more specifically, PRM for the 16th running of the G3 Iowa Oaks. The first of two races on the Saturday card, the G3 Iowa Oaks drew a field of six sophomore fillies for the mile-and-sixteenth contest. All six lasses will carry the minimum of 122-pounds as they chase the winner’s share of the $225.00 purse. Almost the entire field spent some time on the KYO prep trail this winter/spring and this looks like a good spot to see if they should continue chasing a BC birth or look elsewhere.
Curlina is the only filly in the race that made the G1 KYO field, but she was never comfortable when 13th. Along with Bella Chica, they are the only two stakes-winners in the group; however, Curlina is the only graded winner. While those two will get most of the attention, Green Eyed Beauty is a perfect 6-for-6 and steps up to the stakes level for the first time. Those three will take a lot of money at the windows, but let’s meet all six fillies in the G3 Iowa Oaks:
#1 Ifyerwokeyerajoke (TwinTowersRacing/S. Elliott): Filly took a MSW and 1st level allowance in consecutive races this winter before trying her luck in KEE G1. She set the pace that day before settling for 4th and she’s had two poor runs since. This looks like a level that she can be competitive in and she’s drawn well to compliment her early foot.
#2 Curlina (Arindel/E.T. Baird): Filly changed hands with a $450.000 purchase in January and immediately set out on the KYO trail. The March G2 she won got her enough points to get in the gate back in May; however, the tally doesn’t cost her any weight on the scale for this. Last seen setting the pace in G1 Acorn before fading to 8th, she should be extremely tough at this level. Major player.
#3 Green Eyed Beauty (Smokey Stover/Ci. Murphy): Six for six against maiden and allowance foes, lass gets tested for class in here. Can’t fault perfection and she’s done it in multiple ways going distances ranging from 6-10.5 furlongs. This is a big step up against some talented runners, but she doesn’t appear to be out of her depth by any means. A threat from the front, midpack, and the back could be any kind.
#4 Seether (South Shore Stables/P. Husbands): Maiden-winner hasn’t beaten winners yet and she’s been unsuccessful in three tries against stakes company. She’s coming off of a 90-day freshening and if she can display some of the early lick she showed to start her career, she can hang around for a while. Not sure she beats these gals, but expect a better performance for this one.
#5 Bella Chica (Mb Stables/P. Lopez): Stakes-winning filly hasn’t unlocked the secret at the graded level, but she has a few close finishes to her credit. Most recently, she was 4th in SA G2 where she put forth a mild rally. She put up a good work in preparation for this, and, if she can stay a little closer early, she figures to be a contender at the very least.
#6 Texas Holdem (D J C Racing Stables/J. Talamo): Filly has defeated winners, but she’s 0-6 against stakes company. She does own two runner-ups and a third in those races, so she’s not been outclassed; in fact, she finished 3rd in KEE G1. Still, would be nice to see her have a bit more success against these types and it feels like a minor award may be her ceiling.
Final Analysis: Green Eyed Beauty may make us regret leaving her out, but we’re saying box the 2-5 and collect on the exacta. Good luck to everyone in the G3 Iowa Oaks!