When the March Madness picks are set each season, it's never surprising to see the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the shortlist of potential NCAA Tournament champions.
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2018 Fair Grounds Oaks Odds, Picks
Fair Grounds Oaks Preview and Odds
Run at 1 1/16 miles on the Fair Grounds dirt, the Fair Grounds Oaks offers Kentucky Oaks qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 scale. The race features three fillies that currently sit in the Top 20 on the Kentucky Oaks qualifying leaderboard, and even a top-three finish would likely give any one of them enough points to make the Oaks starting gate.
The Fair Grounds Oaks will be run just prior to the (G2) Louisiana Derby, which is a qualifying race for the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
In what looks like a very competitive race, Classy Act has been made the slight morning line favorite for the FG Oaks at odds of 5-2. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Classy Act has run first or second in five of her six lifetime starts, although that number includes four tries at the maiden level before she scored her first win, which came at Fair Grounds in her last start of 2017.
She made her 2018 debut also at Fair Grounds, winning an allowance-level race by taking the field wire-to-wire in a race that was fairly quick through the first half-mile, but slowed considerably in the second half. After that she made the jump up to graded-stakes racing and ran third in the (G2) Rachel Alexandra Stakes. That was also a 1 1/16 mile race that she led until being passed in the stretch, and she needs to prove that she can carry her speed all the way to the wire.
Wonder Gadot Needs a Bounce-Back Effort
Finishing right behind her in the Rachel Alexandra was Wonder Gadot, the second ML choice here at 3-1. She's a filly with a pair of graded-stakes wins on her resume, the first of those coming on the all-weather track at her home base of Woodbine. She followed that up by running sixth in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, a race where she had her chances compromised by traffic trouble as she began her stretch drive. She came back from that to win the (G2) Damoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct, but was then beaten by a head by a 33-1 longshot in the Silverbulletday Stakes. For her, distance isn't a problem, but she needs to find more speed.
Without a lot of early speed in the race, it doesn't set up very well for a closer, but one that might be up to the task is Texas-bred Patrona Margarita (10-1). Two starts back she came from mid-pack and went five-wide to get up for the win in the (G2) Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs.
She made her 2018 debut running fourth in the Rachel Alexandra where she broke poorly and was then not able to make any impression on the top three. She needs to move forward off that effort to challenge for the win, but certainly has a good shot at cracking the top three here.
Stepping up to stakes racing for the first time is Eskimo Kisses (9-2) who has a resume very similar to Classy Act, in that she has been first or second in four of her five lifetime races. She also needed four tries before getting her maiden win, which came two races back in her second start of 2018. After that she won again at the allowance level, hitting the wire more than 11 lengths in front of the field on a sloppy track. Now she needs to try and duplicate that performance against better fillies on a dry surface.
The Fair Grounds Oaks is race #10 of 12 at Fair Grounds Race Course on Saturday, March 24. Expected post time for the race is 4:41 PM Central.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Classy Act (5-2)
- Saguaro Row (12-1)
- America's Tale (10-1)
- Eskimo Kisses (9-2)
- Patrona Margarita (10-1)
- She's A Julie (15-1)
- Testing One Two (10-1)
- Wonder Gadot (3-1)
- Chocolate Martini (10-1)
Fair Grounds Oaks Picks
- 1) #8 - Wonder Gadot
- 2) #5 - Patrona Margarita
- 3) #1 - Classy Act
- 4) #4 - Eskimo Kisses
You can conveniently bet the full card at the Fair Grounds on Saturday and all the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep races with an account at a top-rated online racebook.
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