Happy Kentucky Oaks Day! This is obviously the day where we get to watch the fillies go at it! The boys will be back tomorrow for the big one. In this article, I wanted to point out some spot plays that I really liked on Oaks Day. Good luck to all!
Race 1: I think this a great spot to hammer a 5/1,9 exacta. The favorite is the 5 which is a Chad Brown first time starter. He looks absolutely menacing. He’s a Juddmonte Farms homebred sired by Malibu Moon. His dam has 5 winners from 5 starters including 2 stakes winners. Underneath I like either 1 Movie Moxy or 9 Whispering Pines. Movie Moxy just missed by a neck in her last start. Tyler Gafflione retains the mount, which is a great sign as well. Notice too that Movie Moxy has taken a lot of money in both of her starts. I think she could show improvement here although I don’t expect her to upset the favorite. Whispering Pines is also interesting at an 8-1 price. She’s a first-time starter out of Uncle Mo and a Candy Ride Mare. Her dam has 2 winners from 2 starters. Trainer Stanley Hough wins 27% of his Maiden races. Look out for this one at a price. Proposed Ticket: 10$ 5/1,9 exacta.
Race 2: What a great race there is! This will be a very competitive field first time 2 year old starters. Favoritism for me goes to Super Sport the 12 horse at 9-2. The first thing I notice is that the horse sold for 20x the stud fee of his sire. Just for grins, his sire (Not this Time) is hitting at an incredible 30% with his 1st time starters. I love his workout pattern too. He had 2 bullet workouts followed by a very slow 3 furlong work. That tells me that they didn’t need to see anything else from the horse. She’s ready to fire at a nice price. Win Bet on Super Sport!
Race 5: Another interesting 2 year old race here. I suggest taking a shot on Miss Malibu at 8-1. She’s a Spendthrift home bred by Into Mischief. Clearly bred for sprinting, her dam has 4 winners from 5 starters including a stakes winner. Albert Stall is a great first-time starter trainer winning at a 20% clip. She’s only been training at Churchill which leads me to believe they’ve been pointing to this particular race for a long time. Love her at a price.
Race 6: You got to love it when suspicious trainers claim a horse from another suspicious trainer. But that is exactly what we have here as Diodoro claimed Strake That from Peter Miller. Nevertheless, Strike That has a huge pace advantage in this race. Most of this field prefers a closing style. I suspect Strike That will hit the front early and never look back. Love him at 3-1!
Race 10: I’m shocked By My Standards is the favorite here. Do not be surprised if Mckinzie is your favorite by post time. Regardless, I love By My Standards. He’s been ultra-consistent in his 4-year-old campaign. He’s won 3 races and placed twice this year. Also, his losses were to some monster horses including Improbable and Tom’s D Etat. I’ve reviewed his head-on replay in the Whitney and noticed he stumbled coming out of the gate. I didn’t notice this live because he recovered much faster than Tom’s D Etat did. Regardless, I think there was a legitimate excuse for why he didn’t catch Improbable in the Whitney. His only start at Churchill was the 2019 derby. But you can throw that race out. First, the derby is such a crazy race where anything can happen. The track was sloppy, and By My Standards was not the same horse last year. His tactical speed should give him a perfect trip here. Single!
Race 12 The Kentucky Oaks:
- Donna Veloce: This is the longshot horse that no one is talking about, and I don’t know why. She’s lightly raced, has great upside, and bred to love the distance. She had every excuse to lose the Santa Ysabel off a 4 month layoff. Instead she powered to a 4 length victory over Speech! Her workouts a Del Mar have been impressive, and she has every right to improve in her 2nd 3 year old start. Trainer Simon Callaghan is hitting at 24% in 2020! Don’t let this horse sneak up on you. 15-1 is a gift.
- Gamine: The distance question is legitimate, but she might just be a freak. Her pedigree says she won’t get the distance. But sometimes I have to throw pedigree out the window and trust my eyes. She destroyed Venetian Harbor in the Test Stakes and she is a great filly in her own right. Gamine didn’t even look tired after the race. I think she could have ran the same race again against fresh foes and still win. I know speech nearly caught Gamine at 8.5 furlongs, but keep in mind that was only the 2nd race of Gamine’s career. Its possible that she had not built up her stamina yet. Notice too that Baffert has given her another 6 furlong bullet prior to the race. He did the same thing before the Test and does this often when his horses are ready to fire a big one.
- Swiss Skydiver: She’s a great filly with a bright future. But today is not her day. She’s going up against a monster in Gamine. In races with multiple speed horses, it’s usually beneficial to find the speed of the speed. In my opinion the speed of the speed is Gamine. While Swiss may have more stamina, I could see her getting caught in a speed duel with Gamine which would eliminate her chances completely. If she tries to sit back and stalk Gamine, she’s risking not being able to catch her. I just don’t see a pace scenario where she can prevail. At the short price, I’m trying to beat.
Proposed Bet: 10$ 3,5/3,5 exacta