Only five sophomore fillies were entered for Sunday’s $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks, a race that is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The 1 1/16-mile Sunland Park contest is worth 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers toward a spot in the starting gate for the May 4 Run for the Lilies at Churchill Downs.
Blamed is the highlight of the short field, having captured her last four starts by a combined 24 1/4 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion. Among those wins were the Island Fashion Stakes and El Paso Times Stakes in her past pair at Sunland Park. Regular rider Ken Tohill will be aboard the Joel Marr trainee as she tries to keep the streak going as the 4-5 morning-line favorite.
Kram is the only filly to finish in front of Blamed to date. The duo met in their maiden debut at Zia Park on September 11, with Kram wiring that 5 1/2-furlong affair by 5 1/4 lengths with Blamed back in second. The Todd Fincher-trained daughter of Colonel John followed up with a 6 3/4-length wire job in the Permian Basin Stakes at Zia before failing to factor when once again facing Blamed in the El Paso Times Stakes and Island Fashion Stakes. Roimes Chirinos has been aboard for all of Kram’s starts and retains the mount on the 3-1 morning-line second choice.
Charge Back makes her stakes bow in this spot for trainer Steve Asmussen off a 2 3/4-length victory against allowance foes at Sam Houston. The Take Charge Indy sophomore sandwiched that and a maiden debut win at Remington Park between a subpar fifth-placing at Remington on December 1. Ricardo Santa Jr. will be in the irons for the first time on Charge Back, who is 4-1 on the morning line.
Bella Be Ready took five tries to break her maiden, getting the job done on February 24 for trainer Henry Dominguez. The More Than Ready filly earned an 81 BRIS Speed rating for that effort and receives the services of Luis Contreras in this first race against winners at 10-1 early odds.
Exotic Beauty has been well beaten by both Blamed and Kram while finishing second to Charge Back. The Bart Hone pupil doesn’t look to change that here under Elvin Gonzalez at 8-1 on the morning line.