May 19, 2019

Sassy Sienna, Cosmic Burst headline Iowa Oaks cast

Sassy Sienna (right) under Gary Stevens just gets the best of Wonder Gadot (left) and jockey David Cabrera in Oaklawn Park's Fantasy Stakes (G3) on Friday, April 13, 2018 (c) Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography

The Brad Cox-trained Sassy Sienna will look to improve on a fine sixth-place effort in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) Thursday night in the $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3), feature race on the first night of Prairie Meadows’ Festival of Racing.

Though beaten by more than 11 lengths in the Kentucky Oaks, Sassy Sienna’s performance was solid given her 37-1 odds and the depth of competition in the 14-horse field.  At least among the top three finishers, the Kentucky Oaks has developed into a key race. The winning Monomoy Girl repeated in the Acorn (G1), while runner-up Wonder Gadot and third-placer Midnight Bisou landed the Queen’s Plate and Mother Goose (G2), respectively, this past Saturday.

Sassy Sienna, who assumed likely favoritism for the Iowa Oaks after Rayya‘s reported withdrawal on Monday, previously won the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn by a neck over Wonder Gadot.

Cosmic Burst, who finished behind Sassy Sienna in both the Fantasy and Martha Washington at Oaklawn, got the better of that rival two back in the Honeybee (G3). The Donnie Von Hemel charge will be fresh having not run since the April 13 Fantasy, in which she finished fourth.

Others of note in the Iowa Oaks include Terra’s Angel and Hold Her Tight, who were separated by a neck in the local prep, the $65,000 Panthers over a mile. She’s a Julie enters off an allowance win at Churchill Downs, while Shes Our Fastest and Testing One Two invade from Texas and Louisiana, respectively, after last-out stakes wins in restricted company.

The multiple graded placed Mended and the stakes-winning Jenda’s Agenda figure to get the most play in the $100,000 Iowa Distaff, a 1 1/16-mile test for fillies and mares.

Mended, who won 10 of 11 in 2017, has placed in the La Canada (G2), Santa Margarita (G1), and Adoration (G3) in three starts this season, all at Santa Anita. Jenda’s Agenda, meanwhile, won four of her first five starts, but faded badly in the April 20 Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland after forcing a fast pace.

Also looking to rebound, in the $100,000 Saylorville for fillies and mares at six furlongs, is Golden Mischief, who faded to fifth in the Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill last time as the 1-2 favorite. The Brad Cox trainee has six rivals to beat, including the recent stakes winners Honey Bunny and Swing and Sway.