Kentucky Oaks 2023 Report: Preps are complete

Promiseher America upsets the Gazelle – NYRA (Coglianese Photo)

By Jarrod Horak

All of the Kentucky Oaks 2023 points races are in the books and there was plenty of late movement on the points list. Defining Purpose and Promiseher America seemingly came out of nowhere with upset wins in the Ashland and Gazelle, and those late qualifiers knocked some big names out of the Oaks including Wonder Wheel, Julia Shining, and Hoosier Philly. 

In other Oaks news, 2-year-old filly champ Wonder Wheel needs one defection to get into the starting gate on the first Friday in May. All she needed was to finish 5th or higher in her final Oaks prep in the Ashland, but she came up empty in the lane and checked in 6th of 7. She has clearly not developed from age 2 to 3. Her latest workout was a half-mile bullet under the Twin Spires on April 20.  

UAE Oaks winner Mimi Kakushi is on her way to Kentucky. She traveled from Dubai to Chicago on April 19. She will be in quarantine for two days and figures to hit the track at Churchill Downs for the first time on April 24. 

Kentucky Oaks 2023 Points Race Results

Ashland (4-7-23): Defining Purpose

This race featured some big names like juvenile filly champ Wonder Wheel, but she never got seriously involved. Effortlesslyelgant was the longest shot on the board and she set the pace from the outside post. Post time favorite Punchbowl and 20-1 longshot Defining Purpose chased, and Julia Shining stalked outside. The early leader began to fade and it came down to Defining Purpose, Punchbowl, and Julia Shining. Defining Purpose hit the front, got clear by 1 1/2 lengths, and held off Punchbowl to score by a half-length. Punchbowl held off Julia Shining by a neck to secure the place, and those three were clear of Guns ’n Graces, Efforrtlesslyelgant, Wonder Wheel, and Pride of the Nile. The final time was 1:43.31. Defining Purpose is in the Oaks and her win in this race flattered the Oaklawn form of Wet Paint. Punchbowl is mired in 19th place on the Oaks points list and she would need five defections to get in. Julia Shining is also in a bad spot on the points list. She is 17th and needs three fillies to drop out. Wonder Wheel needs one dropout to make the Oaks.    

Gazelle (4-8-23): Promiseher America

It was bombs away at the Big A. Capella set the pace from the rail and expected. Promiseher America and solid favorite Occult chased, and it was the former moving best of all. The longshot hit the front and tried hard all the way to the wire in a gritty half-length victory. Gambling Girl rallied from last and picked up the place, and Shidabhuti made a bold bid for the lead in the stretch before flattening out a bit late in a clear show finish. Capella, Occult, and Frosty O Toole rounded out the six pack. The final time was 1:51.41 and the top three finishes have enough points to run in the Oaks.   

SA Oaks (4-8-23): Faiza

Too bad Faiza is not eligible to compete in the Ky Oaks. She probably would have been the favorite. She ran her record to 5-for-5 in a romping score under Prat in this 1 1/6 miles affair. She just keeps getting faster for Baffert. And Tell Me Nolies chugged along for the place and has earned enough points to run in the Ky Oaks for Miller. Window Shopping was a clear 3rd and inexperienced filly Clearly Unhinged checked in 4th. Venganza, Don’t Get Pickled, Cliquish, and Gila also completed. The final time was 1:43.27. 

Beaumont (4-16-23): Key of Life

This seven panel race did not have Oaks implications. Key of Life made the lead under Prat and she was comfortably clear for much of the running. My value top choice Interpolate came after the longtime leader and had every chance to get by but could not. The winning margin was a neck and the top two were 6+ clear of stalker Stonewall Star. She’s On the Rocks, Opus Forty Two, Shoplifter, and Fun and Feisty completed the order of finish. The final time was 1:27.32. 

Kentucky Oaks 2023 Points Race Results 

Pocahontas (10-4-3-2-1) – Sep. 17 – Winner: Fun and Feisty ($14.46)

Frizette (10-4-3-2-1) – Oct. 2 – Winner: Chocolate Gelato ($5.30)

Alcibiades (10-4-3-2-1) – Oct. 7 – Winner: Wonder Wheel ($10.20) 

Chandelier (10-4-3-2-1) – Oct. 8 – Winner: And Tell Me Nolies ($18.80)

BC Juvenile Fillies (30-12-9-6-3) – Nov. 4 – Winner: Wonder Wheel ($15.00)

Golden Rod (10-4-3-2-1) – Nov. 26 – Winner: Hoosier Philly ($2.96)

