It’s time to go horse by horse for this year’s Kentucky Oaks!
1 SASSY SIENNA won the Fantasy Stakes last time out. Never broke into the 90s for her Brisnet speed ratings. She relies on a fast pace all through the race to win, doing her best run on the backstretch. Probably finishes middle of the pack. Not a contender.
2 COACH ROCKS won the Gulfsream Park Oaks last time out. Best AWD numbers of the field Oxbow/Mexican Moonlight, out of the Irish bred El Prado). Set 2 new tops last 2 races with 90 and 93. Could bounce from those numbers. Won last time out first after layoff with a 4 point increase in 2nd call numbers, and 1 length gained on the leader. I feel her odds are 9-5, not her 12-1 at morning-line. A true overlay. She’s one of several that will still take less money than others. Requires an average pace, running best on the backstretch.
Future Wager impact: Win, and exactas with field selections over and under (in this case, My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, and Kelly’s Humor)
3 CLASSY ACT was 2nd in the Rachel Alexandra, 4th in the Fair Grounds Oaks. This pure sprinter has the best tactical speed of the field; her 1st call numbers in her last 3 races are 111, 104, 99. Trainer Bret Calhoun has done the best with her compared to others. Positive jockey switch back to Brian Hernandez Jr, with whom this filly has won both lifetime races. Blinkers off for the first time in 5 races. She’s also the only sprinter of the field, needing a very fast pace all through the race to win. Probably gets ignored somewhat in the wagering. I think she’s worth 2-1. ML is 15-1, a true overlay here. Best workout tab of the field: 4 runs at CD, all very fast, plus a bullet work on 4/21 going 5 furlongs, breezing in 59 seconds.
4: CHOCOLATE MARTINI won the Fair Grounds Oaks last time out. Last 2 races saw her score 90 and 91, well above prior bests, so she is a bounce risk. My odds are 17-1, worse than ML of 12-1. LIkely to take on more $ than some others. Needs a fast consistent pace for this race, running best on the backstretch.
Future Wager impact: Field selection, using over/under my chosen 3 of Coach Rocks, Wonder Gadot, Monomoy Girl.
5th: WONDER GADOT won the Demoiselle and the Mazarine. Gained 1.5 lengths on leader in the Fantasy Stakes last time out by 2nd call. Seems to lack enough evidence for a win. This late running filly needs a slow pace that slows even further for her to win out. Not a contender, despite positive jockey switch back to John Velazquez.
Future Wager impact: Win, plus exactas over/under field selections.
6 KELLY’S HUMOR won the Ellis Park Debutante last summer. 2nd in the Pocahontas, 2nd in the Beaumont. Improved 2nd call numbers first after layoff last time out. This backstretch runner needs a very fast pace all through the race. Not a contender.
Future wager impact: Field selection hooked up with my chosen 3 over/under.
7 RAYYA is the question mark, with races at Dubai before making her US debut this week. 2nd by 18 lengths last time out in the UAE Derby to Mendelssohn. Based on her Racing Post Ratings, she bounced in pace last time. I am aiming for a bounce back here somehow. Gained a bit on Mendelssohn by the 2nd call before picking up the pieces last time. 1st time Lasix recipient here. Probably worth 17-1, worse than ML of 12-1. Unsure of her true pace parameters. She’ll take less $ than others.
8 HEAVENHASMYNIKKI was 4th in the Forward Gal, 3rd in the Davona Dale. Only filly in the field to win 1st off layoff. Assumed the lead by 2nd call last time out. Not liking her much at all…maybe 60-1, or worse if we have rain….close to her 50-1 ML odds. She’ll get ignored a bit by the public as well. This backstretch runner needs a slow pace throughout.
9: TAKE CHARGE PAULA becomes a bit of a threat if we have rain. Her lone off-track race was her lifetime best of 97, in the House Party Stakes at Gulfstream. Also won the Forward Gal and the Smart Halo. Besides these efforts, she does add blinkers. Needs a solid average pace. Is not even close to being worth 15-1 ML.
10: MIDNIGHT BISOU has 3 wins and 2 seconds lifetime. Wins in the Santa Anita Oaks, the Santa Ysabel and the Santa Ynez. All speed figures in the 90s. Lifetime best of 96, small new top last time out. Gained 3.25 lengths at 2nd call last race. I respect the efforts but seems outclassed here. Probably worth 17-1, not truly running like 5-2 ML odds. Needs slow pace throughout, running best in the backstretch.
11: MY MISS LILLY won the Gazelle, was 3rd in the Busher and in the Forward Gal. Gazelle win was a 99 for 9 furlongs, best score for today’s distance. I like the score, but she is a bounce risk, moving from an 86 number prior. Should be taking a lot more money than most. 10-1 ML odds are fair; I think she’s actually about 13-1. Late runner needing an average pace. I’m assuming the bounce will occur today, as her scores eclipse the track par by too much.
Future wager impact: Field.
12: PATRONA MARGARITA won the Pocahontas here last September. Small gain on the leader last time out in the Ashland Stakes, tho didn’t improve in 2nd call speed. Not at all a contender for me. Late runner who needs a pure pace collapse.
13 ESKIMO KISSES was 2nd in the Fair Grounds Oaks and in the Ashland. 3 runs in the 90s..a slight bounce risk today. Fastest non-winner trouble trip of this field with the 91 score in the Ashland, circling 4 wide and running with heart. If this deep closer can run like that today, she’s a legit contender. In fact, she’s the lone deep closer here. True overlay, as I like her for 9-1, better than ML of 15-1. Needs fast pace early that slows somewhat later. This longshot threatens to be seriously ignored by the public.
14 MONOMOY GIRL is the ML fave at 2/1. I think she’s more like 5-1 but still definitely a serious contender. 5 wins in 6 races. Best CD speed of the field; 97 in the Rags to Riches, 99 in the Golden Rod. I measure her to having the best pure speed of the field, with runs in the high 90s, plus the fastest pace pattern. She relies on an average pace to win from the backstretch. Deserves to be the favorite as determined by the public.
Future Wager impact: Wins and exactas.
My running order:
Overlays: Coach Rocks, Classy Act, Eskimo Kisses.
Horses taking most $: My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, Monomoy Girl
Horses taking less: A list headed by Eskimo Kisses, followed by Coach Rocks, Classy Act, Rayya, Heavenhasmynikki.
Future Wager summary:
$2 win bets on Monomoy Girl at 6-1, Wonder Gadot at 21-1, Coach Rocks at 60-1.
$1 Exactas: Monomoy Girl, Wonder Gadot, Coach Rocks over and under the field at 5-1 (My Miss Lilly, Chocolate Martini, Kelly’s Humor)
$12 total investment.
Wins on overlays, plus Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou over them in exactas, $12 invested overall. All subject to change based on actual odds movement.
Later I will have thoughts on the Kentucky Derby.
Hear my latest IS podcasts that includes analysis on both races! https://archive.org/details/IdealisticStats050118 and on anchor.fm https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/e1dupd