How to bet the 2024 Bayakoa Stakes
A total of nine fillies and mares will vie in Friday’s $250,000 Bayakoa S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park. I was on #7 Hot and Sultry (3-1) in her sharp Chilukki S. (G3) tally at Churchill Downs to conclude 2023, and I will come back with the Norm Casse trainee in this affair.
The five-year-old displayed a lot of ability in her trio of outings here last year, with a victory in the American Beauty S., a fourth in the Azeri S. (G2), as well as a third-place finish in the Apple Blossom S. (G1). This Speightster mare has room for improvement with just nine lifetime races to her credit, and the dark bay also has speed from the gate to secure a good position in the early stages of the tilt. Ricardo Santana, Jr. will be in the silks aboard the dark bay Kentucky bred.
#9 Shotgun Hottie (2-1) will make her first run since the summer for conditioner Cherie DeVaux. By Gun Runner, the five-year-old reached a peak to close her four-year-old season with tallies in both the Molly Pitcher S. (G3) and Lady’s Secret S. at Monmouth Park, and the mare has trained well in the interim, led by a bullet half-mile move at Fair Grounds in her most recent drill. The versatile bay was a measured winner in an allowance event on the course off the shelf in 2023, and she will be tough to deny with her best effort on Friday. Christian Torres will pilot the versatile sort.
I feel that numerous contenders can grab a share in the mostly well-matched field but I will focus on two horses in particular. #2 Ice Orchid (12-1) often settles for minor awards, but the John Ortiz charge has won or placed in 13 of 17 career assignments, with a pair of solid runs at this meeting as of late. The dark bay Super Saver mare has done some of her best work at today’s distance, as well, and I expect her to be in range turning for home from this post slot beneath Chris Landeros.
#4 Just Katherine (5-1) is not especially consistent, but the Jose Jimenez trainee can be very good on her best day and merits inclusion. The Justify filly looked very good in two races at Saratoga in the summer, and she comes in off of a dominant allowance score at Aqueduct in her latest outing. The four-year-old Kentucky bred will be in the mix if she takes to this surface while making her local debut. Juan Diaz will ride.