Kentucky Oaks 2024 Update (4-8-24)

Where’s My Ring graduates in Grade 3 Gazelle at Aqueduct (NYRA Photo)

By Jarrod Horak

The Grade 1 Ashland, Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks, and Grade 3 Gazelle Stakes were the final three road to Kentucky Oaks 2024 points races. In this report, I will look back at those events and update my “Fabulous 5” Oaks contenders. 

In other Kentucky Oaks news, West Omaha, a longtime member of my Oaks list, is most likely not going to compete in the Oaks, according to an April 3 article at the DRF website. She earned a total of 90 Oaks points, which was more than enough to run at Churchill Downs on May 3. Brad Cox stated that his stakes-winning filly might go next in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 17. 

Kentucky Oaks 2024 Points Race Recaps

Grade 1 Ashland (4-5-24)

Fractions: 24.35, 48.27, 1:12.05, 1:37.16, 1:43.85 

Top 5 Finishers: Leslie’s Rose, Just F Y I, Impel, Candied, Standoutsensation

Halina’s Forte, a 17-1 longshot, was intent on the early lead, and betting favorite Impel chased from second. The latter took the lead turning for home but it would not last. Leslie’s Rose was always in a nice stalking position under Irad Ortiz Jr., and she was moving best of all in the stretch and won easily by three lengths. Champion 2-year-old filly Just F Y I was making her first start of the year for Bill Mott, and she stalked wide and was along for the place in a respectable effort. Impel weakened to third and was followed by BC Juvenile Fillies show finisher Candied, Standoutsensation, Shimmering Allure, a disappointing Jody’s Pride, and fading early leader Halina’s Forte. Leslie’s Rose stamped herself as a legitimate Oaks contender, and Just F Y I probably needed the race and can move forward next time. 

Grade 3 Gazelle Stakes (4-6-24) 

Fractions: 23.57, 48.05, 1:12.80, 137.68, 1:50.33

Top 5 Finishers: Where’s My Ring, Regulatory Risk, Gin Gin, Whocoiuldaskformo, Life Talk

Where’s My Ring is a maiden no longer. This was her eighth start overall and she was exiting a runner-up finish behind Kinza in the Santa Ysabel (G3). She was the favorite in this 1 1/8 miles Oaks prep, and she stalked from the outside post, struck the front in the lane, and cruised home by 4 1/4 lengths. Regulatory Risk stalked the pace and was clearly second best, and my top choice Gin Gin sat in midpack and grabbed the show by a half-length over Whocouldaskformo. Life Talk was a flat 5th and was followed by Barbratina, Carmelina, Princess Vino, and Munny Grab. Where’s My Ring owns early-pressing versatility and enjoyed the added ground of this race. Her trainer Val Brinkerhoff is based in California and could have easily stayed home for the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), but he wanted to run her 1 1/8 miles and not a mile and a sixteenth, so he shipped to New York and that move clearly paid off. The daughter of Twirling Candy will need to get bit faster to compete with the top contenders in the Kentucky Oaks. Regulatory Risk and Gin Gin have accumulated enough points to run in the Oaks.  

Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks (4-6-24)

Fractions: 23.42, 46.88, 1:10.72, 1:36.64, 1:43.21

Top 5 Finishers: Nothing Like You, Kinza, Corposo, Kopion, Ifuaintfirsturlast

Kinza was the strong favorite and she made the lead as expected, but Kopion made her work for it early. The chalk just had to work a bit too hard on the lead and was ripe for the picking in the stretch. Kinza’s stablemate Northing Like You save ground behind the speed and was loaded under Frankie Dettori. She swept past Kinza and romped by 7 1/2 lengths. Kinza held the place by a half-length over Corposo. Kopion was another 8 lengths back in fourth, and it was a long way back to Ituaintfirsturlast. The final time was 1:43.21. The winner paid $16.40 and Bob Baffert saddled the 1-2 finishers, and they were both ineligible for Oaks points. Kinza seems to have distance limitations and Kopion is definitely better around one turn. 

