Kentucky Oaks 2024 Update (2-26-24)

Lemon Muffin earns her diploma in Honeybee Stakes – Photo: Coady Media

By Jarrod Horak

The Grade 3 UAE Oaks and Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes were the latest road to Kentucky Oaks 2024 points races. In this report, I will look back at those races and update my “Fabulous 5” Oaks contenders. The Cincinnati Trophy on March 1, the Busher and Davona Dale on March 2, and the Santa Ysabel on March 3 are the next four Kentucky Oaks points races. 

Kentucky Oaks 2024 Points Race Recaps

UAE Oaks (2-23-24) 

Final Time (1900 meters at Meydan): 200.81 

Top 5 Finishers: Manama Gold, Mizzyaan, Lightning Paradise, Kibo Misaki, Fatinah

Manama Gold was the strong favorite and she was able to secure a very easy lead vs. five rivals. She maintained a comfortable advantage throughout and was able to stay clear and win by a bit more than a length. My top choice Mizzyaan was much improved in her second start. She chased Manama Gold from second and tried to make a race of it, but the winner had sufficient energy left for the stretch drive. Mizzyaan never stopped trying and was cutting into the winning margin in deep stretch. Lightning Paradise was best of the rest in third, and Kibo Misaki found her best stride too late and was a clear fourth. If I was going to play a horse out of this race, Mizzyaan would be that runner. She missed the break in her bow and was vastly better in this race. The daughter of Justify has upside for trainer Doug Watson. As for the Manama Gold, the Louisiana-bred daughter of Star Guitar is now 3-for-3 and picked up 50 Oaks points for her victory in this race for trainer Fawzi Nass. None of the fillies in this race were nominated to the Kentucky Oaks. The deadline to nominate is April 10.  

Honeybee (2-24-24)

Fractions: 23.60, 48.32, 1:13.87, 1:39.23, 1:45.60

Top 5 Finishers: Lemon Muffin, Tapit Jenallie, West Omaha, Neom Beach, Midshipman’s Dance

Lemon Muffin was a maiden going into this race, and comes out the other end as one of the top Oaks points leaders. This was also her first route start for Wayne Lukas, and he said that she would improve around two turns. The daughter of Collected exceeded everyone’s expectations. The pace was honest and Tapit Jenallie stalked, led, and tried to pull off the 22-1 upset, but Keith Asmussen aboard Lemon Muffin had other ideas. The latter was racing wide in midpack and traveling sweetly. She made her move around the far turn and into the stretch, and she pulled clear to win decisively by 3 1/2 lengths. Tapit Jenallie held the place by a half-length over my top choice West Omaha. Brad Cox’s filly was the favorite and probably ran better than her show finish indicates. She steadied a bit early and Lemon Muffin hemmed her in after that, and she was racing in midfield between rivals and could never get int a comfortable stalking rhythm. She got some more breathing room in midstretch and finished with some interest to garner the show. I would consider backing her again next time.  

Kentucky Oaks 2024 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)

Demoiselle (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 2 – Winner: Life Talk (4.00)

Starlet (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 9 – Winner: Nothing Like You ($6.20)

Untapable (10-5-3-2-1) – Dec. 23 – Winner: Alpine Princess ($5.40)

Sant Ynez (10-5-3-2-1) – Jan. 7 – Winner: Kopion ($2.40) 

Busanda (20-10-6-4-2) – Jan. 13 – Winner: Gin Gin ($7.60)

Silverbulletday (20-10-6-4-2) – Jan. 20 – Winner: West Omaha ($3.80)

Forward Gal (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 3 – Winner: R Harper Rose ($6.40)

Martha Washington (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 3 – Winner: Band of Gold ($50.60)

Las Virgenes (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 10 – Winner: Kinza ($4.00)

Suncoast (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 10 – Winner: Power Squeeze ($8.00)

Rachel Alexandra (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 17 – Winner: Tarifa ($7.00)

Sunland Park Oaks (20-10-6-4-2) – Feb. 18 – Winner: Recharge ($6.60)

UAE Oaks (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 23 – Winner: Manama Gold ($2.20)

Honeybee (50-25-15-10-5) – Feb. 24 – Winner: Lemon Muffin ($58.20)

Upcoming Races:

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 15 Kentucky Oaks 2024 Points Leaders (thru 2-26-24)

Tarifa – 50 points

Lemon Muffin – 50 points

Manama Gold – 50 points

Just FYI – 40 points

West Omaha – 40 points

Intricate – 35 points

Tapit Jenallie – 29 points

Gin Gin – 26 points

Perfect Shot – 25 points

V V’s Dream – 23 points

Band of Gold -21 points

Power Squeeze – 20 points

Recharge – 20 points

Kopion – 20 points

Alpine Princess – 20 points

Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders (2-26-24)

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

Comments: Last year’s Golden Rod (G2) winner rallied to finish a solid second in her Rachel Alexandra (G2) return on Feb. 17. She finished up nicely at Fair Grounds and galloped out with energy. She will most likely target the Grade 2 FG Oaks on March 23. 

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

Comments: Bill Mott’s 2-year-old filly champ has breezed six times at Payson Park this winter. She most recently went 5f in 1:02.20 (5/7) on Feb. 24. She has been entered in the Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 2.  

#3 – TARIFA (Bernardini – Kite Beach, by Awesome Again) – Trainer: Brad Cox

Comments: This filly is on the upswing for Brad Cox. In her last two starts at Fair Grounds, she won an optional-claiming route on Jan. 20, and sat a nice stalking trip en route to a smart victory over Intricate in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2) on Feb. 17. 

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

Comments: She easily won her first two starts including the Grade 3 Santa Ynez. She could not catch Kinza in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes on Feb. 10 and was second best that day. Richard Mandella recently stated that he would skip the Santa Ysabel (G3) on March 3. Her next target is the SA Oaks (G2) on April 6. 

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

Comments: Brad Cox’s filly did just enough in the Honeybee to remain on my list for now. In her last three points race appearances, she was clearly second best in the Untapable and easily won the Silverbulletday, and finished a solid third in the Honeybee (G3). She did not have the best trip in the latter race and will need to show more in her final Kentucky Oaks prep.