Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders

Just F Y I wins the Grade 1 Frizette at Aqueduct (Joe Labozzetta Photo)

By Jarrod Horak

The road to Kentucky Oaks 2024 is in full swing. Seven points races have been run and it is time to unveil my first Kentucky Oaks 2024 contenders list. First, I will recap the stakes action from the Pocahontas on Sept. 16 through the Golden Rod on Nov. 25. 

Kentucky Oaks 2024 Points Race Recaps

Grade 3 Pocahontas (9-16-23) 

Fractions – 22.83, 45.55, 1:10.24, 1:23.13, 1:36.45

Top 5 Finishers: V V’s Dream, Youalmosthadme, Hot Beach, Courbe, Riperton

The first Oaks points race featured a compact field of six and my top choice V V’s Dream was the favorite. Hot Beach dueled with Youalmosthadme through the opening quarter. The former had a small edge through a half-mile and six panels. V V’s Dream stalked from third under Brian Hernandez Jr., and she smartly moved up, took over, and pulled away by 8 3/4 lengths while under a hand ride. Youalmosthadme outfinished Hot Beach for the place and it was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Courbe. Riperton was next and Regal Rumor trailed. Ken McPeek saddled the sharp winner. 

Grade 1 Alcibiades (10-6-23)

Fractions – 23.83, 48.25, 1:12.67, 1:37.67, 1:44.17

Top 5 Finishers: Candied, V V’s Dream, Alys Beach, Shimmering Allure, Brightwork 

The track was fast and eight horses broke from the gate in this 1 1/6 miles event at Keeneland. Alys Beach set the pace from the inside post at 16-1 odds under Flavien Prat. Brightwork chased from second and longshot Crazy Cami chased inside. My top choice V V’s Dream was bet down to 1.48-1 and she stalked outside. Brian Hernandez Jr. rode the latter and it looked like she was in the right spot turning for home. She surged to a short lead but second timer Candied was rallying outside, and Todd Pletcher’s Candy Ride (ARG) filly had the late momentum and scored by a length under Luis Saez. V V’s Dream was clearly second best and Alys Beach held the show by a head over late running 25-1 longshot Shimmering Allure. Brightwork was a disappointing 5th and the early developer seems best around one turn. Crazy Cami, Alpine Princess, and Wine On Tap also ran.  

Grade 1 Frizette (10-7-23)

Fractions – 23.63, 47.69, 1:13.10, 1:25.23, 1:37.59

Top 5 Finishers: Just F Y I, Central Avenue, Life Talk, Emery, Irish Maxima

The track at Aqueduct was sloppy and sealed, and this was not a fast race. Irish Maxima made the lead and my top choice Emery took the bulk of the wagering action and she was in a good spot chasing from the outside post. Just FYI stalked the pace from third. Manny Franco was riding Emery, and he took a peak back in the early running. He must have thought he had horse under him but that was not the case. Just F Y Imoved up outside and got to the front, and it was all over. She cruised home by 3 3/4 lengths for Junior Alvarado and Bill Mott. Central Avenue rallied for the place at 18-1 and second betting choice Life Talk picked up the show. Emery weakened to fourth and it was a long way back to Irish Maxima and Princess Indy. This was a slow race but Just F Y I remains a promising sort. She is now 2-for-2 and has a promising pedigree, and she will probably get faster in future races for Bill Mott.  

Grade 2 Chandelier (10-7-23) 

Fractions – 23.69, 47.97, 1:11.88, 1:37.55, 1:44.28

Top 5 Finishers: Chatalas, Scalable, Dua, Pacific Rose, Gate to Paradise

Chatalas was my top choice and she controlled the pace from the inside post. Antonio Fresu was her pilot and when he saw nobody else wanted the early lead, he was more than happy to put Mark Glatt’s Gun Runner filly on the front end. Dua pressed from second for Juan Hernandez and Bob Baffert, but she failed to quicken in the lane, and that allowed Chatalas to edge away and win by a length and a half. Scalable, a maiden second timer for Todd Pletcher, rallied for the place and Dua was a neck behind her in third. Pacific Rose and Gate to Paradise were next, and Autumn Chill, Motet, Pink Whitney, and beaten favorite Laurent rounded out the order of finish. The latter raced wide and never got involved. She showed ability as a late running sprinter in her first two starts.  

Rags to Riches (10-29-23)

Fractions – 24.23, 48.99, 1:13.52, 1:39.25, 1:46.31

Top 5 Finishers: West Sunset, Gin Gin, V V’s Dream, Candy Landy, Floored 

This was only a 5-horse field and the track was sloppy. West Sunset was able to clear off early and that was all she wrote. Nobody got close to her at any stage of the race and she scored by an easy 6 3/4 lengths at 7-1 odds under Flavien Prat. Brad Cox saddled the winner and runner-up Gin Gin. The latter stalked the pace and was clearly second best. V V’s Dream was well clear of the rest in 3rd as the beaten favorite. 

Grade 1 BC Juvenile Fillies (11-3-23)

Fractions – 22.47, 46.60, 1:10.95, 1:37.57, 1:44.58

Top 5 Finishers: Just F Y I, Jody’s Pride, Candied, Life Talk, Scalable

Tamara was the heavy favorite and she hit the front right out of the gate under Mike Smith, but the fast opening quarter left her with no late energy and she weakened in the lane. Just F Y I, a daughter of Justify got a great ride from the outside post under Junior Alvarado. She stalked from 2nd, got clear, and held off inside stalker Jody’s Pride to score by a neck. Candied had a slow beginning and rallied for the show from the inside post. Tamara weakened to 7th in a very disappointing effort. 