Demoiselle (10-4-3-2-1) – Dec. 3 – Winner: Julia Shining ($3.10)

Starlet (10-4-3-2-1) – Dec. 10 – Winner: Faiza ($3.00)

Untapable (10-4-3-2-1) – Dec. 26 – Winner: Pretty Mischievous ($5.40)

Sant Ynez (10-4-3-2-1) – Jan. 8 – Winner: Ice Dancing ($3.00) 

Busanda (20-8-6-4-2) – Jan. 14 – Winner: Occult ($4.80)

Silverbulletday (20-8-6-4-2) – Jan. 21 – Winner: The Alys Look ($6.60)

Martha Washington (20-8-6-4-2) – Jan. 28 – Wet Paint ($8.00)  

Las Virgenes (20-8-6-4-2) – Jan. 28 – Faiza ($4.00)

Forward Gal (20-8-6-4-2) – Feb. 4 – Red Carpet Ready ($6.60)

Suncoast (20-8-6-4-2) – Feb. 11 – Dreaming of Snow ($78.00)

UAE Oaks (50-20-15-10-5) – Feb. 17 – Mimi Kakushi 

Rachel Alexandra (50-20-15-10-5) – Feb. 18 – Pretty Mischievous ($18.20)

Honeybee (50-20-10-5) – Feb. 25 – Wet Paint ($5.40)

Busher (50-20-15-10-5) – March 4 – Winner: Shidabhuti ($12.60)

Cincinnati Trophy (20-8-6-4-2) – March 4: Botanical ($3.90)

Davona Dale (50-20-10-5) – March 4 – Winner: Dorth Vader ($95.40)

Santa Ysabel (50-20-15-10-5) – March 5 – Winner: Faiza ($3.60)

FG Oaks (100-40-30-20-10) – March 25 – Winner: Southlawn ($17.40)

Bourbonette Oaks (50-20-15-10-5) – March 25 – Winner: Botanical ($4.06)

Sunland Park Oaks (50-20-15-10-5) – March 26 – Winner: Flying Connection ($4.60)

GP Oaks (100-40-30-20-10) – April 1 – Winner:Affirmative Lady ($19.00) 

Fantasy (100-40-30-20-10) – April 1- Winner: Wet Paint ($3.20)

Ashland (100-40-30-20-10) – April 7 – Winner: Defining Purpose ($42.68)

Gazelle (100-40-30-20-10) – April 8 – Winner: Promiseher America ($55.00)

SA Oaks (100-40-30-20-10) – April 8 – Winner: Faiza ($3.60)

Beaumont (10-4-3-2-1) – April 16 – Winner: Key of Life ($2.94)

Top 19 Kentucky Oaks Points Leaders (through 4-22-23)

170 Points: Wet Paint

110 Points: Affirmative Lady 

107 Points: Defining Purpose

103 Points: Pretty Mischievous

100 Points: Southlawn

100 Points: Promiseher America

80 Points: Shidabhuti

70 Points: And Tell Me Nolies

70 Points: Botanical

70 Points: Dorth Vader 

61 Points: Gambling Girl

54 Points: The Alys Look

50 Points: Flying Connection

50 Points: Mimi Kakushi (14th place)


48 Points: Wonder Wheel

48 Points: Taxed

46 Points: Julia Shining

45 Points: Hoosier Philly

40 Points: Punchbowl

Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2023 Contenders (4-22-23)   

#1 – SOUTHLAWN – Burst onto scene with big win from off the pace in FG Oaks.   

Pioneerof the Nile – Mo d’Amour, by Uncle Mo – Trainer: Norm Casse  

Latest Workout: 5f bullet in 58.80 (1/20) at CD on April 20

#2 – PRETTY MISCHIEVOUS – Dual stakes winner second best in FG Oaks.  

Into Mischief – Pretty City Dancer, by Tapit – Trainer: Brendan Walsh 

Latest Workout: 5f breeze in 1:00.40 (10/33) at CD on April 21

#3 – WET PAINT – Late runner dominated Road to the Oaks series at Oaklawn. 

Blame – Sky Painter, by Street Cry – Trainer: Brad Cox 

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.20 (5/20) at CD on April 20

#4 – BOTANICAL – Early-pressing type blitzed rivals in last four starts at Turfway. 

Medaglia d’Oro – Daisy, by Blame – Trainer: Brad Cox

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.20 (5/20) at CD on April 20

#5 – AFFIRMATIVE LADY – Late bloomer picked up her first stakes win in GP Oaks. 

Arrogate – Stiffed, by Stephen Got Even – Trainer: Graham Motion

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01 (7/25) at Keeneland on April 21 

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