The 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa goes as the ninth race on a 10-race card, with probable post time 5:09 p.m. (Central). Doors open Saturday at 11 a.m., with first post 1:05 p.m.
Farrell is coming off a front-running three-quarter length victory in the $125,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 13, Oaklawn’s first of four major two-turn races for older fillies and mares.
Trainer Wayne Catalano is using the Bayakoa as a bridge to the $700,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 13 at Oaklawn, the major spring target for Farrell, who has a sparkling 7-0-1 record from 11 starts and earnings of $802,077. The Pippin was her sixth stakes victory.
Farrell’s only poor performance came in last year’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), when she finished 14th over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.
There is a 100 percent chance of rain Saturday, according to weather.com.
“I’m not too worried about it,” Catalano said of running on another off track. “She’s won on it at the Fair Grounds.”
The projected Bayakoa field from the rail out: Polar River, Luis Contreras to ride, 115 pounds, 12-1 on the morning line; Sully’s Dream, Fernando De La Cruz, 117, 15-1; Farrell, Channing Hill, 122, 9-5; Streamline, Gary Stevens, 119, 4-1; Torrent, David Cohen, 119, 9-2; Terra Promessa, Ricardo Santana Jr., 119, 2-1; and Defy, David Cabrera 115, 15-1.
The Bayakoa brings back Streamline and Terra Promessa, third and fifth, respectively, in the Pippin, while Torrent was a second-level allowance/optional claiming winner Jan. 26 for trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs.
Farrell also drew inside the speedy Terra Promessa in the 1 1/16-mile Pippin.
“It worked last time, right?” Catalano said. “We were inside her last time. They’ve got a little speed in there, but I don’t think it’s that much speed.”
The consistent Streamline – never worse than third in Oaklawn’s last nine two-turn stakes races for older fillies and mares – was making her first start since May in the Pippin for trainer Brian Williamson.
“It should be interesting,” Williamson said, noting the presence of another front-runner, Defy, could help Streamline’s chances. “Breezed her a few times in between and everything went good. Just waiting on the race now.”
Like Streamline, Torrent is a stalker who could benefit from a potential speed duel.
Moquett and Torrent’s owners, Little Rock, Ark.-based Westrock Stables LLC (Joe and Scott Ford), already have a stakes victory at the meet with Swing and Sway ($125,000 American Beauty Jan. 27).
“I see a pace scenario that could set up in our favor,” Moquett said. “Any time we can take a shot to run well here, we’re going to try it. We’re just going to hope that the pace sets up for our benefit.”
Terra Promessa and Streamline are also stakes winners at Oaklawn.
Terra Promessa won the Pippin and Bayakoa last year and $400,000 Fantasy (G3) and $200,000 Honeybee (G3) in 2016. Streamline won $350,000 Azeri (G2), the final major local prep for the Apple Blossom, last year.