Oversubscribed field entered for Bourbonette Oaks

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Jen Caldwell

March 31st, 2016

Fourteen fillies, including two also-eligibles, will try their luck going a two-turn mile at Tufway Park on Saturday in the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3). The race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points contests and will award 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

There doesn’t appear to be a true stand out in this bunch. If anyone holds that distinction it would probably be Marquee Miss based on her two stakes wins at Oaklawn Park in the Dixie Belle and Martha Washington.

The Cowboy Cal filly did not like the sloppy, sealed track that came up for the Honeybee (G3) last out on March 12 and trainer Ingrid Mason decided to pass on Oaklawn’s April 9 Fantasy (G3) in case that event took some spring showers. Even if the rain forecasted for the next few days in Florence, Kentucky, lingers into Saturday, Turfway’s synthetic Polytrack will remain fast for Marquee Miss.

American Doll and Egyptian Honey are the only two fillies in this field with prior experience over Turfway’s Polytrack, and each one will be trying to parlay that experience into a winning run on Saturday.

American Doll is 3-0-1 from four starts on the synthetic track, including breaking her maiden by 6 1/2 lengths on January 28. Egyptian Honey romped by four lengths in her only try at Turfway to close out 2015 and could easily rebound here off a subpar showing against turf stakes rivals at Fair Grounds to open her sophomore campaign. Both fillies own BRIS numbers comparable with others in this field.

Wonderment could offer a challenge in her first start outside of New York. The Kenny McPeek charge easily captured her initial pair of races at Belmont Park, including the Lynbrook S. in her juvenile finale last July. Wonderment opened her sophomore campaign with a third in the Franklin Square S. over Aqueduct’s inner track on February 20 and will be getting first-time Lasix to help her get back to the winner’s circle in this one.

Artesian is a bit of a wild card, considering she’ll be making her stakes and seasonal bow in this spot, but the undefeated filly already boasts BRIS Speed ratings on par with others in this group. She also owns synthetic experience thanks to breaking her maiden over Presque Isle Downs’ Tapeta last October. The Artie Schiller miss returned about three weeks later to take an off-the-turf allowance at Keeneland and could offer a nice price for her attempt in this spot.

Dorodansa and Lookout Sister will probably each relish the return to a fast surface after being well-beaten in their past starts over sloppy, sealed tracks. Dorodansa follows Marquee Miss from Oaklawn and a sloppy Honeybee attempt while Lookout Sister makes her sophomore bow in his spot after finishing 10th in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland last October. Dorodansa looks the better of the two as Lookout Sister may have also not liked the stretch out in the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades.

Inconclusive broke her maiden on Arlington’s Polytrack and owns plenty of stakes experience but has yet to break into the top three against black-type rivals. The chestnut lass could remedy that in this spot. Lemon Drop Belle found herself wide on both turns while making her stakes bow in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) most recently on February 20 and seven wide to finish eighth in that 1 1/16-mile affair. The chestnut miss might gain part of this one in the cutback in both distance and class.

Miss Meteor and Lope are both enigmas who will attempt to transfer their winning turf form to Turfway’s Polytrack. Red Fern Doll has been well-beaten on both turf and dirt, and the switch to synthetic doesn’t look to offer any kind of relief. Castiel’s Angel and Red Atlantic are both on the also-eligible list.

Marquee Miss photo courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography