An interesting group of eight 3-year-old fillies was entered Monday for Friday's Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park.
The 1 1/16-mile race carries a purse of $250,000 and is part of the track's Racing Festival of the South, with six stakes run Wednesday through Saturday.
The bettors may have a hard time settling on a favorite in the Fantasy, with question marks readily apparent regarding many of the runners.
For instance, Ex Caelis, who ran second last year in both the Arlington Breeders' Cup Lassie Stakes (gr. III) and Alcibiades (gr. II) before finishing a good fourth in the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). But, the daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus
has not started since the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup. Owned by Circle C Group Stables, she is trained by D. Wayne Lukas
Sweet Idea has won her last three starts by a combined 34 lengths but this will be her first start in graded company. Still, it is hard to ignore her dominance at Sam Houston, blowing away maiden and allowance fields before winning the Houston Oaks. Owned by Barnett Stables and trained by Bret Calhoun, Sweet Idea is by Langfuhr
The favorite's roll may fall to Brownie Points because she has run well in her two starts at Oaklawn this meet for trainer Donnie Von Hemel. She won the Martha Washington and then ran second to Ermine in the Honeybee. The daughter of Forest Wildcat
is a Pin Oak Stable homebred.
Trainer Bill Mott must always be respected and he brings the lightly raced Sweet Fervor in for the Fantasy. She broke her maiden last fall at Belmont in her only start at two. Returning to the races at three, she won the Gasparilla at Tampa before running fifth in the Forward Gal (gr. II). A Kinsman Stable homebred, the daughter of Seeking the Gold
Need one more to wonder about? How about Quiet Kim, who took seven starts to break her maiden and then in her eighth outing ran second in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I). The daughter of Real Quiet
is owned by Chris Houchin and trained by Bob Hess.
The field, in post order, with weight and jockey assignment:
1. Lady Danza, 117, Brice Blanc
2. Ready to Please, 117, Stewart Elliott
3. Sweet Idea, 121, Donnie Meche
4. Miss Norman, 117, Tony Farina
5. Brownie Points, 121, Luis Quinonez
6. Sweet Fervor, 121, Robby Albarado
7. Ex Caelis, 117, John Jacinto
8. Quiet Kim, 117, Pat Valenzuela