Grade 2 Golden Rod (11-25-23)

Fractions – 23.30, 47.31, 1;12.48, 1;38.44, 1:45.01

Top 5 Finishers: Intricate, Thorpedo Anna, Central Avenue, Dozen Diamonds, Gin Gin

Intricate really improved when stretched out in her maiden win second time out, and she moved forward again in this spot. The daughter of Gun Runner stalked inside, struck the front in the stretch, and pulled away to win by 5 1/4 lengths over my top choice Thorpedo Anna. The latter was bet down in her first start around two turns. She broke slow, stalked wide, moved up, and held the place by a neck over late runner Central Avenue. 

Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders Points Race Results 

Pocahontas (10-5-3-2-1) – Sep. 16 – Winner: V V’s Dream ($4.40)

Alcibiades (10-5-3-2-1) – Oct. 6 – Winner: Candied ($10.16)

Frizette (10-5-3-2-1) – Oct. 7 – Winner: Just F Y I ($11.60)

Chandelier (10-5-3-2-1) – Oct. 7 – Winner: Chatalas ($8.20)

Rags to Riches (10-5-3-2-1) – Oct. 29 – Winner: West Sunset ($17.72)

BC Juvenile Fillies (30-15-9-6-3) – Nov. 3 – Winner: Just F Y I ($16.00)

Golden Rod (10-5-3-2-1) – Nov. 25 – Winner: Intricate ($14.66)

Upcoming Races

Demoiselle (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 2 

Starlet (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 9 

Untapable (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 23 


Sant Ynez (10-5-3-2-1) – Jan. 7 

Busanda (20-10-6-4-2) – Jan. 13 

Silverbulletday (20-10-6-4-2) – Jan. 20

Martha Washington (20-10-6-4-2) – Jan. 27  

Forward Gal (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 3 

Las Virgenes (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 4

Suncoast (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 10 

Rachel Alexandra (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 17 

Sunland Park Oaks (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 18

UAE Oaks (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 23

Honeybee (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 24 

Cincinnati Trophy (20-10-6-4-2) – March 1

Busher (50-25-15-10-5) – March 2 

Davona Dale (50-25-15-10-5) – March 2 

Santa Ysabel (50-25-15-10-5) – March 3 

FG Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – March 23 

Bourbonette Oaks (50-25-15-10-5) – March 23

GP Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – March 30 

Fantasy (100-50-25-15-10) – March 30

Ashland (100-50-25-15-10) – April 5 

Gazelle (100-50-25-15-10) – April 6 

SA Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – April 6 


Top 10 Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders Points Leaders

Just FYI – 40 points

Candied – 19 

V V’s Dream – 18

Jody’s Pride – 15

Chatalas – 10

West Sunset – 10

Life Talk – 9

Scalable – 8

Youalmosthadme – 5

Central Avenue – 5

Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders (11-30-23)

#1 – INTRICATE (Gun Runner – Complex Analysis, by Distorted Humor) – Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Comments: This filly really elevated her game over a route of ground. After running out of real estate in her sprint bow, she stretched out, stalked slow fractions, and graduated by an easy 3 1/2 lengths. Her Golden Rod (G2) effort was similar to her maiden win and she won the latter by 5 1/4 lengths. She is a promising Oaks prospect. 

#2 – JUST F Y I (Justify – Star Act, by Street Cry) – Trainer: Bill Mott

Comments: The likely 2-year-old filly champ is a perfect 3-for-3. She won her sprint bow but was just getting warmed up in that Saratoga sprint. She stalked outside and easily scored in the slop in the Frizette (G1), and got a nice stalking ride from the outside post in her BC Juvenile Fillies (G1) victory. She should continue to develop next year. 

#3 – KOPION (Omaha Beach – Galloping Ami, by Victory Gallop) – Trainer: Richard Mandella 

Comments: Visually impressive dirt sprint debut at Del Mar on Nov. 26. She was 30 cents on the dollar in her unveiling, and she stalked from the outside post under Flavien Prat, struck the front in the stretch, and won by 3 3/4 lengths while under a hand ride. The Grade 3 Santa Ynez at seven panels on Jan. 6 might be her next target. 

#4 – THORPEDO ANNA (Fast Anna, Sataves, by Uncle Mo) – Trainer: Ken McPeek

Comments: She was outstanding in her first two starts around one turn, and won those races by a combined 17 1/4 lengths. She wheeled back in 15 days in the Golden Rod, and she broke slow, raced wide, and held the place behind sharp winner Intricate. Some time off has definitely been earned, and I am looking forward to her sophomore campaign.  

#5 – WEST OMAHA (West Coast – Birthday Bash, by Medaglia d’Oro) – Trainer: Brad Cox

Comments: She showed a nice late run to miss the place by a nose in her seven panel bow Sept. 21, and was placed 2nd through disqualification. Her second start was another extended sprint under the Twin Spires, and she battled on the pace and kicked away to win by 4 lengths. She has been nominated to the Demoiselle (G2) on Dec. 2 at Aqueduct.