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.
Cathryn Sophia was heavily favored at 1-9 to win the Forward Gal in her three-year-old bow after a 16 1/4-length romp in the Gin Talking at Laurel Park back in December. The Street Boss filly utilized a ground saving rail trip down the backstretch as Island Saint set a pressured pace in the seven-furlong affair. Ballet Diva would not relent outside of Island Saint, and Cathryn Sophia found her way forward briefly blocked when Rontos Lily moved up to her outside nearing the turn. Jockey Joel Rosario didn’t panic, dropping Cathryn Sophia back a bit to run off the leaders’ hooves and then angling her out on the turn. Cathryn Sophia effortlessly rallied down the center of the track under a hand ride to cruise under the wire 5 1/2 lengths the best over Island Saint. Ballet Diva finished 4 3/4 lengths back in third and Rontos Lily crossed under the wire another three lengths adrift in the spread out field.
Flora Dora ran in midpack in the Busanda at Aqueduct before earning her second stakes win. The chestnut lass broke well on the inside and maintained that spot all the way onto the backstretch as Lost Raven took command. Dreams to Eternity and Scatoosh raced just outside of Flora Dora early, until the former began fading on the backside. Lost Raven and Scatoosh engaged each other rounding the turn, with Flora Dora angling out about four wide entering the bend. Jockey Jose Oritz kept after the First Dude filly and she responded by reeling in the front runners to take command by a length wire. Scatoosh commandeered second from Lost Raven, who in turn was eight lengths up on Dreams to Reality.
The betting public obviously thought Marquee Miss’ 2 1/2-length triumph at 17-1 in the January 15 Dixie Belle S. was a fluke and sent the Cowboy Call filly off at 12-1 in the Martha Washington. It probably didn’t help that Grade 1 winner Nickname was in the race, either, but in the end it didn’t matter. Marquee Miss headed straight to the front, but couldn’t quite outsprint Durango and My Master Plan to her inside. Durangao took a short lead over My Master Plan, with Marquee Miss taking up position outside of that rival down the backstretch. The bay miss moved closer to Durango rounding the turn as My Master Plan backed out of it, but Nickname was coming hard too. That 1-2 favorite took the inland route into the lane while Marquee Miss rallied on the outside of Durango. Those three battled it out briefly in the lane before Marquee Miss and Nickname began pulling away a bit. Marquee Miss then inched clear of the favorite to score by a half-length, with Dorodansa getting up to take third by three parts of a length over Durango.
Songbird made a successful three-year-old bow in the Las Virgenes to keep her record perfect. In a race reminiscent of her prior four starts, the dark bay lass and jockey Mike Smith easily took the lead and did all the running down the backstretch with no one offering any challenge or threat. It really was a race for second as Songbird opened up rounding the turn under her own power and glided home the easiest of winners by a geared down six lengths. Land Over Sea proved best of the rest as the runner-up with She’s a Warrior getting up to take third over 81-1 longshot Merirosvo.