TDN Oaks Top 10 for February 18

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Clairiere makes her Oaks Top 10 debut at No. 2 after winning the Rachel Alexandra | Hodges

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Last week's major development was the win by Clairiere (Curlin) in the GII Rachel Alexandra S. presented by Fasig-Tipton, where she won a hard-fought decision over Travel Column (Frosted). With the victory, she has jumped up to the No. 2 spot in our rankings. She also becomes the third daughter of Curlin to make it into the Top 10 and a fourth, Millefeuille (Curlin), is knocking on the door for the Bill Mott stable.

The other big change this week is that Dayoutoftheoffice (Into Mischief) drops out. While the connections say that the GI Kentucky Oaks is still in their plans, it's noteworthy that the filly has not had a published work since Jan. 24. Once she returns to the worktab, we'll put her back on the list.

1) VEQUIST (NyquistVero Amore, by Mineshaft)
O-Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable & Swilcan Stable. B-Swilcan Stables (KY). T-Robert E. Reid, Jr. Sales History: $120,000 RNA ylg '19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: Ch. 2yo Filly & MGISW, 4-2-2-0, $1,235,500.
Last Start: 1st GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, KEE, Nov. 6
Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Spinaway S., SAR, Sept. 6, 2nd GI Frizette S., BEL, Oct. 10
Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 24

The clear leader of this division until proven otherwise. Trainer Butch Reid says that all systems are go as he prepares for her 3-year-old debut in the GII Davona Dale S. Feb. 27 at Gulfstream. “She's doing real well and I'm really happy with her,” he said. “She came out of that last breeze [five furlongs in :59.65] good. It was a little faster than I wanted her to go but she handled it well and has been eating up since. All the major work is done, she's where I want her and we're ready to go for the race. We have kept it light with her. We have had three five-eighths works. She can be a bit of a finicky eater so we've been trying to keep her in her feed tub and keep the weight on her because she has a long, tough road ahead of her. This first race will be a nice stepping stone and we expect her to run well.”

2) CLAIRIERE (Curlin–Cavorting, by Bernardini)
O/B-Stonestreet Stables (KY). T-Steve Asmussen. Lifetime Record: GSW, 3-2-1-0, $270,492.
Last Start: 1st GII Rachel Alexandra S. presented by Fasig-Tipton, FG, Feb. 13
Accomplishments Include: 2nd GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28
Next Start: Possible for GII Fair Grounds Oaks, FG, Mar. 20
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 54

Daughter of Curlin moved way up with her win in the Rachel Alexandra, which has been a productive prep for the Kentucky Oaks. Three Rachel Alexandra winners have gone on to win the Oaks since 2014. The top Oaks threat from the powerful Steve Asmussen barn, she didn't get her career started until winning an Oct. 25 maiden at Churchill Downs and followed that up with a second-place finish in the GII Golden Rod S., where she was beaten by Travel Column. Having turned the tables on her rival, she looks best of the Fair Grounds-based horses heading to the Kentucky Oaks. She is the first foal out of Cavorting, winner of the GI Ogden Phipps S., the GI Personal Ensign S. and the GI Test S.

3) MALATHAAT (Curlin–Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy)
'TDN Rising Star' O-Shadwell Stable. B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Sales History: $1,050,000 ylg '19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 3-2-0-0, $172,150.
Last Start: 1st GII Demoiselle S., AQU, Dec. 5
Accomplishments Include: 1st Tempted S., AQU, Nov. 6
Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10

The Davona Dale will be a big test for the undefeated daughter of Curlin, who reeled off wins late last year in the Tempted and the GII Demoiselle S. There is a lot to like with her, starting with her breeding and the fact she comes from the Todd Pletcher stable. But she definitely has something to prove, as she has yet to post a particularly fast Beyer number and probably hasn't faced Grade I-level competition as of yet. Her dam Dreaming of Julia was runner-up in the 2013 Davona Dale before winning the GII Gulfstream Oaks by 21 3/4 lengths (video).

4) ZAAJEL (Street SenseAsiya, by Daaher)
O/B-Shadwell Stable (KY). T-Todd Pletcher. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $84,140.
Last Start: 1st GIII Forward Gal S., GP, Jan. 31
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10

Like Malathaat, a product of the potent Pletcher-Shadwell Stable team. She broke her maiden at first asking in December, winning by 7 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream and followed that up with a win in the Forward Gal S. at seven furlongs. Appears to have a world of ability but has plenty to prove, starting with her ability to go two turns. With two top 3-year-old fillies from the same owner, Pletcher will need to figure out a way to keep them apart. Shadwell is well positioned to win its first Kentucky Oaks. Pletcher will be after his fourth win in the race.

5) TRAVEL COLUMN (FrostedSwingit, by Victory Gallop)
'TDN Rising Star' O-OXO Equine. B-Mr. & Mrs. Bayne Welker, Jr. & Denali Stud (KY). T-Brad Cox. Sales History: $850,000 ylg '19 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP,
4-2-1-1, $269,184.
Last Start: 2nd GII Rachel Alexandra S. presented by Fasig-Tipton, FG, Feb. 13
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28, 3rd GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE, Oct. 2
Next Start: Possible for the GII Fair Grounds Oaks, FG, Mar. 20
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 32

After finishing second in the Rachel Alexandra, she slips down a few notches on the list. Then again, there was nothing particularly disappointing about her performance. She was beaten by a good one in Clairiere, and that filly got a perfect ground-saving trip under Joe Talamo. An $850,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, she is by Frosted out of a Victory Gallop mare and should have no problem getting the Oaks distance of nine furlongs. Can Brad Cox win his third Oaks over the last four years?

