By Sean Morris

Bourbonette Oaks 2021 Preview: It's a go on Candace O

By Sean Morris
Graham Motion's Candace O looks formidable in the Bourbonette Oaks
Graham Motion's Candace O looks formidable in the Bourbonette Oaks

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It is a big day at Turfway Park for the Road to the Kentucky Oaks with Graded Bourbonette Stakes set for Race 10 on the card.

Ten three-year-old fillies have been entered and our Race Card with Morning Line Odds is embedded below along our in-house handicapper full race preview...

Turfway Park Race 10 17:45 ET

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The regally-bred Adventuring (#8) will probably inherit the role of favoritism in the Bourbonette Oaks, though I have some concerns as she tries this surface for the first time and will be a very short price. By Pioneerof the Nile out of a multiple G1 winner in Questing, Adventuring does have some pedigree to thrive on a synthetic track and her connections have even tried to get her on turf in each of her first three starts. The stumbling block for me is that she’s coming off an 81 Beyer Speed Figure performance in an off-the-turf race at Fair Grounds which is too high, in my opinion, and this feels like a decidedly unambitious spot for this Godolphin homebred. I’m expecting her to regress some as she meets winners for the first time, and ultimately I think she’s going to be a significant underlay, although she can obviously win.

Candace O (#10) strikes me as a far more reliable option, with the added benefit of her being two or three times the price of the favorite. This filly has made steady strides since debuting on October 4 at Keeneland last year and her last race was her best yet. Facing a strong field of 3-year-old fillies in the G3 Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream, Candace O worked out an ideal ground-saving trip and stayed on well in the stretch, though she could do no better than fourth. While she was no doubt fourth best in that race, the Sweetest Chant was loaded, which has been corroborated by a pair of next-out stakes winners that finished just ahead of her. While she’s yet to run on a synthetic track, Candace O is by uber-versatile sire Declaration of War, and her proficiency on turf should translate to this Tapeta surface. If she breaks well from her wide post I think she’s going to be very tough to beat.

I like Candace O quite a bit, but I’d also give serious consideration to California Lily (#6) at an even bigger price. This filly looks like a tough one to get a bead on, but she is 2-for-2 on synth and in her last start she made short work of Foolery, who was one of the most impressive maiden winners at the meet. She’s likely going to need to come from off the pace in this spot, but I think California Lily has shown some real ability and this appears to be her preferred surface.

Order of preference:  10-6-8-7

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