Fantasy Stakes attracts field of seven

Swiss Skydiver won the Grade III Fantasy in 2020. Who will follow her this year?
Swiss Skydiver won the Grade III Fantasy in 2020. Who will follow her this year?

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The $600,000 Grade III Fantasy Stakes has attracted a small and inexperienced field of seven at Oaklawn Park this Saturday. It may be the least interesting of the five Oaks Prep Races over the weekend but it still offers up 100 qualifying points to the winner. Victory here assures connections of a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs should they choose to go that route.

Check out our Race Card with M/L Odds (once available) and our initial overview of the field below...

The Fantasy Stakes saw a wonderful entry list last year when we saw future Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver take home the race from Las Virgenes winner Venetian Harbor and Shedaresthedevil - who would go on to earn victory in the Kentucky Oaks. It would be fair to say that the 2021 edition of this race has failed to entice such a cast with other Kentucky Oaks prep races enjoying more interest.

No-one comes into this race with a win at Graded Stakes level. Pauline's Pearl will go from the outside post and the Steve Asmussen trained three-year-old broke her maiden in December. With only one run so far in 2021, it is probably the besat result any of the field has to this point as she came home second to Will's Secret in the Grade III Honeybee back in March.

On the day at Oaklawn, the horse in the show position was Brad Cox's Sun Path. With two wins to her name during her two-year-old season, she finished fourth in the Silverbullday at Fair Grounds before that third place in the Honeybee. Brad Cox has arguably a better chance with Coach. No wins in her last three but decent efforts in the Grade II Golden Rod where she finished third and a second-place in the Martha Washington makes me think this one may be the horse to beat.

The lightly raced Ava's Grace will also have her supporters. Breaking her Maiden over five furlongs in her debut at Ellis Park showed that she was one to watch and that was followed up by a third place up at Saratoga in the Grade II Adirondack. A long layoff followed and she shook off her rust in early March with a third-place result in an Allowance Race here at Oaklawn.

West Side Girl comes into the race with the best form having won two on the spin - both at Oaklawn. The daughter of Shanghai Bobby couldn't win in five races n 2020 but has turned on the jets going two from two in 2021. She looks really interesting and might well be the one to watch. When you see a horse struggle but then come back fresh and flash something then you have to pay attention.

Our turf-man will be bringing us his horse-by-horse guide to the race early in the week and our in-house handicapper will be back later in the week to handicap the race and give us those all important picks...

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