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Kentucky Oaks 2019 Update (2-14-19)

Bellafina is the new Kentucky Oaks 2019 points leader after wiring the field in the Las Virgenes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 9. The lone Oaks points race this weekend is the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds on Saturday, Feb. 16.


Kentucky Oaks 2019 Points Race Analysis (2-16-19)


FG 11 (G2 Rachel Alexandra, 8.5f) #4 POSITIVE SPIRIT (5-1) ran well in all four starts as a juvenile and earned her best numbers yet in  an outstanding 10-length romp in the Demoiselle (73 FIRE, 124 CPR, 126 Pace + Final Rating). Afleet Destiny and Filly Joel were 2nd and 3rd in the Demoiselle, and they occupied those same spots in the Busanda at Aqueduct Feb 2. Fourth place finisher Molto Bella returned to romp in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay and is also entered here. The tactical type drew well and should not have any excuses in her sophomore bow. #3 Serengeti Empress (6-1) conceded the early lead to Jaywalk in the BC Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her last start. That rival kept on going and this filly retreated to 7th. She went all the way in her previous two stakes starts and her new rider Graham will almost certainly get aggressive in this spot. She fired a local bullet for this Jan 27. #6 Oxy Lady (6-1) exits an okay 4th in the Starlet (G1) and ran away with the Tempted (G3) before that. She has definitely improved since adding blinkers but the Tempted was a negative race last year and I am not sure how good she is. #2 Street Band (20-1) is interesting for Larry Jones. She stalked from an inner post and earned improved numbers in a local optional claiming route win Jan. 13. She drew well and should sit another nice ground saving stalking trip under Sophie Doyle. #10 Chasing Yesterday drew the outside post and will not make the trip from California for trainer Bob Baffert. The Plays: #4 to win, Exacta 4/2-3-6, Exacta 2-3-6/4


 


Kentucky Oaks 2019 Points Race Recaps


Suncoast Stakes from Tampa Bay Downs (2-9-19) - Winner: Point of Honor ($7.00)


Point of Honor stalked wide and ran down Lady Kate to win by 2+ lengths under Javier Castellano. The winner is 2-for-2 (both dirt route wins) and should continue to improve but must run faster to make a dent in upcoming graded points races. Lady Kate is the one I want out of this affair. She did all of the pace dirty work and fought hard to the end in a clear place finish. She only had a single sprint race under her belt and has a bright future. Sweet Diane stalked wide from the outside post and was best of the rest in 3rd. Winning Envelope held off Her Royal Highness to complete the superfecta, and they were followed by Twixt and Shout, Here Comes Jackie, and fading front runner Tapit’s Princess. 


 

Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes Recap (2-9-19) - Winner: Bellafina ($2.20)


Bellafina is clearly one of the better sophomore fillies in the land, but there has always been a question of stamina, and those route questions still linger after today’s victory. The overwhelming favorite did not have an alert beginning but recovered quickly and Flavien Prat went to the front on the good main track. Mother Mother figured to set the pace but was content to track Bellafina today. The Baffert trainee hounded the chalk throughout but failed to quicken in the lane. Enaya Alrabb stalked inside and gave Bellafina a scare in the lane but the multiple graded stakes winner held sway to win by a bit less than a length. Enaya Alrabb ran a very big race to finish a clear 2nd and is definitely on the upswing for Doug O’Neill. She proved that her head defeat at 40-1 odds in the Starlet (G1) late last year was not a fluke. Calf Moon Bay picked off a tired Mother Mother to complete the trifecta. Tomlin was a distant last.


 

Kentucky Oaks Points Leaderboard (through Las Virgenes 2-9-19)


1.  Bellafina - 32 points


2.  Jaywalk - 30 points


3.  Restless Rider - 22 points


4.  Liora - 11 points


5. Chasing Yesterday - 10 points


6.  Serengeti Empress - 10 points


7.  Positive Spirit - 10 points


8. Needs Supervision - 10 points


9. Feedback - 10 points


10. Power Gal - 10 points


Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2019 Contenders (2-14-19)


#1 - JAYWALK - Champion two-year-old filly breezed six panels in 1:12.40 at Palm Meadows on Feb. 13.   


#2 - POSITIVE SPIRIT - Runaway Demoiselle (G2) winner makes 2019 bow in Rachel Alexandra (G2) on Feb. 16.   


#3 - BELLAFINA - Not quite as sharp in Las Virgenes (G2) win on Feb. 9 and stamina questions linger.


#4 - FLOR DE LA MAR - Outstanding debut for Baffert's filly at Santa Anita Jan. 20. She worked five panels Feb. 13.


#5 - RESTLESS RIDER - Consistent filly fired exacta shots in all six starts. She will only have one Oaks prep.

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