Lo Duca: My Card For The Kentucky Oaks
Hopefully the weather holds up, but it looks like there could be rain in Louisville for Oaks Day. So I’m going to give you picks for both possible weather situations. Horses run completely differently on wet surfaces and dry surfaces. Ever see the Seinfeld episode? Well, it’s true!
Below are my picks for all the stakes races on Friday. Break out your pink for Oaks Day!
Race 5: The Eight Belles
The No. 3 horse, Mia Mischief (+250), has been no secret at the window in her six career starts. She showed the ability to rate last time. Chalk wins the first stakes race of the day. (Mia Mischief might be better on a wet track, so my mind won’t change if it rains.)
Pick: Mia Mischief to win
The aggressive morning line on the No. 3 horse, Abel Tasman, is probably legitimate considering her resume, which includes winning the Oaks last year. But this is a pass for me because I don’t think there’s value in any of the lines.
Race 7: The Turf Sprint
The seventh race of the day is the 24th running of the Turf Sprint. I love Bucherro (+350) in this one. He’s run on four different turf courses and has been right in the mix on each occasion. He’s fitter this time around against the favorite, No. 7 Vision Perfect (+300), who beat him earlier in the year. The best thing about Bucherro is that he might be better or just as good on dirt. So don’t worry about rain with him, either. He actually would be a shorter price.
Pick: Bucherro to win, place and show
Race 8: The Alysheba
The eighth race is the Alysheba, and it’s 1 1/16 miles from start to finish. It’s a very weak addition to the day’s slate, and there’s absolutely no pace in the red eye. One horse that sticks out is Always Dreaming. You may know the name because he won last year’s Kentucky Derby. However, Always Dreaming hasn’t won since. There’s only one other entrant with early pace, the No. 4 horse, Backyard Haven (+450). They are going to walk around the track because of the lack of speed, and I’ll take the better price and maybe the better horse in Backyard Haven.
Pick: Backyard Haven to win
If they run this race 10 times, I think Rushing Fall (-125) wins nine. The only way she loses is if she has a bad post position. If for some reason there’s a monsoon of rain, Rushing Fall will be scratched, and she will beat the boys on Saturday (she’s cross-entered into a race on Derby Day). If that ends up being the case, look for the No. 4 horse, Figarella’s Queen (+1200), to take advantage for new trainer Brad Cox. If she stays on, single Rushing Fall in exotics (pick-six, parlays, etc.), but she offers no value to win.
Race 11: The Kentucky Oaks
The 144th running of the Kentucky Oaks is an interesting one. All the fastest horses drew to the outside, and that includes your morning line favorite, Monomoy Girl (+200).
Monomoy Girl is talented and she doesn’t need the lead, but she might lose too much ground given her starting position. I do think the pace for this race will be hot, and if it’s a sloppy race track I think the No. 13 horse, Eskimo Kisses (+1500), is a freak on the wet. Her numbers almost doubled in the rain.
No. 10 horse Midnight Bisou (+250) is similar in that way, but she doesn’t stick out as much as Eskimo. So which one of the inside horses gets the trip? I like Coach Rocks (+1200), the No. 2 horse. She finally put it together in her seventh start, and then she won the Gulfstream Park Oaks in late March. I’m going to try and beat the favorite and chuck her out. My Miss Lilly (+1000), the No. 11 horse, has been training great and has a slip win.
Pick: Box Coach Rocks, Midnight Bisou, My Miss Lilly and Eskimo Kisses (2101113) in exactas. (You need any of these numbers to run first and second to hit in any combo.) And play No. 2 Coach Rocks to win. If it’s a downpour, play Eskimo Kisses. Regardless of weather, I like my top four for the Oaks.
All odds provided by ChurchillDowns.com as of Wednesday evening.