The MTH Oaks (Grade 3)- $250.000 Purse
MTH- For Fillies Three Years Old
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
July 31, 2022
Sunday racing at MTH will be highlighted by the 17th running of the MTH Oaks, a Grade 3 stake for three year old fillies. The details of this race have been constant for most of that time, except for an odd trip to the turf in 2009. The $250.000 purse for the race will be the highest that the race has ever seen, up by $50.000 from last year, and that was up by $50.000 from the year prior. Hopefully, then, that’s a trend that continues. In 2021, Arindel was the winning trainer as his filly, Secret Eyes, won by a length. She followed that up by going to SAR and running second in the Alabama to earn a BC Distaff berth, but did not do anything in the race. The well known La Terrifiant is also a past winner of the race, doing so while in the Our Athletes silks in 2018. There will be seven in this race, let’s look at them!
#1- Stinky Rene (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by D Davis)- While she never raced on the grass as a two year old, it is all this Rene filly had done this year until being moved back to the main track for the Grade 2 Mother Goose. She had done well on the grass, but TwinTowers was hoping for more though didn’t get that in the Mother Goose. Much is the same about this race in terms of the distance, so the trainer will need to figure out how to keep her from tiring late again.
#2- Dominance (Nakamura Stables, ridden by L Luzzi)- Claimed from Jediminds Stable in January for $62.500, and has made three starts for Nakamura since then. She’s had one finish in each of the top three positions, with the win coming in her last start, which was an allowance at PRX. Off of that, she is going to be running in a stake for the first time. Her SRF figures do not really jump out at you, and while her works are good, they are not going to make you’re jaw drop, either. Let’s see how she handles this level!
#3- Ask Forfree Delivery (Arindel, ridden by D Moran)- Last month in the Mother Goose, we saw a dead heat for the win between Ask Forfree Delivery and Venezia. They will both be running here for a rematch. For Arindel, it will also be a chance to win the race two years in a row and this filly is in very good form. Prior to the Mother Goose, she finished second in the Black Eyed Susan and her SRF figures are steadily improving. Even if she doesn’t win here, keep an eye on her over the next couple months.
#4- Densmore (Big Guns Stables, ridden by G Corrales)- This filly will be making her stake debut in the MTH Oaks, and it comes off back to back wins in allowances at CD. One of them was for a $127.000 purse, so that’s an unofficial ungraded stake. She was one of only two horses in that race that did not have any stake experience before it. Corrales was her rider in each of them, so she’ll get a good level of familiarity in that regard. Speed figures are as good as anyone here, so there’s no reason to think she can’t get it done.
#5- Jinxed Artist (Smokey Stover, ridden by P Lopez)- It took this filly a little while to break her maiden, and that task saw her drop all the way to TUP to do so. Once she figured out how to win, she’s been making more of a habit out of it, taking three of her last four. Most recently, she won the inaugural Monomoy Girl at CD. Worked well going into that race, but now we have not seen her have a public work since the middle of May. I would have loved to have seen if an already good work time was showing more improvement.
#6- Greta (Royalty Stables, ridden by Mar Garcia)- There has been no shortage of stake experience with Greta, as the Established filly won the $200.000 Rags To Riches as a two year old at CD, but then threw up a dud in the Grade 1 Starlet. Started this year running a couple KYO preps, and while she was not bad, finishing fifth, as she did twice, does not pay anything even if you weren’t badly beaten. Won a $101.000 allowance at WO last month and is capable of doing the same here.
#7- Venezia (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by M J Sanchez)- In the Mother Goose, she and Ask Forfree Delivery hit the wire together, and the stewards were unable to separate them, declaring a dead heat. In that race, Ask Forfree Delivery was the pace setter, while Venezia assumed a stalking trip for the mile and a sixteenth race. They also went head to head in the Black Eyed Susan, but that’s not a highlight of Venezia’s resume. She’s been effective, winning three of eight, and it will be interesting to see which of these two gets the better of the other even if neither win.