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I’m a Chatterbox the Versatile Choice for 2015 Kentucky Oaks

I’m a Chatterbox the Versatile Choice for 2015 Kentucky Oaks: Despite not owning a Grade I win, I’m a Chatterbox stands as the most reliable pick in the GI Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Friday, run at nine furlongs. The Munnings filly proved versatile and consistent in her past performances, as she comes into this race with a three-race win streak. In addition, I’m a Chatterbox drew a good post that will give jockey Florent Geroux different options. Trainer Larry Jones has won this race three times since 2008 and the Fair Grounds Oaks winner won five times since 2005. More than one angle favors I’m a Chatterbox’s for the Kentucky Oaks.

Kentucky Oaks 2015 I'm A Chatterbox

I’m a Chatterbox (pictured above at Churchill Downs) drew a good post that will give jockey Florent Geroux different options in the 141st running of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 1, 2015. Photo: LATT

Breaking from post position eight, I’m a Chatterbox can press the pace or come from far back, which is heaven for bettors choosing this filly. In the GII Fair Grounds Oaks, she ran in second just a length off the longshot leader, before taking over approaching the far turn and drawing away by two lengths in the stretch. The two fillies that finished behind her, Shook Up and Forever Unbridled, are not exactly poor racehorses either. I’m a Chatterbox simply ran harder early and outfinished them late, both terrific signs for a top-level filly.

Two starts ago in the GIII Rachel Alexandra, either by design or accident I’m a Chatterbox started near the back of the field. In fact, at one point she was last in the official chart for the race. She worked her way through the traffic and got up to defeat Lovely Maria. That filly went on to win the GI Ashland at Keeneland over Angela Renee. Lovely Maria and Angela Renee are both entered in this field too. Yet, I’m a Chatterbox defeated Lovely Maria, and therefore is better than Angela Renee.

If searching for an alternative, Birdatthewire deserves consideration. The late closer will come from behind and need pace help up front. If there is a collapse, she will capitalize. Maybe she can settle somewhere in midpack too, as her initial spot in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks was fifth, before she moved on the far turn and powered home to a victory over one length. The final margin may appear small to those wishing to see visually impressive wins. For a closer, getting those “blowout” victories are tougher because closers come last, while the front-runners are able to separate on the turn if good enough. Her starting position from the 13th slot is not ideal, but late runners are affected less by the outside post in a two-turn route.

One filly with sizable margin victories is Condo Commando, if bettors trust her enough to win with more pressure. Yes, Condo Commando won the GII Gazelle at Aqueduct by over two lengths and the Busher Stakes by over four. She won those races leading the entire time in each start. This gives the impression that this filly might need the lead, and horses that must win with the lead tend to quit badly without one (ex. Game On Dude).

The last big name to consider is Stellar Wind from California, a daughter of Curlin. Unfortunately, she draws post position 12 next to Birdatthewire. Stellar Wind recently won the GI Santa Anita Oaks over five lengths over the Bob Baffert-trained Luminance. Her trainer John Sadler becomes less reliable outside California, so keep that in mind.

In horizontal wagers (such as the pick 3) toss in I’m a Chatterbox, Birdatthewire and Condo Commando. These three fillies are the best of their regions and one of them will prevail. There are two likely possibilities for the type of runners that will finish underneath in exotics. Either the pace is soft enough for at least one or two quality speed horses to stick around, or a pace collapse will allow the late closers to make up the second through fourth positions. Use some creativity and think about jockey strategy too. Condo Commando won on the lead in her last few starts. The jockeys that read the past performances know to pressure her now. From a fan standpoint, seeing I’m a Chatterbox win would create positive headlines as fans generally like Larry Jones.

Kentucky Oaks 2015 Odds and Post Positions
May 1, 2015 Race #11 5:49pm ET
1 Forever Unbridled 15-1 Jockey Mike Smith/Dallas Stewart
2 Shook Up 30-1 Jockey Robbie Albarado/Steve Asmussen
3 Include Betty 20-1 Jockey Rosemary Homeister/Trainer Tom Proctor
4 Eskenformoney 20-1 Jockey Javier Castellano/Trainer Todd Pletcher
5 Condo Commando 4-1 Jockey Joel Rosario/Trainer Rudy Rodriguez
6 Angela Renee 15-1 Jockey John Velazquez/Trainer Todd Pletcher
7 Lovely Maria 5-1 Jockey Kent Clark/Trainer Larry Jones
8 I’m A Chatterbox 4-1 Jockey Florent Geroux/Trainer Larry Jones
9 Money’soncharlotte 50-1 Jockey Paco Lopez/Trainer Kelly Breen
10 Oceanwave 30-1 Jockey R.Bejarano/Trainer Wayne Catalano
11 Sarah Sis 30-1 Jockey Gary Stevens/Trainer Ingrid Mason
12 Stellar Wind 7-2 Jockey Victor Espinoza/Trainer John Sadler
13 Birdatthewire 6-1 Jockey Irad Ortiz/Trainer Dale Romans
14 Puca 15-1 Jockey Junior Albarado/Trainer Bill Mott
15 Peace and War 50-1 Jockey Julien Leparoux/Trainer Olly Stevens