The Breeders' Cup Kentucky OaksThis year's Kentucky Oaks has the feel of a Breeders' Cup race to me in that good horses will be good prices, and while it'd be a surprise if Rose To Gold, Princess of Sylmar, or Pure Fun won in that neither is one of the more likely winners, it'd hardly be a shock.
Even Pure Fun, who has not impressed this year, has a shot in this race given the first-time Lasix, and at 30-to-1 I'm willing to throw her in the mix as a Grade 1 winner.
The enigma of the race is Dreaming of Julia. If you believe every figure maker known to man that her Gulfstream Park Oaks was one of the fastest performances of the year by any three-year-old then a repeat of that race wins this easily. It's tough for horses to repeat big performances, though, and playing a horse to bounce and still win is rarely prudent as the favorite.
But like the Breeders' Cup, you can make some money playing favorites if you have a strong case for longer-priced horses. My vertical strategy for the race is to wheel Rose To Gold, Princess of Sylmar, and Pure Fun on top with ALL underneath and then box those three with Dreaming of Julia. It's a $39 bet that gives me a shot at a big gizmo if longshots come 1-2, and I get a little extra juice of Dreaming of Julia crashes the party but I'm still right on the longshots.
Beholder, Midnight Lucky, Close Hatches, and Unlimited Budget are all worthy adversaries, but I'd rather either take favored Dreaming of Julia or swing with for the fences with good horses who are going to be $50 winners if the job gets done.
That's my Oaks thoughts, and below is the ABC grid for all of Oaks day