Contentious Field of Fourteen Fillies Set for $200,000 Florida Oaks
Category : News
Fri 11/03/2016 - 08:59 EST
On Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, the stakes action will continue with the $200,000 Florida Oaks. Restricted to three-year-old fillies, the Grade 3 race is scheduled to be run at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf and has drawn a full field of fourteen.
Family Meeting has been installed as the morning line favorite in the contentious field at odds of 3-1 for trainer Tom Proctor. A dark bay daughter of Sky Mesa, she is a homebred for Glen Hill Farm and has won two of her four starts including one against graded stakes competition. She was second last time out in the Blue Hill Stakes at Santa Anita to end her juvenile season and will be making her first start of the year. Brian Pedroza will be aboard from post position six.
Ava's Kitten returning off of a layoff
Second choice at morning line odds of 7-2 is Ava’s Kitten for trainer Chad Brown. A homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, she has been on the board in three of her four starts and will be trying to earn her third career victory. She has been on the shelf since winning the Chelsey Flower Stakes in October and will break from post position four under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Spinamiss (IRE) looking for first stakes victory
Also in the field at morning line odds of 6-1 is Spinamiss (IRE) for trainer Todd Pletcher. A bay daughter of Lilbourne Lad (IRE), she has been on the board in four of her five starts and has two victories. She began her career in her native Ireland and made her stateside debut with an allowance victory in December. She was second in the Sweetest Chant Stakes (G3) last time out and will have Javier Castellano aboard from post seven.
There will always be Kentucky Derby entrants that would be much better suited to skip the race entirely and find a better spot if not for the gusto of their well-meaning owners, but the Road to the Derby point qualifying system has been remarkably efficient at making the race more of a level-playing field since its inception four years ago.
On Saturday at Keeneland, the featured race is the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes. Scheduled to be run at one mile on the turf, the Grade 2 event has drawn a field of eight colts and geldings.
With a largely underwhelming, and thus far, slow, group of three year-olds set to contest the 2016 Kentucky Derby, logical handicappers searching for a pick outside of the undefeated and likely highly-favored Nyquist may have already begun the hand-wringing process.
On Friday at Oaklawn Park, the featured race is the $600,000 Apple Blossom Stakes. Restricted to fillies and mares, the Grade 1 event will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track and has drawn a field of six.