The talk of the weekend ahead might be on the 2013 Kentucky Derby, but the Kentucky Oaks will also take place in the next few days with a strong field bound to provide plenty of spectacular viewing.
The 139th Kentucky Oaks is bound to be a fan favorite and it always provides a great warm-up event to the Derby on Saturday. It'll certainly attract plenty of attention and excitement in the lead-up to the most prestigious race this year and could also very well be a thrilling result on the day.
There are a number of strong contenders for the race this year who could all take the title. How will they fare by the time the race gets underway on Friday?
Read on for a full listing of all the horses, post positions and other information for the Kentucky Oaks this year, as well as some key predictions for the race itself.
2013 Kentucky Oaks: Details and Post Positions
Longines Kentucky Oaks, Friday May 3, 2013 at 5:45 p.m. ET
1.125 miles, Grade I, Purse: $1.00 million (per KentuckyDerby.com)
|1||Silsita||G. Stevens ||T. Pletcher ||20/1|
|2||Midnight Lucky||R. Bejarano ||B. Baffert ||9/2|
|3||Beholder||G. Gomez||R. Mandella ||7/2|
|4||Unlimited Budget||J. Castellano ||T. Pletcher ||7/2|
|5||Seaneen Girl||R. Napravnik ||B. Flint ||20/1|
|6||Princess of Sylmar||M. Smith ||T. Pletcher ||20/1|
|7||Pure Fun||J. Leparoux ||K. McPeek ||30/1|
|8||Dreaming of Julia||J. Velazquez ||T. Pletcher ||3/1|
|9||Rose to Gold||C. Borel ||S. Santoro ||15/1|
|10||Flashy Gray—SCRATCHED*||J. Alvarado ||W. Mott ||15/1|
|11||Close Hatches||J. Rosario ||W. Mott ||6/1|
NOTE: According to West Point Thoroughbreads, Flashy Gray returned from her training session this morning with a bruised right hell and will be scratched.
Flashy Gray came back from her gallop this morning with a bruised right heel. Simply bad timing. She will be scratched from the #KyOaks— West Point TBreds (@westpointtbred) May 1, 2013
2013 Kentucky Oaks Predictions
Dreaming of Julia Wins Comfortably
Dreaming of Julia will come into the race as a clear favorite this year by the time it gets underway, and understandably so. There's a great deal of buzz around this horse and, despite sitting just eighth in the current points standings for 2013, has shown she is more than capable of winning this weekend.
The John Velazquez-Todd Pletcher combination will hold her in great stead for the big race here, and as she showed in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, she can be very tough to run down—especially if she can get out in front of the field once more.
A.P. Indy and Dream Rush give this horse great pedigree, and with a proven performer in Velazquez on board, she'll end up winning comfortably again.
Seaneen Girl Rattles Home to Run Second
There are a number of quality horses in the field this year, but I think a real underrated one is Seaneen Girl. She showed real finishing quality in her third-place effort in the Grade II Fair Grounds Oaks and strong showings towards the end of last year in the Golden Rod Stakes and the Mazarine Stakes over the 1 and 1/16 mile course, which will hold her in good stead for this one.
With in-form jockey Rosie Napravnik on board, Seaneen Girl could well challenge the field here—particularly if the pace isn't that quick and she doesn't get blocked for a run. Napravnik has the talent and skill to navigate her out into the open, and with good speed, she could well rattle home for a second-place finish here by the winner.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: Follow @dantalintyre