Why Your Favorite Sunland Oaks Horse May or May Not Win a Big Race

Sundays Sunland Oaks at Sunland Racetrack & Casino is one of the biggest races in the competition and features 10 horses vying for the winner’s 50 qualifying Kentucky Oaks points. The race is for three-year-old fillies and will be contested at 1 1/16th miles.

Here’s a look at each horse and why they may or may not win the Oaks.

pumpkin bread

Place of departure : 1

Why she can win: The English Channel’s California girl is light-bred with just two starts, but she won both. It seems to be better suited to grass racing, but could surprise here.

Why she can’t win: She tries a longer distance and her lack of experience could hurt.

Charge of Cleopatra

Place of departure : 2

Why she can win: Cleopatras Charge won two starts back.

Why she can’t win: She’s taking a big step forward here and will have to run the race of her career to be competitive.


Place of departure : 3

Why she can win: Cali is well brought up as the daughter of California Chrome. Finished fifth on debut but worked well before the race.

Why she can’t win: He goes up in class and will have to make a perfect race to win.


Place of departure : 4

Why she can win: The Kentucky-raised Flashback daughter finished first, second or third in eight of 10 starts and finished third in the Island Fashion Stakes.

Why she can’t win: Did not break through with a definitive career win.

Tyler’s dream

Place of departure : 5

Why she can win: Had been consistent in his career until his last race with two wins and three second places.

Why she can’t win: Ran poorly at the Island Fashion Stakes and finished seventh.

optional character

Place of departure : 6

Why she can win: A very good horse from Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. Trained by Steve Asmussen, has won three of eight starts and is the stakes spot. Gets Joel Rosario to ride.

Why she can’t win: She just had a horrible trip in her last run and is 0 for 2 over that distance.

Ali Alley

Place of departure : 7

Why she can win: Has a second and a third place in four starts. Well bred horse from a strong Nancy Summers stable.

Why she can’t win: Facing his toughest test yet and hasn’t raced particularly well in the last two starts.

queen of thorns

Starting point : 8

Why she can win: Finished first and second in two starts at Santa Anita Park in California. Worked well up to Sunland Oaks.

Why she can’t win: With three starts, she lacks a bit of experience and that could cost her dearly. Will also be performed outside of California for the first time.

Queen of Thorns will race in the Sunland Oaks on Sunday at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino.


Place of departure : 9

Why she can win: Manorelli has improved a lot in the last two starts, including a second-place finish in the Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland Park.

Why she can’t win: Will be trying the 1 1/16th mile distance for the first time so there is some question as to whether it can go that far.

Continued:Bye Bye Bobby, Miss Hard Knocks among key horses to bet on at Sunland Derby, Oaks gears up

miss hard knocks

Place of departure : ten

Why she can win: Miss Hard Knocks is about to lead to Sunland Oaks. Won three straight wins including the Borderplex and Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland Park.

Why she can’t win: Will start from post #10 and it won’t be easy. Will face a more difficult field than the last races.

Miss Hard Knocks (1 horse) won the Borderplex Stakes for three-year-old fillies on Sunday at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino.  The race is a preseason race for the March 27 Sunland Oaks.

Felix F. Chavez can be reached at 915-546-6167; fchavez@elpasotimes.com; @Fchavezeptimes on Twitter.

Sunland Park Horse Racing

What: Sunland Derby and Sunland Oaks

When: Sunday March 27

Or: Sunland Park Casino and Racecourse

To note : There will be 12 races on Sunday with the first start time at 12:25 p.m. The Sunland Derby is a prep race for the Kentucky Derby and the Sunland Oaks is a prep race for the Kentucky Oaks. The Sunland Derby is the 11th race and will start at 5:15 p.m. The Sunland Oaks is race #9 and will start at 4:12 p.m.

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