Whoa Nellie aims for an Oaklawn repeat in the Bayakoa Stakes

Photo: Coady Photography

A small but select field of six older fillies and mares will go to the post in a special Presidents’ Day edition of the Grade 3, $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

The field is led by Fox Hill Farm’s Whoa Nellie, winner of the $100,000 Pippin Stakes in her last start. The 4-year-old daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Orb rallied from off the pace to take the mile event by 4 1/2 lengths. The Pippin was the first stakes victory for Whoa Nellie, who has won five of nine starts and banked more than $250,000. The Larry Jones trainee has only finished off-the-board once in her career.

Whoa Nellie will break from post 6 with jockey Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons.

The Richard Baltas-trained Motion Emotion will make her 4-year-old debut in the Bayakoa. In 2019, the daughter of Take Charge Indy won the Zia Park Oaks and was previously second in both the Honeybee (G3) and Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn when trained by Tom Van Berg. She ended the year with an eighth-place finish in the La Brea Stakes (G1).

Motion Emotion will break from post 4 and have David Cohen in the saddle.

Trainer Paul McGee will send out Go Google Yourself in the Bayakoa. The 5-year-old mare by Into Mischief had a breakout season last year, winning the Locust Grove (G3) and Groupie Doll Stakes in addition to finishing second in the Falls City (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Go Google Yourself breaks from post position 2 and will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr.

California-based trainer John Sadler will be represented by Lady Suebee on Saturday. Last year at age 4, the daughter of First Defence won the Tranquility Lake Stakes and was second in both the Wishing Well and Las Cienegas Stakes.

Tyler Baze will ride Lady Suebee and the pair will break from post 5.

Cairenn was last seen finishing third behind Whoa Nellie in the Pippin. A 6-year-old daughter of First Dude, Cairenn won the Old Dominion Handicap at Colonial Downs in 2019.

Cairenn will break from post 3 and be ridden by John Velazquez.

The field is rounded out by Gold Standard, a 4-year-old filly by Medaglia d’Oro. Last year, Gold Standard finished second in the Remington Park Oaks (G3) and third in the Comely (G3).

Gold Standard will break from the rail under jockey Javier Castellano.

The Bayakoa is carded as the sixth race with a post time of 4:08 p.m. ET. It's joined on the card by the Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds and Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses.