Horse Racing

2024 Fair Ground Oaks Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

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numberFire Racing
2024 Fair Ground Oaks Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

New Orleans’ series of Kentucky Oaks preps is always one of the most fruitful, and this year’s edition draws to a close on Saturday, March 23, with a classy edition of the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). The 1 1/16-mile dirt race ends a series that also includes the Untapable, the Silverbulletday, and the Rachel Alexandra (G2).

Eight sophomore fillies are slated to line up in the starting gate including Tarifa and Intricate, the top two in the Rachel Alexandra. With 100-50-25-15-10 Kentucky Oaks points available to the top five finishers, the top two are virtually certain to make the run for the lilies, and others may make it there with other good points prep finishes.

This race has been an excellent prep for the Kentucky Oaks, with winners including Untapable (2014), Believe You Can (2012), Rachel Alexandra (2009), Proud Spell (2008), Summerly (2005), Ashado (2004), Silverbulletday (1999), Blushing K. D. (1997), and Tiffany Lass (1986) all parlaying wins in New Orleans’ premier Kentucky Oaks prep into a blanket of lilies.

Fair Grounds Oaks 2024 Information

  • Race Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • Track: Fair Grounds Race Course
  • Post Time: 5:08 p.m. Central Standard Time
  • Distance: 1 1/16 miles
  • Age/Sex: Three-year-old fillies
  • Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing

Fair Grounds Oaks Odds

This is the field for the 2024 Fair Grounds Oaks. This includes the eight contenders as well as their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.

Post
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
ML Odds
1V V’s DreamKenny McPeekBrian Hernandez, Jr.8-1
2Midsummer MarchKenny McPeekReylu Gutierrez12-1
3Alpine PrincessBrad CoxFlorent Geroux8-1
4Lucy Got GameTom AmossEdgar Morales20-1
5TarifaBrad CoxFlavien Prat8-5
6IntricateBrendan WalshTyler Gaffalione2-1
7Our Pretty WomanSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario4-1
View Full Table

Fair Grounds Oaks Prep Results

As usual, there is a strong contingent from the Rachel Alexandra, the local prep for this race. Four of the eight runners last ran in the Rachel Alexandra. Tarifa and Intricate, the clear top two in that race, lead this group. Alpine Princess, only fourth in the Rachel Alexandra off her win in the Untapable, and V V’s Dream, fifth in her sophomore debut, complete the group coming in from that race.

Those four are the only horses coming out of Kentucky Derby points races. The only other one coming out of a stakes race is Accommodate Eva, who romped in the Louisiana Broodmare Of The Year Lipstick Junky Stakes and steps back up from state-breds to open company.

The rest of the field makes their stakes debuts in the Fair Grounds Oaks. Our Pretty Woman comes into this race off of an allowance victory over fellow sophomore fillies, non-winners of two lifetime. Midsummer March broke her maiden in a dirt route at Oaklawn on Feb. 24, while Lucy Got Game graduated in a seven-furlong race at Delta Downs on Feb. 24.

Fair Grounds Oaks Contenders

These are the contenders for the race, in order of post position, with information about what each one brings to the race.

V V’s Dream: She looked like one of the top horses in her class as a two-year-old, though she finished a flat third in the Rags to Riches in the last start of that year and returned with a similarly flat outing in the Rachel Alexandra to start her sophomore season. Her tactical speed is a plus, though, and both of those flat efforts came on wet tracks. If she can run back to her Alcibiades on a dry track, she has price potential.

Midsummer March: She obviously needed her debut, because she came back looking much better to graduate second-out at Oaklawn. The distance is no problem, but she will have to take a significant step up from a speed perspective, and she may not get quite enough pace to close in.

Alpine Princess: She has major tables to turn on the favorites, as she pressed a modest pace and weakened to a well-beaten fourth in the Rachel Alexandra. However, she may be a bit better second off a freshening. Furthermore, her two-back win in the Untapable suggests good local form and her allowance and maiden wins showed the versatility to win either on the front or from off the pace. Given the modest amount of pace, the best shot may be for Florent Geroux to put her on the front like he did two back.

Lucy Got Game: She cedes experience to the field: she only has two starts, and both of them came shorter than a mile. She figured it out second-out, over the two-turn seven furlongs at Delta Downs. It’s a positive that she closed into a sluggish pace last out, and her pedigree bodes well for the extra distance. However, she needs to improve a lot in terms of speed.

Tarifa: Making her stakes debut in the Rachel Alexandra, she had all the right moves: she stalked a modest pace and kicked away to win by 2 ¾ lengths. She returns to the same course and distance for this, and even though that happened over slop, she has two other wins on fast footing. The concern is the price, as she isn’t overwhelmingly faster than the top end of this field. But, she’s fast enough, and trainer Brad Cox often delivers in big races, particularly with fillies and mares.

Intricate: She made a solid sophomore debut in the Rachel Alexandra, chasing toward the rear and giving Tarifa an honest chase while never quite proving a match. However, trainer Brendan Walsh tends to move horses forward second off the layoff, and one of her wins last year came while chasing a sluggish pace. This means she has the tools to be a factor.