6) SIMPLY RAVISHING (LaobanFour Wishes, by More Than Ready)
O-Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing & Nehoc Stables.
B-Meg Levy (NY). T-Ken McPeek. Sales History: $50,000 ylg '19 FTKOCT. Lifetime Record: GISW, 5-3-0-0, $414,200.
Last Start: 4th GII Golden Rod S., CD, Nov. 28
Accomplishments Include: 1st GI Darley Alcibiades S., KEE,
Oct. 2, 1st P.G. Johnson S., SAR, Sept. 3
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 13

Through Feb. 17, she has had just two half-mile breezes this year for trainer Kenny McPeek. That could mean she won't have her first race for a couple of weeks, but McPeek should have plenty of time to get her ready for the Oaks. She was last seen running fourth in the Golden Rod behind Travel Column and Clairiere, a race that looks better now that those two have jumped up and run well this year. Coach (Commissioner), the third-place finisher in that race, also ran well in her 2021 debut, finishing second in the Martha Washington S. Simply Ravishing's best performance came when she won the GI Darley Alcibiades S.

7) KALYPSO (Brody's CauseMalibu Cove, by Malibu Moon)
O-David A. Bernsen, Rockingham Ranch & Chad Littlefield. B-Spendthrift Farm (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $240,000 ylg '19 FTKJUL. Lifetime Record: GSW & GISP,
5-2-2-1, $245,600.
Last Start: 2nd GIII Las Virgenes S., SA, Feb. 6
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Santa Ynez S., SA, Jan. 3, 1st Anoakia S., SA, Oct. 18, 2nd GI Starlet S., LRC, Dec. 5
Next Start: Possible for GIII Santa Ysabel S., SA, Mar. 7
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 18

The California contingent isn't holding up well. None of them have turned in fast Beyer numbers and Las Virgenes S. winner Moonlight d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro) has been sent to the sidelines with a minor problem. The group also lost Grade I winner Princess Noor (Not This Time). Bob Baffert has a couple of contenders in this division and it looks like Kalypso is the best of this bunch. She picked up a graded stakes win in the GII Santa Ynez S. and ran creditably when second in the Las Virgenes. Is 0-for-2 around two turns.

8) SLUMBER PARTY (Malibu MoonDevilish Lady, by Sweetsouthernsaint)
'TDN Rising Star' O/B-Gary and Mary West Stables (KY). T-Kelly Breen. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $25,800.
Last Start: 1st MSW, GP, Jan. 24
Next Start: Uncommitted
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 0

The 'TDN Rising Star' has a lot of potential, but also has some catching up to do after her impressive maiden win in her debut. Trainer Kelly Breen has yet to lay out a schedule to get her to the Oaks and says that the Davona Dale is not in the plans. But he's certainly high on the homebred owned by Gary and Mary West. “The sky is the limit for this filly,” Breen said. “She's a nice, fast horse.” Her dam, Devilish Lady (Sweetsouthernsaint) was claimed for $16,000 but went on to win the GIII Azalea S.

9) CURLIN'S CATCH (Curlin–Catch the Thrill, by A.P. Indy)
O-Breeze Easy, Inc. B-Sam-Son Farm (ON). T-Mark E Casse. Sales History: $180,000 yrl '19 KEESEP; $430,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR. Lifetime Record: SW, 4-2-1-0, $103,454.
Last Start: 1st Suncoast S., TAM, Feb. 6
Next Start: GII Davona Dale S., GP, Feb. 27
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10

The third Curlin on the list and an Ontario-bred, Curlin's Catch made the list after winning the Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs for trainer Mark Casse. Casse could have kept her at Tampa Bay but has decided instead to give her what will be a serious test in the Davona Dale. Casse has another possible starter in the Oaks. Also a daughter of Curlin, Souper Sensational will look to get back on track after finishing sixth in the Rachel Alexandra.

10) THE GRASS IS BLUE (Broken VowShine Softly, by Adebaran)
O-Louis Lazzinnaro LLC. B-Phillips Racing Partnership (KY). T-Chad Brown. Sales History: $20,000 yrl '19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: SW, 5-3-0-1, $121,978.
Last Start: 1st Busanda S., Aqu, Jan. 24
Accomplishments Include: 3rd Anne Arundel County S., Lrl, Dec. 26
Next Start: Possible for Busher Invitational S., AQU, Mar. 6
Equineline PPs. KY Oaks Points: 10

Romped in her first start, a $20,000 maiden claimer at Monmouth, for trainer John Stephens before showing up in the Chad Brown barn in her next start. She won that day, as well, in a Keeneland allowance race. She continues to improve and did her best running to date when winning the Busanda S. at Aqueduct. Remains in New York and will likely take that route to the Kentucky Oaks. Blinkers seemed to have helped her in the Busanda.

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