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)

Cincinnati Trophy (20-10-6-4-2) – March 1 – Winner: Maxisuperfly ($48.36)

Busher (50-25-15-10-5) – March 2 – Winner: Jody’s Pride ($3.90)

Davona Dale (50-25-15-10-5) – March 2 – Winner: Fiona’s Magic ($20.20)

Santa Ysabel (50-25-15-10-5) – March 9 – Winner: Kinza ($3.00)

FG Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – March 23 – Winner: Tarifa ($5.00)

Bourbonette Oaks (50-25-15-10-5) – March 23 – Winner: Everland ($24.10)

GP Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – March 30 – Winner: Power Squeeze ($24.00)

Fantasy (100-50-25-15-10) – March 30 – Winner: Thorpedo Anna ($7.40)

Ashland (100-50-25-15-10) – April 5 – Winner: Leslie’s Rose ($20.90)

Gazelle (100-50-25-15-10) – April 6 – Where’s My Ring ($7.10)

SA Oaks (100-50-25-15-10) – April 6 – Nothing Like You ($16.40)


Top 18 Kentucky Oaks 2024 Points Leaders (thru 4-8-24)

Tarifa – 150 points

Where’s My Ring – 125 points

Power Squeeze – 120 points

Leslie’s Rose – 115 points

Thorpedo Anna – 105 points

Just F Y I – 90 points

Gin Gin – 66 points

Jody’s Pride – 65 points

Fiona’s Magic – 60 points

Regulatory Risk – 55 points

Tapit Jenallie – 54 points

Everland – 54 points

Lemon Muffin – 50 points

Into Champagne – 50 points


Ways and Means – 50 points

Our Pretty Woman – 50 points

V V’s Dream – 48 points

Intricate – 45 points

Jarrod Horak’s Fabulous Five Kentucky Oaks 2024 Contenders (4-8-24)

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

Comments: She brings a 3-race winning streak into the Kentucky Oaks. Brad Cox’s Bernardini filly won back-to-back Grade 2 races at Fair Grounds on Feb 17 (Rachel Alexandra) and March 23 (FG Oaks). Her tactical speed puts her in the right spot throughout and Flavien Prat rides her well. She has arrived at Churchill Downs and put in a half-mile breeze in 49.20 (24/65) on April 5.   

#3 – LESLIE’S ROSE  (Into Mischief – Wildwood Rose-IRE, by Galileo-IRE) – Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Comments: This $1.15 million yearling purchase has been a good one since day one. She attended slow fractions and captured her first two starts, and stalked and finished an even third as the beaten chalk in a disappointing effort in the Grade 2 Davona Dale on March 2. The Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland on April 5 was her first attempt around two turns, and she stalked the pace and kicked away to score by 3 lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr. The 1 1/8 miles distance of the Kentucky Oaks should be right up her alley and she is reaching peak form at the right time.  

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

Comments: Two of the original members of my “Fabulous 5” Oaks list made the cut. This filly is one and Just F Y I is the other. West Omaha would have made it three but her connections have decided to go in a different direction. She captured her first two starts last year and ended her juvenile campaign with a runner-up finish in the Golden Rod (G2). She made her belated sophomore bow in the Grade 3 Fantasy at Oaklawn, and she made it count. She stalked the pace from the outside post and dominated by 4 lengths under confident rider Brian Hernandez Jr. on March 30. She has a win and a second under the Twin Spires, and she is a faster filly this year. 

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

Comments: Her preparation has not been ideal this year. She came down with a fever and was forced to miss the Davona Dale (G2) on March 2. After that setback, she returned to the worktab on March 18 (half-mile bullet), and fired another half-mile bullet on March 29. She was ready to run again after those two strong works, and the Grade 1 Ashland was the spot her trainer Bill Mott picked out. Leslie’s Rose dominated that race, and it was nice to see this filly stalk wide and rally for the place. The 2-year-old champ won two Grade 1 races last year (Frizette, BC Juvenile Fillies), and she could easily move forward in the Kentucky Oaks. 

#5 – OUR PRETTY WOMAN (Medaglia d’Oro – Dazzletown, by Speightstown) – Trainer: Steve Asmssen

Comments: She is back on the list for Steve Asmussen, but currently resides at #16 on the Oaks points list. Only 14 can run in the Oaks so she needs some help, and there is plenty of time for some changes to happen. This Medaglia d’Oro filly scored in the slop twice to begin her career. The Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks was her stakes debut, and she set the pace and was clearly second best. She seems to be on the improve and might be a contender in the Kentucky Oaks if she can get out there and control the tempo. She is at Churchill Downs now and had a five panel move in 1:02 (9/19) on April 7.