There are races on the national racing calendar that transcend geography and we will do our best to bring our insights into those races. This weekend are, of course, the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. We’ll showcase our first four selections in each race and see what we can make of the potential superfecta. Today is our look at the first four spots in the Kentucky Oaks.
From the rail outward:
FOREVER UNBRIDLED has been training well with a sharp 5 furlong workout on April 24 and should be able to handle the distance. Her dam, Lemons Forever, won this race in 2006 blowing up the tote board at 47-1. Adding Mike Smith to mix just adds to the allure of this filly.
BIRDATTHEWIRE seems to like the surface at Churchill and has a win and third place finish to her credit here. She had a nice 5 furlong work on April 25 and her trainer is 14% in graded stakes. She’s got Irad Ortiz back in the irons and the combo has 2 wins together.
I’M A CHATTERBOX doesn’t seem to do anything wrong. She is an extremely versatile runner and adapts well to whatever style of pace gets thrown at her and is on a three race win streak. Her sire, Munnings, is proving interesting with progeny that seems to be able to do it all at any distance over any surface.
INCLUDE BETTY has a great closing kick and is very consistent with that running style. She has a fifth place finish over the turf that can be thrown out nestled between two wins. If there is a fast pace that begins to fall apart, this filly could be dangerous at a fantastic price.
Superfecta Box: 1-3-8-13
Many have written about how deep the quality runs in this year’s 3-year old male crop competing for the roses in Saturday’s Derby, but the Oaks field is no slouch either. CONDO COMMANDO, LOVELY MARIA, I’M A CHATTERBOX, STELLAR WIND and BIRDATTHEWIRE are all in with a chance. Should any of these cross the finish line first I would not be surprised.
My whittling down process for the win got me to BIRDATTHEWIRE and I’M A CHATTERBOX. BIRDATTHEWIRE has had nothing but trouble in her 2015 campaign and yet still has won 2 of the three Grade 2’s she’s run in, just missing by a neck in the Davona Dale in her other start. This type of adversity should serve her well in here.
I’M A CHATTERBOX has been splendid in her preps down on the Bayou. She swept the preps at Fairgrounds and did it gate to wire, from far off the pace and pressing a bit before taking command. Florent Geroux is going to be able to react to whatever scenario gets thrown at him as the race unfolds and have confidence that his mount can get it done.
In a very competitive field, I feel that I’M A CHATTERBOX is the best horse – and my choice – but I will be using BIRDATTHEWIRE with her in the exacta.
Rounding out the superfecta, I added INCLUDE BETTY. I think her closing kick is impressive and there should be some pace to run at. I don’t think she can win this race by any means, but I do think that she can sneak into the 3rd or 4th spot and help trigger a nice price.
I admire what CONDO COMMANDO has accomplished in New York and I think LOVELY MARIA is improving, but morning line favorite STELLAR WIND appears to be primed for a big race and has a nice stalking running style that should put her in the mix at the end. She came back to the races in fine form and only built on that effort in her dominant win in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Superfecta spots: 8-13-12-3