VA OAKS: NOT TO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT GRADE III STATUS

It’s not too early to start talking about getting Grade III status for the $200,000 Virginia Oaks. We aren’t completely sure what the Graded Stakes Committee looks at, but one of the factors surely must be the winners’ overall race records.

2005 Oaks winner My Typhoon surely helped the cause this past weekend with a win in the Gr.I Diana at Saratoga (pictured – Tod Marks photo). My Typhoon has now won over $1.3 million while finishing in the money in 15 of her 19 lifetime starts. She also won the Balston Spa Gr.II at Saratoga last year, and the Just A Game Gr.II at Belmont this year. She has also placed in two graded stakes at Churchill.

2004 winner Art Fan won $4379,349 which included the listed April Run Stakes at Laurel. She was third twice in graded events – the All Along at Colonial and the Gallorette in Maryland. We don’t know if it counts with the Committee, but Art Fan also set a new course record on the grass at Laurel. In 2006, the Oaks was won by Aunt Henny whose career shows over $249,000 in earning and a win in the Herecomesthebride Stakes Gr. III at Gulfstream Park.

That brings us to 2007 winner, Dreaming of Anna. She now has earnings in excess of $1.4 million which includes the Gr.III Summer Stakes at Woodbine and, of course, the $2,000,000 Breeders Cup Juvenille Filly. Lest we forget, she also has an Eclipse Award on her resume.

Hey Graded Stakes Committee, that’s a nice bunch of fillies! …and that’s just the winners.