The Bourbonette Oaks, the second and final Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race on the Turfway Park calendar, happens on Saturday, March 25! The $300,000 race is open to three-year-old fillies and drew a field of 11 to compete for the spoils. The prizes not only include that rich purse, but also 50-20-15-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Oaks points, meaning the winner punches their ticket, and the horses underneath get on a very good footing as well.
Leading contenders in this year’s Bourbonette Oaks include runaway Cincinnati Trophy winner Botanical, Lady of Shamrock Stakes winner Ag Bullet, and runaway allowance winner Flashy Gem. However, with such a big field of fast-improving fillies, the race will be an excellent betting opportunity that can pay off handsomely to anyone who gets the puzzle right!
No horse has yet won the Bourbonette Oaks and the Kentucky Oaks. However, Sealy Hill (2007) won the race en route to victories in all of the most important races for Canadian sophomore fillies en route to Canadian Horse of the Year honors. In Lingerie (2012) skipped the Kentucky Derby but went straight to the Black-Eyed Susan (G2), which she won.
Bourbonette Oaks 2023 Information
Race Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Track: Turfway Park
Post Time: 5:43 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Distance: 1 1/16 mile
Age/Sex: three-year-old fillies
Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Bourbonette Oaks Odds
This is the eleven-horse field for the 2023 Bourbonette Oaks. Here is each horse along with their post, trainer, jockey, and morning line:
|Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|Saffie Joseph, Jr.
|Thirty Thou Kelvin
|John Terranova, II
|Always At Ease
|Miss New York
|Fernando de la Cruz
Bourbonette Oaks Prep Results
Every horse comes into the Bourbonette Oaks out of a different race. The only one who comes out of Turfway’s other points race, the Cincinnati Trophy, is morning-line favorite Botanical. The two other horses who come out of stakes wins include Renegade Rebel, who makes her first start since winning the Mazarine (G3) last November on the Woodbine Tapeta, and Ag Bullet, who won the Lady of Shamrock on the Santa Anita grass last out. The only other horse to come out of a stakes race is Always at Ease, who was most recently fifth in the Valdale, a sprint stakes at Turfway.
Four others come out of allowance or handicap company. Thirty Thou Kelvin won an off-turf allowance over the Gulfstream Tapeta last out, Flashy Gem won an allowance at Turfway, and Miss New York won an allowance at Tampa. Bolivie, making her first start in the United States, most recently ran second in a handicap at Cagnes-sur-Mer in France.
Three others come out of maiden company. Olympic Prank and Shewillghostu come out of maiden special weight wins at Gulfstream, while Medaglia Forever missed by a neck in a maiden special over the Gulfstream dirt and tries winners for the first time anyway.
Bourbonette Oaks Contenders
These are the contenders in the 2023 Bourbonette Oaks, organized by post position:
Renegade Rebel: She has been laid off since November, though working regularly in the meantime. She should take well to the surface, though; she got good once she switched to the Tapeta at Woodbine, she won the Mazarine (G3) at 1 1/16 miles, and Tapeta form tends to transfer well between tracks. The biggest question is the post; she looks like one-way speed and may have to hustle hard to get the right trip from the fence.
Bolivie: She has raced six times, all in France. She has not won since her turf sprint debut in August, but her last two starts have been decent seconds in one-mile races over all-weather surfaces at Pau and Cagnes-sur-Mer. Her class is a question, especially since neither of those are Metropolitan tracks, but it is a plus that Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes the riding assignment.
Olympic Prank: She has raced only twice, and faces winners for the first time in this. But, she is going the right way, and handled the Tapeta well when breaking her maiden on February 11 at Gulfstream. However, she is another speed horse, and she won’t have it easy from a relatively inside post in such a big field.
Thirty Thou Kelvin: Her first try on Tapeta went well; last out in a N1X she was washed off the turf, but sat a couple of lengths off the pace and rallied to get up by a nose. That tractability should suit this daughter of Bolt d’Oro well. The one big question is the riding assignment; Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode her for her last two, but defects to ride Bolivie this time around.
Botanical: She showed some ability on the grass last year, coming a close second at Keeneland in a maiden special in October, but really found her footing on the switch to Tapeta. She is not only undefeated in three starts at Turfway this meeting, but won all three by blowout margins. She is versatile enough to set the pace or sit well off of it, giving her plenty of options to cobble together another good trip.
Always at Ease: She is stakes-placed on Tapeta with a nose second in the Golden Gate Debutante last year, and didn’t run badly when a belated fifth in the Valdale at Turfway last out. However, she hasn’t run a race anywhere near fast enough to put her near the top contenders. Perhaps she moves forward on the switch to a route, but compared to the company she has been facing, this is a tough spot to find a major career best.
Miss New York: She began her career in Great Britain, winless in four starts there, but has won two of four races since coming to the states and entering the barn of Jose Delgado. Though her last-out N1X win was a sprint on the Tampa dirt, her maiden-breaker came at two turns on the Gulfstream Tapeta, and she has a stalking ability that can suit her well.
Flashy Gem: She needed her debut at Ellis back in July, but has won her next two: a maiden turf mile at Ellis in August and her return in a N1X at Turfway on February 16. Trainer Brad Cox’s runners tend to move forward second off a lay, and she gets rider John Velazquez in the irons. The big question is the pace; both of her wins have been wire jobs, and she’ll have a few others to contest the pace with this time.
