Promising Teenagers: A Sneak Peek into Next Spring’s Doug O’Neill Lineup

Potential Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Prospects at Santa Anita Park


Horseplayers eager to catch a glimpse of potential contenders for the 2023 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks should turn their attention to Santa Anita Park’s 11th race on Saturday. In this race, two promising young horses trained by Doug O’Neill, Tahoma and Absolutely Zero, will be showcasing their talents. Let’s explore these contenders in more detail.

Absolutely Zero: The Filly Who Shines Among Colts

Absolutely Zero, a juvenile filly, comes into the Fasig-Tipton Futurity as the morning line favorite at 8/5 odds. Owned by Paul Reddam, one of O’Neill’s top clients, Absolutely Zero boasts an impressive lineage. She is the daughter of Nyquist, the 2016 Kentucky Derby winner who was also owned by Reddam and trained by O’Neill.

In her debut race on May 21, Absolutely Zero displayed her potential by winning a 4 ½-furlong maiden race by almost two lengths. Despite being heavily favored at 7/10 odds, the victory confirmed her talent and established her as a competitive force in Saturday’s race. With an Equibase Speed Figure of 85 from her debut race, Absolutely Zero is a filly to watch closely in this field.

Ambitious Connections and a Bold Decision

The decision to enter Absolutely Zero against male competitors in only her second outing may raise eyebrows, but it aligns with the ambitious nature of her connections. Paul Reddam, known for his big-thinking approach, believes in the filly’s capabilities and aims to test her mettle against the colts. While the exact reasons behind this decision remain unknown, it reflects Reddam’s willingness to take calculated risks for potential big rewards.

Tahoma: A Colt with Impressive Heritage

Tahoma, another contender in the Fasig-Tipton Futurity, is certainly not flying under the radar. He captured attention with a decisive two-length victory in his debut race, also held over 4 ½ furlongs. Going off as the 4/5 favorite, Tahoma showcased a similar racing style to Absolutely Zero, rallying from fourth place after a quarter mile and finishing strongly. His impressive performance earned him an 89 Equibase Speed Figure.

What makes Tahoma even more intriguing is his lineage. As the son of Justify, the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner who went on to clinch the Triple Crown, Tahoma represents a notable bloodline. He holds the distinction of being the first Justify colt to compete in a professional race. O’Neill appreciates the maturity, both mentally and physically, displayed by both Tahoma and Absolutely Zero.

Other Colts to Watch

While Tahoma and Absolutely Zero are attracting the most attention, two other colts in the Fasig-Tipton Futurity shouldn’t be overlooked. Midnight Lightning, listed at 5/1 odds, and Pure Fire, with odds of 10/1, possess their own potential to make an impact in this field. Horseplayers should keep an eye on their performances and how they fare against the prominent contenders.


In the 11th race at Santa Anita Park’s Fasig-Tipton Futurity, two exciting prospects, Absolutely Zero and Tahoma, will duel against a field of colts. Owned by Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, Absolutely Zero, a talented filly, aims to continue showcasing her abilities against the boys. Meanwhile, Tahoma, a colt with impressive heritage as the son of Justify, seeks to maintain his winning momentum. This race presents an exciting opportunity to witness potential contenders for the 2023 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will Absolutely Zero’s debut victory translate to success against colts?

Absolutely Zero’s dominant debut victory certainly indicates her potential as a strong competitor. However, facing male opponents adds a layer of challenge. It will be interesting to see how she handles the competition and if she can replicate her earlier success.

2. What makes the race at Santa Anita Park significant for these prospects?

The Fasig-Tipton Futurity at Santa Anita Park serves as a platform for emerging talents to showcase their abilities. This race allows us to catch a glimpse of potential Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders, making it a particularly significant event for horse racing enthusiasts and industry observers.

3. How influential is the lineage of Tahoma and Absolutely Zero?

Both Tahoma and Absolutely Zero possess impressive bloodlines. Absolutely Zero is the daughter of Nyquist, a Kentucky Derby winner, while Tahoma is the son of Justify, a Triple Crown champion. The influence of these successful predecessors adds intrigue to the race and raises expectations for these promising young horses.

4. Who are some other notable contenders to watch in the Fasig-Tipton Futurity?

Aside from Absolutely Zero and Tahoma, two colts worth keeping an eye on are Midnight Lightning and Pure Fire. Both have shown potential and will provide stiff competition for the favorites. Their performances in the race could reshape the narrative and surprise the spectators.

5. What does the future hold for these prospects beyond the Fasig-Tipton Futurity?

The outcome of the Fasig-Tipton Futurity will serve as a crucial stepping stone for these prospects. A strong showing could catapult them into the limelight and position them as serious contenders for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Conversely, any setbacks will require a reassessment of their trajectory. Only time will tell what the future holds for Absolutely Zero, Tahoma, and the other colts in this race.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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