With the Kentucky Oaks Championship series of races underway, now would be a good time to go back and review the Prep Season contests that have led up to this point.
There were a total of 16 races during the Prep Season offering points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. All but one of those races offered points on a 10-5-2-1 scale to the respective top four finishers. The exception was the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), which awarded points on a 20-8-4-2 basis.
Dothraki Queen opened the 2016 Kentucky Oaks (G1) hunt with a rallying half-length victory in the Pocahontas. The bay lass was bumped and squeezed back at the start, patiently bided her time while saving ground along the rail next to last, then found her way blocked rounding the turn. Dothraki Queen took up sharply but then surged forward when a space opened on the inside entering the stretch. She displayed courage in going through that narrow opening and dug deep to hold off Bold Quality for the win. Bold Quality bumped Dream Dance hard in the stretch when coming out from behind a wall of horses and was placed third while Dream Dance was elevated to second.
Songbird took command from the start of the Chandelier and never looked back. There’s not much else to say, really. The Medaglia d’Oro filly was under a snug rein but still drew away from her rivals while stretching out past seven furlongs for the first time. Land Over Sea made a run at the dark bay filly, but could never get to her rival with Mike Smith doing nothing more but shaking the reins at Songbird to get her to open up in the shadow of the wire. Right There was a distant third behind those two.
A sloppy, sealed track greeted the field for the Alcibiades (G1), but Gomo proved to have no trouble with the mud while earning her first stakes win. The bay daughter of Uncle Mo bided her time down on the rail just behind and inside the two early leaders. She stayed in close contact with the front runners throughout and began her move entering the turn. Instead of staying on the rail, Gomo angled out and was about five wide on the bend, but gradually made her way back over toward the inside while well clear of everyone else to get the 2 3/4-length victory. Dothraki Queen utilized another rail bid to take second, skimming the fence the entire time, but was no match for Gomo on this day.
Nickname didn’t disappoint while making her stakes bow in the Frizette. The Kentucky-bred lass tracked well off the rail in second behind 9-5 favorite She’s All Ready down the backstretch. She inched closer entering the turn, drew even and simply pulled away from that point. Jockey Javier Castellano may have waved the whip at her in the lane to keep her focused, but the dark bay lass never felt it while appearing to lope home. Nemoralia got up to edge She’s All Ready for second, but Nickname was never pressured once gaining command.