Shewillghostu: It took her four tries to break her maiden, but she woke up in her first start at two turns, winning a maiden special at Turfway by three lengths last out. She needs a step up to contest with these tougher stakes horses, though there are several speeds in the field, and that means this daughter of Girvin might get a setup for her late-running style.
Medaglia Forever: The only maiden in the field, she missed by a neck last out at Gulfstream Park in a maiden special weight. How she handles a synthetic track is a question; being by Medaglia d’Oro out of star mare Forever Unbridled, her pedigree appeals for dirt in particular. She also needs to go a lot faster from a tough post.
Ag Bullet: This West Coast raider needed her debut, but has been strong in two starts at age three, with both of those better outings coming on the lawn at Santa Anita. Being by Twirling Candy, she has an excellent chance of translating her turf form onto the synthetic footing, and she also showed good tactical speed in her last-out win.
Bourbonette Oaks Past Winners Past Performances
There is no race that has produced more than one of the last ten winners of the Bourbonette Oaks, though it is worth noting that none of the last ten winners of the race came out of the Cincinnati Trophy—or any other race at Turfway Park. They have all been shippers.
Three of the last ten winners come out of last-out wins, and they have all been recent: Naughty Joker (2019) made her 3-year-old debut after a maiden win at Churchill Downs, Queen of God (2020) came out of a win in the Mrs. Presidentress (a $35,000 starter stakes turf mile at Gulfstream), and Adventuring (2021) was a last-out maiden winner at Fair Grounds.
Among the other seven recent winners, five came out of stakes company. Aurelia’s Belle (2014) was third in the Davona Dale (G3), Don’t Leave Me (2015) was sixth in the Natalma (G3), Wonderment (2016) was third in the Franklin Square against New York-breds, Go Noni Go (2018) was fifth in the Sweetest Chant (G3), and Candy Raid (2022) bounced back after running eighth in the Rachel Alexandra (G2). Silsita (2013) came out of a third in an allowance at Gulfstream, while Purely a Dream (2017) was eighth in allowance company at Churchill.
Bourbonette Oaks Undercard
The Bourbonette Oaks is the 11th race on the 13-race card at Turfway on Saturday, one of six stakes on the card. The twelfth and featured race is the $700,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), a 100-point prep for the Kentucky Derby. Other stakes events include the $300,000 Kentucky Cup Classic for older routers, the $250,000 Latonia for older filly and mare routers, the $250,000 Rushaway for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, and the $250,000 Animal Kingdom for sophomore sprinters.
The fields are big all day: all but one of the races drew a double-digit field. Make sure to watch all day long on FanDuel TV, and to place your bets through FanDuel or TVG!
Turfway Park History
The track we know today as Turfway Park began its life as Latonia Race Course in 1959. It took that name from another track, also called Latonia, that had existed from 1883 until 1939, just ten miles away. When the race was sold to a new ownership group led by Jerry Carroll, the track’s name changed to its current one, Turfway Park.
The race now called the Jeff Ruby Steaks dates back to 1972, when the track was still called Latonia. General manager John Battaglia, now the namesake of the other Kentucky Derby points race at Turfway, created a race called the Spiral Stakes. It was intended as a prep where promising three-year-olds could then “spiral” up to the Blue Grass and then the Kentucky Derby.
Since that beginning, the race has been known by several names: the Spiral, the Jim Beam Stakes, the Galleryfurniture.com Stakes, and the Lane’s End Stakes. In 2018 it took its current cheeky name: the Jeff Ruby Steaks, named for its current sponsor, a midwestern steakhouse chain named after its flamboyant founder. Despite this litany of names, one thing has remained the same: the Jeff Ruby Steaks day card, accompanied by the Bourbonette Oaks, is the centerpiece of the Turfway Park meet!
Bourbonette Oaks FAQ
Q: When is the Bourbonette Oaks?
A: The 2023 Bourbonette Oaks takes place Saturday, March 25 at 5:43 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The race is carded as the 11th of 13 on the card.
Q: Where is the Bourbonette Oaks?
A: It takes place at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Bourbonette Oaks?
A: Trainer Mark Casse has the most wins in this race: five, between 1983 and 2007. Casse will try to add to his record this year with rail-drawn Renegade Rebel.
Q: Who is the favorite for the 2023 Bourbonette Oaks?
A: Off of her impressive victory in the local prep, the Cincinnati Trophy, Botanical is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the 2023 Bourbonette Oaks.
Q: Who is the best Bourbonette Oaks jockey?
A: Jockey Pat Day leads all riders with six wins between 1987 and 2002. Among jockeys who have a call in the 2023 edition of the race, John Velazquez leads with two wins; he rode In Lingerie in 2012 and Silsita in 2013. He will try to add to that total with Flashy Gem this year.
Q: Who won the 2022 Bourbonette Oaks?
A: Candy Raid won the 2022 Bourbonette Oaks for trainer Keith Desormeaux and rider Rafael Bejarano. Bejarano does not ride this race this year, though Desormeaux returns with Always At Ease, ridden by his brother Kent.