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Fri 24/04/2015 - 22:35 EDT

Top 4 Look Formidable as Grade 1 KY Oaks Takes Shape

In most instances, handicapping the Kentucky Oaks solely on the merit of qualifying points would be an ill-advised decision, but this year’s top four represented by Condo Commando, I’m A Chatterbox, Stellar Wind, and Birdatthewire form a menacing quintet as the marquee May 1 race approaches at Churchill Downs.

Condo Commando, a proven front-runner trained by the New York-based stable of Rudy Rodriguez, tops the list of Oaks challengers along with I’m A Chatterbox with 161 points. Condo Commando, a daughter of Tiz Wonderful, has a pair of Grade 2 stakes victories at the mile and one eighth distance including a sharp 2 ½ length prep victory April 4 at Aqueduct in the Gazelle Stakes. The filly has won five of six career starts with her lone setback coming prior to a three month layoff over a sloppy track in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont.

Chatterbox has handicappers talking

I’m A Chatterbox, also unbeaten as a three year-old, has not raced away from Fair Grounds this year, but didn’t need to as she swept a trio of three year-old filly stakes events culminating with the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks March 28. The Larry Jones trainee showed great versatility winning on the lead (Silverbulletday Stakes), from well off the lead (Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes), and from a stalking position in the Oaks.

Stellar Wind looking for more competition 

West-coast shipper Stellar Wind has not been challenged in any of her last three starts, including a facile win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 4. The John Sadler trainee has lost only her debut effort where she bobbled at the start to finish just three parts of a length back of the winner. The Dale Romans trained Birdathewire was ultra-impressive winning the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks March 28 despite a troubled trip and seems to be improving with each race.