Can Weather Play a Hand in VA Oaks?



  1  CNL   VA Oaks           

$250.000    3yoF    1 1/8m  Turf   122lbs

To the middle of nowhere and one of the nicest turf courses you could ever hope to run on… it’s the VA Oaks here in New Kent and the mile and an eighth test has drawn a very competitive field.   Any number of ways to go in this one, but I’m taking the horse that is looking for her first win of the ’23 season – Mundi Moon.  She’s been close in a bunch of good races, and I think she is sitting on a win in a big way.  Commander Jessica has no problems getting her picture taken, winning two of her last three starts, and missing by a nose in the other… that kind of consistency makes her a horse to watch in this race.  Proper is another that could really get it going today.  That last race can be blamed on the wet surface, so if it rains again today, and the forecast is iffy, look for another option. 

Here’s The Field –

   Drawn Out    Maxmillion Farm    Boyce F   122   8/1

Claimed by this outfit then won at the $35.000 tag level, so that’s two wins in a row with as many owners, now she takes the step up in class.  Draws the rail, has speed, and that could be trouble… if she gets out there and doesn’t feel any pressure, look out. 

   Spliter    Sheffler Stables    Bocachica A   122   7/1

Another that was tagged a couple races back, this one at the $20.000 level, and she won back at first asking, then closed well to be fourth beaten two in the Lake Placid (GII) at SAR.  A repeat of that would put her right in the thick of things. 

   Watch The Water    TwinTowersRacing    Bridgmohan S X   122   8/1

Broke maiden at TAM, then chucked a bomb at PRX, only to bounce back at LAD vs. Alw types, drawing off late to get the job done by a length.  So, it’s up to the stakes types… her best would certainly make her a factor, and she may come with a price. 

   Mundi Moon    High Voltage    Ferrer J C   122   2/1

No wins this year, yet she could be the post time favorite… second in the China Doll then second in the Providecia (GIII) both at SA, then was third in the Regret (GIII) at CD, tired to be sixth in the San Clemente, but came back to be third in the DMR Oaks (GI).  She certainly looks due for a win.

   Proper    Pan Farms    Contreras L   122   9/2

Two wins from five starts, including the Honeymooner (GIII) at SA.  She definitely did not like the wet grass at SAR last out, but let’s draw a line through that one and look for her to bounce back in a big way today… she could be the one!

   Wild Cats    Smokey Stover    Luzzi L J   122   5/1

She’s won three of four starts, and this is a sharp barn… so why is she not the favorite?  Her only bad race was her only black-type start, a tiring ninth in the Appalachian (GII) at KEE.  That was only her second start, so there’s more than enough of an excuse there.. I’d look for a big run today. 

   Spice Run    Alydar Stables    Wilson E J   122   5/1

She certainly knows how to bring home a check… won her last two, and has been on the board in six of seven starts this season.  She loves the wet going, as well and should be a major factor regardless of how the weather goes. 

   Commander Jessica    Nakamura Stables    Jaramillo E   122   5/2

This one is hitting on all eight right now… just missed in the ONT Colleen (GIII) then won the Lake Placid (GII) at SAR last out.  She has shown speed, but can close from off of the pace, and that dynamic could help her a lot. 

COZMAN   4 / 8 / 5                         Willie’s Green Card    8 / 2 / 6  

Categories: NG Stakes, STAKES ARTICLES

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