All of the Kentucky Oaks 2021 preps are in the books and they saved the best for last. Malathaat looked impossibly beaten in the lane in the Ashland Stakes (G1), but she pulled a rabbit out of the hat once more. It was the Demoiselle (G2) all over again. She somehow reeled in Millefeuille in the latter event at Aqueduct last fall, and she did the same thing to Pass the Champagne at Keeneland. The latter looked home free before Pletcher’s expensive filly swung into action and finished fast to score by a head. She is now 4-for-4 and is probably going to be the Oaks favorite.
Kentucky Oaks 2021 Points Race Recaps
Beaumont (G3) – Keeneland (4-2-21)
Twenty Carat drew perfectly in this extended sprint at Keeneland, and the all-weather maiden winner made a smooth transition to dirt. My Girl Red took advantage of her inside draw and went to the lead. She was pursued by Farsighted and Twenty Carat. The latter pressed outside and took over when her two pace rivals failed to go on. She opened up by 3+ lengths in the stretch and safely held off post time favorite Slumber Party to score by a comfortable length and a half. The runner-up did not have the speed to keep up early and that cost her dearly. She has talent but needs more ground. Amalfi Princess stalked and finished 3rd, and Lady Traveler was late on the scene in 4th. Farsighted and Cilla were next, and My Girl Red was eased through the lane.
Ashland Stakes (G1) – Keeneland (4-3-21)
It is possible that we saw the Kentucky Oaks winner in this race. Malathaat is just getting warmed up at 8.5f and she had every right to need the outing. She went 3-for-3 as a juvenile and is now 4-for-4 after a narrow victory over Pass the Champagne. I thought Simply Ravishing was the controlling speed and she did set a controlled tempo for six panels or so, but she quickly ran out of gas and Pass the Champagne stalked and pounced inside, and took a commanding lead in the lane. Malathaat was finding her best stride after an outside stalking journey, and she rumbled down the lane and caught Pass the Champagne very late to score by a head. Pletcher saddled the winner and she is very good. Will’s Secret chugged along for 3rd from the outside post but was no threat to the top two finishers. It was another 5+ back to Moon Swag and she was well clear of Curlin’s Catch. Simply Ravishing faded to last place.
Fantasy Stakes (G3) – Oaklawn Park (4-3-21)
Ava’s Grace set the pace and she was not crawling on the lead. She put away her two closest early pursuers, but strong favorite Pauline’s Pearl stalked outside and would not go away. She confronted the longtime leader at the head of the lane and wore her down to prevail by a length. Ava’s Grace gamely held the place by a bit less a length over Coach. The latter was gaining late and ended up a clear 3rd. Take Charge Lorin was next and Sylvia Q and West Side Girl trailed.
Gazelle Stakes (G2) – Aqueduct (4-3-21)
This race did not have much pace, and even less after the defection of my value top choice Hybrid Eclipse. Search Results was the strong favorite for Chad Brown. She drew the outside post and had the speed to put herself in a contending position throughout. Alwayz Late gave the chalk a target and Irad Ortiz Jr. took over in the stretch and scored by a very easy 2-3/4 lengths. Maracuja rallied nicely for the place without threatening the winner, and Army Wife was a bit better than The Grass Is Blue for show honors. Alwayz Late weakened to 5th and Mia Martina could not keep up and eased in the drive.
Santa Anita Oaks (G2) – Santa Anita Park (4-3-21)
Flavien Prat made a bold early inside move aboard Soothsay and that was the difference maker. Moraz set the pace from the rail and Beautiful Gift tracked outside. Soothsay was 3rd after a half-mile and Javanica trailed the compact field. Moraz continued to lead but there was room to her inside and Prat took full advantage. It was a three-horse battle turning for home and Moraz was the first to retreat. It came down to Soothsay and Beautiful Gift and the former stubbornly held on by a half-length. Beautiful Gift had every chance but could not get by the winner in a clear runner-up finish. Moraz was well clear of Javanica.
Top 20 Kentucky Oaks Points Leaders (through 4-3-21)
150 Points: Search Results
132 Points: Travel Column
128 Points: Crazy Beautiful
120 Points: Pauline’s Pearl
110 Points: Malathaat
100 Points: Soothsay
94 Points: Clairiere
90 Points: Beautiful Gift
80 Points: Will’s Secret
52 Points: Wholebodemeister
44 Points: Millefeuille
42 Points: Moraz
40 Points: Ava’s Grace, Pass the Champagne, Maracuja
30 Points: The Grass Is Blue, Competitive Speed
28 Points: Kalypso
26 Points: Coach
24 Points: Souper Sensational
22 Points: Moon Swag
Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2021 Contenders (4-9-21)
#1 – TRAVEL COLUMN – Last two works at Churchill Downs April 3 & 9.
#2 – CLAIRIERE – FG Oaks runner-up had first Ky Oaks breeze at CD April 4.
#3 – MALATHAAT – Pletcher’s unbeaten filly finished powerfully in Ashland.
#4 – SEARCH RESULTS – Chad Brown’s filly is versatile and undefeated.
#5 – WILL’S SECRET – Ashland show finisher won Honeybee before that.
Article by Jarrod Horak