Kentucky Oaks 2020 Report (7-19-20)
Speech and Paris Lights both became grade one winners in the most recent pair of Kentucky Oaks 2020 points races, and the former looks like a strong Oaks contender after her sharp victory over Venetian Harbor in the Ashland.
Kentucky Oaks Points Race Recaps
Ashland Stakes (G1) Recap (7-11-20) – Winner: Speech
Venetian Harbor was the strong favorite and controlling speed vs. four opponents in this G1 at a mile and a sixteenth. I have liked her for qite some time but stamina was always the main issue. She got clear early but Speech tracked from the outside post and stayed within a length for much of the running. That stamina issue I mentioned came into play. Speech turned up the heat around the far turn, got to the front early stretch, and pulled clear to score by three lengths. Venetian Harbor was clearly second best and Envoutante raced in 3rd all the way around the track. There was no real movement in this race other than Speech passing Venetian Harbor. Bonny South was 4th throughout, and Alta’s Award had a troubled start and never lifted a hoof. After watching this one, it seems clear that Venetian Harbor does not want to go a mile and an eighth, and Speech is on the upswing.
Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) Recap (7-18-20) – Winner: Paris Lights ($6.00)
Recent Santa Anita maiden winner Crystal Ball set the pace in this G1 affair at a mile and an eighth, and Paris Lights tracked her from the outside post in a compact field of five. It was really a cat and mouse game between those two from the outset. The two leaders were together as one in an exciting stretch battle, and Paris Lights prevailed by a head. Crystal Ball battled gamely throughout, and the top two were well clear of show finisher Antoinette. Tonalist’s Shape was another seven lengths back in 4th, and the beaten favorite was wearing blinkers for the first time and had a hard time settling. She was excellent without blinkers and the hood will almost certainly come off next time. Velvet Crush dwelt at the start and trailed throughout. This was not a particularly fast race and I doubt we saw the Oaks winner in this heat.
Kentucky Oaks Top 20 Points Leaders (thru CCAO 7-18-20)
310 Points: Swiss Skydiver
160 Points: Speech
100 Points: Bonny South
90 Points: Shedaresthedevil, Venetian Harbor
80 Points: Finite
70 Points: Tonalist’s Shape
64 Points: Water White
62 Points: Donna Veloce
55 Points: Lucrezia
50 Points: Gamine
47 Points: Tempers Rising
40 Points: Antoinette, Crystal Ball
30 Points: Alta’s Award, Dream Marie
20 Points: Envoutante, Pleasant Orb, Queen of God, Spice Is Nice
Updated Kentucky Oaks 2020 Points Race Schedule
Monmouth Oaks (50-20-10-5) – August 1
Audubon Oaks (10-4-2-1) – August 9
Alabama (100-40-20-10) – August 15
Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2020 Contenders (7-19-20)
#1 – GAMINE – G1 Acorn winner cuts back a furlong in G1 Test on Aug. 8.
#2 – SPEECH – Tactical filly on the rise after sharp G1 Ashland victory.
#3 – SWISS SKYDIVER – Oaks points leader solid 2nd vs. boys in Blue Grass.
#4 – SHEDARESTHEDEVIL – Two-time G3 winner is versatile and consistent.
#5 – DONNA VELOCE – G1 winner back on worktab at Del Mar July 10.