Gulfstream Park Oaks 2021 Preview: Millefeuille should bounce back
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The Road to the Kentucky Oaks has two stops this Saturday but the one here at Gulfstream seems more likely to give us insight into the leading race for fillies. Race 12 is the $200,000 Grade II Gulfstream Park Oaks and seven are entered.
Our Race Card is below along with all the analysis from our in-house handicapper...
If you thought the G1 Florida Derby came up a poor Kentucky Derby prep, then you’re really not going to like this race, which is a dreadful antecedent to the Kentucky Oaks after one year earlier being won by Classic and multiple G1 winner Swiss Skydiver. The strength of this G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks is not entirely unexpected after the prelude to this race, the G2 Davona Dale, was won in head-scratching fashion by Wholebodemeister. While the Davona Dale winner doesn’t show up in this spot, there are a few fillies left in her wake that have re-emerged.
Given the overall quality of the Gulfstream Park Oaks, I feel almost forced to forgive Millefeuille (#6) for her debacle in the Davona Dale and make her my unquestioned top pick. She did have some trouble in the Davona Dale, but not really enough to warrant her finishing up the track against a field of that caliber, though that could also be a reason to draw a line through the race, since it clearly wasn’t anywhere near a representative effort from her. Millefeuille’s prior form on the NYRA circuit is quite good. She broke her maiden emphatically three starts ago at Belmont and then nearly vanquished Malathaat in the G2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct. If she can get back to either of those performances she’d basically be untouchable here, and given the lack of viable alternatives that’s something I’m willing to hang my hat on.
It becomes easier to pick Millefeuille off a dismal effort when you look around and see that her main challenger is more of a turf horse. Con Lima (#1) did have a bit of success on the main track to begin her career, back when was with trainer Carlos David, however her new connections have treated her exclusively as a turfer, which is a role she’s been well-suited to. I’m expecting her to run OK in this spot as she switches back to dirt, but the move feels more like her connections being opportunistic than actually believing she’s just as good on this surface.
Davona Dale runner-up Crazy Beautiful (#3) certainly isn’t without a shot in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, but despite the placing it hardly feels as though her 3-year-old debut was an encouraging performance. She ran fine in that spot and if Millefeuille fails to bounce back she’s an obvious threat, however I have my doubts about this filly and her trainer Ken McPeek has had a very slow meet. She seems destined to be overbet.
Order of preference: 6-1-3-7
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