2017 Kentucky Oaks: Breaking down the full field of 14, first half (post positions: #8 through #14) Is there a long shot drawn to the outside that could upset the field in the Oaks?

#8: Sailor’s Valentine


Eddie Kenneally has taken an interesting training path with this filly. She has hopped back and forth between stakes company and first level allowance races without success. Then all of a sudden, he enters her in the G1 – Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and she presses the pace, digs deep, and upsets the field at odds of 22-1. Even with the recent pop back to form, its hard to see this horse having the same type of effort a month later. The turf to dirt angle worked last out, but I think she is in for a bounce in this spot. NOT USING


#9: Wicked Lick


Wicked Lick ships in from the Fair Grounds where she earned 2nd in the FG Oaks. She has improved her speed figure in five consecutive races, but she has not won a single one of them. It’s hard to think that she will be able to come into the Kentucky Oaks and upset this group. At 30-1 on the morning line she could definitely be worth using underneath in the exotics. She has a win at Churchill, but there is one major problem, it was on turf. If the track is sloppy USE HER ON OFF TRACK, otherwise LONG SHOT UNDERNEATH



#10: Miss Sky Warrior


There is not a lot of bad I can say about a horse that was very green her debut as a 2-year-old and then corrected it and has won every start since. She has been perfect in her last five races. My only knock is four of the five came at Parx (1) and Aqueduct (3). The other win came  at Gulfstream in the Davona Dale. Her latest start in the G2-Gazelle was magnificent. Paco Lopez comes in for the ride and I can see why, this Kelly Breen entry has done everything you want to see. My biggest problem with her is she is a straight SPEED BALL and there is plenty of speed in the race. She may be the fastest filly in the group, but in my eyes she is a SPEED and FADE candidate. COULD WIN BUT I AM NOT USING – Note: She is not bred to run well on wet surfaces.


#11: Tequilita


Owned by Dorothy Matz and trained by Michael Matz, they have won in Kentucky before with Barbaro. This filly took a few starts to break her maiden. She has done her fair share of traveling. She had won three in a row including the Forward Gal at GP, but was caught 4wide in the GP Oaks and was good enough to earn 2nd. Salty was the horse that beat her and it could have been a combination of things. She may have been too close to a hot pace. One start on an off track, ran well for 2nd. DISTANCE is the question. I LIKE HER AS A LONG SHOT – DEPENDS ON ODDS


#12: Daddys Lil Darling


Has shown the ability to close like a freight train throughout her young but experienced career. She has been racing in graded stakes company for six consecutive starts, three G1’s, two G2’s, and one G3. She won the G2 Pocahontas at Churchill in the mud back in September. DING DING DING! This horse has every reason to run back to the best race of her life as long as she gets a pace set-up. She should get speed on her inside on this race. If she can get clear run 20-1 would be a sweet price on this horse. Kenny McPeek will have her in the right form. ON TOP


#13: Abel Tasman


I never really cared for California shippers coming into these races and then the last 10 years happened. They started winning and running in the money. It may have to do with the quality of racing in other areas of the country. I would say that Florida and New York racing has been on a downward swing for a while now. Abel Tasman on the other hand has put up some very, VERY FAST speed figures in her lifetime. She broke her maiden, cleared allowance company, and won the G1-Starlet in three consecutive starts. Then she ran into Unique Bella in the SntYsabl at Santa Anita. After Unique Bella defected with an injury, most thought this horse deserved Oaks favoritism. That was until Paradise Woods showed up in the Santa Anita Oaks and ran that group off their feet. A trainer switch to Bob Baffert and the addition of Mike Smith can only help this horse second off the change. She also has the breeding to run the distance and run in the mud. It’s impossible to leave this one off your tickets, MUST USE IN ALL POSITIONS


#14: Salty


I have heard from many a people that Salty is the real deal. Mark Casse has pushed all the right buttons thus far. With Classic Empire and State of Honor in tomorrow’s big race, the horse everybody might overlook is Salty. She is bred to run in the slop, Quality Road will definitely help her get 9 furlongs. Her biggest knock is her lack of experience on the racetrack. She has three starts. Ian Wilkes had her for her debut and she missed by a neck at 24-1. Then she came back in her next two starts and dazzled. Could be the biggest threat to Paradise Woods for favoritism. HER LACK OF EXPERIENCE HURTS, but she is a MUST USE IN ALL POSITIONS.


Tier 1: Using on most tickets


Tier 2: Using underneath on some tickets


Tier 3: Not using unless ALL button is pushed


TOP PICK: #14 SALTY or #12 DADDYS LIL DARLING (Depends on weather)


Some of my tickets:

$20 Win on 14 and/or 12


$1 exacta box 3,11,12,14 = $12

$1 ex 14 with ALL = $13

$1 ex ALL with 14 = $13

$0.50 tri: 14 with 3,7,11,12,13 with 3,7,11,12,13

3,7,11,12,13 with 14 with 3,7,11,12,13

3,7,11,12,13 with 3,7,11,12,13 with 14

$1 super 14 with 3,7 with 3,7,13 with 3,7,11,12,13


I will be singling the 14 in the final leg of the guaranteed P4 – I will also have a ticket that uses all of the six horses in tier 1 in a P4. Please check Twitter.


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