As the only winner of a Kentucky Oaks (G1) scoring race in the line-up, Finite looms as the one to beat in Saturday’s $150,000 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds. But a couple of her opponents bring untapped potential into the mile and 70-yard affair offering Oaks points on the 10-4-2-1 scale.
Finite has won three straight, progressing from a Kentucky Downs maiden score on turf to a pair of stakes conquests on the Churchill Downs dirt. Her 6-length romp in the Oct. 27 Rags to Riches S. made her the 4-5 favorite in the Nov. 30 Golden Rod (G2). Although Finite had to work harder, she proved her mettle to bank 10 Oaks points. The Steve Asmussen trainee will try to double her tally here with regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr.
Arguably her most dangerous opponent is Portrait, who has not raced since her third as the 6-5 favorite in the Sept. 14 Pocahontas (G2). A problematic start compromised her chances that day. Previously Portrait had looked like a budding star in her 12-length maiden triumph at Ellis Park, and she’s entitled to turn the page off the layoff for Brad Cox. Note that she also gets a key rider switch to Florent Geroux.
Ursula was drubbed by the exciting Taraz in the 6-furlong Letellier Memorial here on Dec. 21, but her pedigree indicates she could prefer going longer. The Michael Stidham pupil is a Tapit half to Godolphin’s recently retired warrior Hartnell, perhaps best remembered for chasing Winx in vain.
His Glory, runner-up in the Pocahontas, exits a subpar sixth in the Golden Rod. But hailing from the high-percentage barn of Tom Amoss, she can’t be discounted. Another capable of showing more is She Can’t Sing, most recently fourth to Finite in the Golden Rod. The Chris Block filly didn’t get involved early, as she had in her front-running maiden score over Tempers Rising at Churchill. Now Gabriel Saez, aboard for that maiden win, regains the mount and might make a tactical difference.
The remaining three entrants are trying stakes company for the first time. Tempers Rising took five starts to break her maiden, but the consistent filly could be on the upgrade for Dallas Stewart. Maga Suite, who broke her maiden sprinting on the Churchill turf, is a Palace Malice half to 2017 Lecomte (G3) winner Guest Suite. Pass the Plate, 2-for-2 since stretching out on turf, does her best work late.
Carded as the 12th race with a post time of 6:23 p.m. (ET), the Silverbulletday is one race prior to the Lecomte where the colts compete for Kentucky Derby (G1) points.