Kinsley Kisses probable favorite among nine in Delaware Oaks

A field of nine has been entered for the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on Saturday. The $300,000 race for 3-year-old fillies is the second-richest race of the meet, behind only the $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 16.

Kinsley Kisses, who has finished third in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico and the Grade 3 Beaumont at Keeneland in her most recent starts, is the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks. She will face the top four finishers from the Our Mims Stakes, the local prep for the Oaks, and Eighth Wonder, who is undefeated in five career starts.

Kinsley Kisses, trained by Todd Pletcher, dueled on the lead with eventual winner Go Maggie Go in the Black-Eyed Susan. She was nailed by a head for second in deep stretch. Prior to that race she was third in the Beaumont to Lightstream and Grade 1 winner Nickname.

Dark Nile, trained by Arnaud Delacour, and Browse, trained by Shug McGaughey, finished first and second in the Our Mims. It was almost five lengths back to the rest of the field.

Dark Nile is 3 for 4, with her other wins coming in a Tampa Bay Downs maiden race and a statebred allowance at Penn National. She is owned by WinStar Farm.

Browse is 2 for 4. She won an Aqueduct maiden race last December and a first-level optional-claiming race at Belmont Park in her start prior to the Our Mims. McGaughey is equipping Browse with blinkers for the Delaware Oaks.

Eighth Wonder, a high-strung filly based at Parx Racing with trainer Dee Curry, has crossed the finish line first in four of her five starts. She was beaten by Delaware Oaks entrant Miss Inclusive in the Parx Oaks but was placed first after Miss Inclusive was disqualified for a clenbuterol overage.

There are three other stakes on the Delaware Oaks card. Suffused, winner of the $196,000 Belmont Coronation Invitational, is the horse to beat in the Grade 3, $200,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial, a 1 3/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

The other two stakes are the $50,000 Dashing Beauty, a sprint for fillies and mares, and the $50,000 Cape Henlopen, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

Tom Franklin is a senior contributor at US Racing.
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