Although the weather forecast for in Louisville on Friday is rain, the Kentucky Oaks faithful, over 100,000 people, are unlikely to discard their Kentucky Oaks day tickets. This year’s card features 13 races, six of them Graded stakes, highlighted by the 144th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks.
TRA™ has two simple rules for handicapping on sloppy or muddy tracks. Our first one is don’t, to many variables to calculate or the simple one, wager on gray horses to run third. In general, gray horses handle off tracks better than the other horses.
The below is our handicap perspective for dry track.
1. Sassy Sienna (15-1) – She is versatile runner appeared to be getting better when she won the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 3. She should be stalking position, with a good final quarter, she could pose a threat to hit the board again at nice odds. Her lifetime statistics are; 4 starts, 2 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third.
2. Coach Rocks (12-1) – Needed seven starts to break her maiden. Since breaking her maiden win, she rallied from the back of the pack to win the Gulfstream Park Oaks at Gulfstream Park on March 31. While she should relish the added ground, the Oaks competition could be too tough for her to hit the board.
3. Classy Act (15-1) – Should be part of the lead pack for the first six furlongs. She’s has talent but is better suited for 7 furlongs on the turf. The Oaks’ distance and two turns will be too much for her on Friday.
4. Chocolate Martini (12-1) – Claimed out for $25,000 in February, has done everything asked by her trainer Tom Amoss. Sine being claimed, she won Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks, Grade 2, at Fair Grounds on March 24. The Fair Grounds Oaks has been a routinely successful path to the Kentucky Oaks winner’s circle. This filly is a candidate to hit the board on Friday.
5. Wonder Gadot (20-1) – She likely will be in the lead back for the first six furlongs. She will likely move towards the rear of the back when the fillies head for home. She finished second in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn on April 13.
6. Kelly’s Humor (30-1) – She has a late-closing style, the Oaks is loaded with early speed, this filly’s running style could place her in the mix for the exotics. She finished second in the Beaumont Stakes at Keenland on April 8.
7. Rayya (15-1) – She is filly that raced solely in Dubai. She’s a proven router with speed, which was shown in her winning of UAE Oaks at 1 3/16 miles. She could be part of lead pack heading down. She has not faced any of the Oaks contenders but needs to be included in exotics based upon her unknown possibilities.
8. Heavenhasmynikki (30-1) – She will be part of the pace factor. She should be with the lead pack for the first six furlongs. The Oaks distance and talent will cause her problems. She’s won two races at 6 furlongs. She will be talented horse at the shorter distances.
9. Take Charge Paula (15-1) – She’s competed at six different tracks, including Churchill Downs. She has faced a number Oaks Contenders. She is lightly raced filly with only 7 starts. She should be just off the pace for the six furlongs.
10. Midnight Bisou (5-2) – Adaptability is her top asset, and that will be paramount on Friday. She can rally from the back of the pack or stalk the lead pack. She should be in the second pack at six furlongs. If all goes well, she should be drawing in on the pace pack turning for home. The Oaks distance shouldn’t be an issue foe her. She should finish the Oaks either in first or second place.
11. My Miss Lilly (10-1) – This eye-catching gray filly is lightly raced, she won her first race easily over a sloppy Aqueduct track. She won the Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct on April 7. The Oaks talent might be too much for her, but her pace stalking style could put her squarely in the exotics equation, if the track is sloppy or muddy her chances of winning or being on the board increase.
12. Patrona Margarita (30-1) – She likes to race at Churchill Downs. She has showed a dislike for an off-race track, sloppy or muddy, in the 2017 Debutante at Churchill Downs on June 30. She should be stalking the pace in the third pack at six furlongs. She should be flashing her starting her late kick turning for home.
13. Eskimo Kisses (15-1) – She’s two for seven but has finished worse than second only once – in a maiden race in November over the Churchill Downs surface. She improves on a sloppy track. Friday’s rain forecast for rain would improve her chance of being on the board on Friday.
14. Monomoy Girl (2-1) – Her racing statistic, 6 starts with 5 wins and 1 second, qualifies her a co-favorite of the Oaks. She won her last three starts; Ashland Stakes at Keenland on April 7, Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds in 2017, and Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill in 2017. In the past she has displayed some erratic behavior in races, including lugging out in the stretch of her lone loss and ducking out in another race in 2017. She’ll need a focused approach against this top-caliber Oaks field. Starting from the 14 post she will need to use some of her speed to gain a comfortable position and not 6 wide in the first turn. She should be in the second pack at six furlongs. This will be the key to her chances of winning the Oaks. She should finish first or second in the Oaks.