Kentucky Oaks: Five Horses To Like Among the Fillies
It is run 24 hours before the Kentucky Derby, but you're likely to see better racing in Friday's Kentucky Oaks, with a number of fillies looking to make a splash at Churchill Downs.
This is where we all fell in love with Rachel Alexandria. She ran one of the most impressive races in horse racing history at the Oaks by taking down the field by 20 lengths.
She went on to trounce the colts at the Preakness en route to Horse of the Year honors.
So might we see a Preakness preview once again?
With the wide-open Derby field and things looking wilder for Pimlico, it's very possible the Oaks winner goes into Maryland as the Preakness favorite.
The Oaks goes off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
Not up on the field?
We have five horses worth making a play this afternoon.
5. Tidal Pool
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Westrock Stable
This is the most interesting pick as this horse took awhile to come into her own.
Tidal Pool started seven times as a two-year old, winning twice.
She finished third in her three-year old debut in the Caressing Stakes.
She went to the minors, the allowances, and got her groove back at Oaklawn where she won by eight lengths. Next, she finished a respectable second to Blind Luck.
4. Amen Hallelujah
Trainer: Richard Dutrow, Jr.
She has four wins in eight career starts, one second and two third place finishes. She's undefeated in her first two races as a three-year old.
So why is she not more of the favorite?
There are questions as to whether she can run the distance. It's an odd knock, since she finished second to Devil May Care in her last start at 1 1/8 in a fast pace out of the gate.
The key: She can't get caught up in a sprint. If she holds back a little for the stretch, she has the skills to run down or hold off Blind Luck.
3. Jody Slew
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Owner: Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan
Overall, Jody Slew has had nine career starts, with three third-place finishes and four wins, including her maiden race.
Since her 2010 debut, Jody Slew's undefeated in her first two races as a three-year old.
Her team was excited about their chances at the Fair Grounds Oaks, but finished a disappointing seventh.
I think this filly has the makeup to have a strong run and stacked up impressively against the better horses in the field.
This is the long shot in my field, but boy, what a payoff.
2. Blind Luck
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Owners: Mark DeDomenico LLC., John Carver, and Jerry Hollendorfer
She's the 6-5 favorite this morning.
The daughter of Pollard's Vision won in the Oak Leaf at Santa Anita and the Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park as a two-year old.
In her three-year old debut, she closed big down the stretch to win at Santa Anita.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer got the horse ready for the dirt at Churchill by sending her to Oakland for the Fantasy. She won by 2 1/2 lengths in her best run ever.
She has a lot of momentum coming in.
One thing to watch is jockey Rafael Bejarno tends to ride her a too much instead of letting her run.
1. Quiet Temper
Trainer: Dale Roman
Owner: Mark Stanley
There's a strange buzz around this horse.
Quiet Temper has amassed three wins and four second-place finishes in eight career starts.
In the Silverbulletday Stakes, Quiet Temper was beaten by a nose by Jody Slew in a photo finish.
But then she went out and thoroughly impressed at the Fair Ground Oaks. Four of the last five Kentucky Oaks winners, including Rachel Alexandria last year, won the Fair Grounds first.
Is she too timid to run the fast pace that's expected Friday?
I don't think so. I'm going with history here.