Handicapping Kentucky Oaks Day 2015 Picks & Plays
Handicapping Kentucky Oaks Day 2015 Picks & Plays: The most anticipated weekend in the racing world is finally here! Although often overshadowed by the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the Kentucky Oaks and its undercard on Friday are bursting at the seams with quality fields. Here’s a handicapping look at the Oaks day stakes races so that you can not only enjoy the races but can also hopefully make some money!
EDGEWOOD STAKES – GRADE III
RACE 6: 3, 4
Sunset Glow has not raced since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in which she was defeated by Lady Eli. Sunset Glow looked like the second best of the field that day, and the field she is facing now is not the best. I’m giving her only a slight edge because layoffs are always a concern. My Year Is a Day comes from France holding credentials as a winner of three races, including a listed stakes event over a mile in her last outing. This filly looked really nice in that race in pulling away from the rest of the field in the stretch.
LA TROIENNE STAKES – GRADE I
RACE 7: 5, 7
Sheer Drama is having a very good year and looks to be in better shape than the rest of the field. She absolutely demolished the field in the Royal Delta Stakes (GII) at Gulfstream Park on March 21, winning by 6½ lengths. Sheer Drama also has the ability to stalk the pace, a huge advantage. Gold Medal Dancer is another mare that has been running big lately since beating Untapable in the Azeri Stakes (GII). Then, in the Apple Blossom (GI), Untapable turned the tables to score the win, but Gold Medal Dancer ran very well regardless. Since the Apple Blossom, she has been working well in the mornings. I was most impressed with Sheer Drama’s performance in the Royal Delta, so I’ll be playing her to win.
ALYSHEBA STAKES – GRADE II
RACE 8: 2, 7, 4
After a disappointing effort in the Donn Handicap, Protonico bounced back and won the Grade III Ben Ali Stakes gate-to-wire at Keeneland. In addition, Protonico has run one race at Churchill Downs and was a nice second to Hoppertunity in the Clark Handicap (GI). Because this horse has had experience at Churchill Downs, he has a huge advantage. Since his debut, Honor Code has been considered a good horse, but an injury sidelined him from the Derby Trail last year. Following a long recovery, he came back in November to win a 6½-furlong race and recently won again in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII) over one mile. Those wins, while solid victories in and of themselves, showed that Honor Code wants more ground, and this is his chance to show his potential. Ride On Curlin is winless at route distances, but he always runs well except for in his last race when he failed badly. In my opinion, he can bounce back and run a great race in this spot. He also has experience at Churchill Downs with good performances, including a start in the 2014 Kentucky Derby. In this race I’ll be playing a trifecta box with 2, 7, and 4.
TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT STAKES – GRADE III
RACE 9: 10, 12
Power Alert came from Australia where he had a modest campaign, but he became simply another horse in America. However, he has won two races in a row, including a listed stakes. Most recently, he failed as the favorite in the Shakertown Stakes (GIII) over 5½ furlongs at Keeneland, finishing in fourth place 4¼ lengths behind the winner, Something Extra. Power Alert returns to a five-furlong race here, a distance at which he won those two American races. Undrafted has good experience in sprint graded stakes races, including the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint in which he gave a great performance, being beaten by just half a length. In his last race at Keeneland, he finished in third, but that race was just a prep to this one, so he should now be ready to roll. Power Alert will offer good value, so I’m playing him to win, place, and show.
RACE 10: EIGHT BELLES STAKES – GRADE III
RACE 10: 2, 12, 3
The gray and Texas-bred Promise Me Silver runs everywhere and always wins. It is true that she will now be facing tougher competition, but this filly has the quality to fight against any field. Taylor S literally flew in her last race, winning in marvelous style. This filly has two wins at Churchill Downs and is working very well at this track. Surely she will be in the mix. Ekati’s Phaeton won the Davona Dale (GII) over a mile at Gulfstream with great heart, but she is a true sprint filly. After a flop in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (GII), she is back into her game in sprint races. In this race, I’m playing Promise Me Silver to win and place and an exacta box using 2, 12, and 3.
LONGINES KENTUCKY OAKS – GRADE I
RACE 11: 13,12,3
The main event, the Kentucky Oaks, is a very competitive and attractive race. My top pick Birdatthewire drew a tough post position, but she demonstrated in her last race that she loves route distances. Even with a bad trip, she was able to handily win the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Now, a patient Irad Ortiz simply cannot make the same mistakes. Stellar Wind has been smashing the California fields and looks like she also loves two turns. The lucky Victor Espinoza is in the saddle, a jockey who knows her very well, and she should be the favorite of this race. In looking for value, I must include Include Betty in my tickets. This is a filly who runs off the pace, and if there is a hot pace, she will be very dangerous at huge odds. In the Kentucky Oaks, I’m not selecting any frontrunners; in my opinion, the winner will be a stalker or one who runs off the pace. I’m playing Birdatthewire to win and a trifecta with 13/3, 12/3, and 12.
*Kentucky Oaks Pat Performances
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