Our Pretty Woman: With only two starts, she is relatively inexperienced, though she won both, including a race against winners. She has shown pace versatility, winning her debut from a stalking spot and the allowance from the front end; this also suggests she can get a decent trip in this race without a lot of front-end initiative. She does not need a massive step forward to match the best here, giving her appeal as the likely third betting choice.

Accommodate Eva: With eight starts, she leads the field in experience, though she has yet to prove herself against open stakes horses. She was well beaten in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the Silverbulletday; the Silverbulletday defeat is, in particular, a concern. She got a confidence builder against state-breds next out, and she did manage to chase a slow pace and still win by daylight, but these are deeper waters.

Fair Grounds Oaks Past Winners Past Performances

The Rachel Alexandra is the leading prep for the Fair Grounds Oaks; five of the last ten winners of this race last raced in the Rachel Alexandra. Untapable (2014), I’m a Chatterbox (2015), and Farrell (2017) came out of wins in that race, while Street Band (2019) was fourth and Travel Column (2021) was second. Note that none of the last ten winners of the Fair Grounds Oaks have last raced in the Silverbulletday. The recent winners who did race in the Silverbulletday raced in the Rachel Alexandra as well, and then the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Two other recent winners came out of stakes races. Echo Zulu won the race in her sophomore debut, her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Land Over Sea (2016) won off of a second-place finish in the Santa Ysabel (G3).

The other three winners of the Fair Grounds Oaks in the last ten years came out of allowance victories. One, Southlawn (2023), had previous stakes experience in the Pocahontas (G3) at age two but won this race off an allowance score at Fair Grounds. The other two were making their stakes debut. Chocolate Martini (2018) came from an allowance win at Fair Grounds, while Bonny South (2020) came from Oaklawn.

Fair Grounds Oaks Undercard

The Fair Grounds Oaks is the 11th race on Saturday’s 12-race card at Fair Grounds, one of eight stakes races scheduled on the card. The 12th and featured race is the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2), the final in their series of Kentucky Derby prep races, featuring the likes of Track Phantom, Honor Marie, and Catching Freedom. The card also features a pair of graded stakes races for older runners: handicap males contest the New Orleans Classic (G2), and older turf horses take the spotlight in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2).

Ungraded stakes include the Tom Benson Memorial for older turf fillies and mares, as well as three undercard events for Louisiana-bred horses. With excellent fields all day long, it is a perfect time to watch FanDuel TV and place your bets with FanDuel and TVG!

Fair Grounds History

The first races at what was then the Louisiana Race Course were organized by Bernard de Marigny and others in 1839 and 1839. It was reopened as Union Race Course in 1852 but closed after five years because the nearby Metairie Course proved more popular at the time. It was renamed yet again in 1859 as the Creole Race Course, then was first given the name Fair Grounds in 1963. It continued to host racing during the Civil War.

That was not the end of the closing and opening of the course, though. It closed again after the Civil War when Metairie reopened. Still, some members of the Metairie Jockey Club broke away, re-formed the Louisiana Jockey Club, and restarted racing at Fair Grounds in 1872.

Racing was banned in New Orleans in 1908, though it returned in 1915. Though the track was in jeopardy after being sold to developers in 1940, racing-minded investors saved the track from certain destruction in 1941 and ensured horse racing would continue after World War II.

A stable period followed, and in 1981, the turf course was laid, and then the facility was sold in 1990. Following a devastating fire, a new grandstand had to be built in 1994 at a cost of $27 million, a grand reopening taking place on Thanksgiving Day 1997.

Although further damaged by Hurricane Katrina, another Thanksgiving Day reopening occurred in 2006, and since then, the track has run on an even keel and remains popular with traditional racegoers.

Fair Grounds Oaks FAQ

Q: When and where is the Fair Grounds Oaks?

A: The 2024 edition of the Fair Grounds Oaks will be run on Saturday, March 23, at 5:08 p.m. Central Daylight Time at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the 11th of 12 races on the card.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Fair Grounds Oaks?

A: Two trainers have won the Fair Grounds Oaks four times. Larry Jones, whose wins came between 2008 and 2019, does not have an entrant this year. Steve Asmussen has won in 2003, 2005, 2014, and 2022. He entered the up-and-coming Our Pretty Woman in 2024.

Q: Who is the favorite for the Fair Grounds Oaks?

A: Off a win in the Rachel Alexandra, Tarifa is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the race for Brad Cox and Flavien Prat. She will likely hold favoritism given how heavily Cox always gets bet, but 2-1 second choice Intricate should also take serious betting interest for Brendan Walsh and Tyler Gaffalione.

Q: Who is the best Fair Grounds Oaks jockey?

A: Two jockeys have won the Fair Grounds Oaks three times. Donnie Meche, no longer actively riding, earned his wins between 1997 and 2003. Florent Geroux won the race in 2015, 2020, and 2021. Geroux can take the record for himself if he pilots Alpine Princess to victory in 2024.

Q: Who won the 2023 Fair Grounds Oaks?

A: Southlawn won the 2023 edition for trainer Norm Casse and jockey Reylu Gutierrez. Casse does not have an entrant in 2024, though Gutierrez takes the call on Midsummer March for trainer Kenny McPeek.


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