In a quarterback-heavy year, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is the overwhelming favorite to go first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft picks. After that, though, things begin to get interesting. Any number of QBs could go in the 2-3 spots of the draft and there's been plenty of speculation on the order, leading to some attractive options in the betting odds and to some intriguing NFL Draft prop bets.
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2018 Gulfstream Park Oaks Picks
Gulfstream Park Oaks Preview and Odds
The second major qualifier to be run for the Kentucky Oaks so far, the Gulfstream Park Oaks awards points to the top four finishers on a 100-40-20-10 scae. There are three horses in the field that could clinch a spot in the Kentucky Oaks with a top-two finish, including the top two choices in the morning line odds.
In a very wide-open field, Take Charge Paula has been made the tepid ML favorite at odds of 4-1. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, she has been first or second in seven of her eight lifetime starts, with five wins. Her last three starts all came at Gulfstream, where two back she won the (G3) Forward Gal Stakes, and last out ran second in the (G2) Davona Dale, in both of those races finishing ahead of several others she'll face again today.
She's a versatile filly that can stalk up close to the pace or come from a bit farther back, and her recent success on the track gives her a slight edge here, but like most of the others, she'll be asked to stretch out and carry her speed past one mile for the first time.
Princess Warrior Better Than Her Results
If she can work out a good trip, the late-runnning Princess Warrior (5-1) could make things interesting as they come down to the wire. Although she only has a maiden win in her five lifetime starts, her recent results don't really reflect how well she has run. She finished off 2017 in an allowance race at Churchill Downs, where she came from back in the pack and then was forced to go five-wide into the straight, making up four lengths on the leaders before settling for second.
Last out in the (G3) Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream, she raced inside early and then came out to the three path, again finishing well to get fourth, but only two lengths behind the winner. She should get a fast pace to run at on Saturday, and that combined with a bit added distance gives her a solid shot at hitting the top three.
Besides Take Charge Paula, the other filly in the field that can likely clinch a spot in the Kentucky Oaks with a top-two finish is Daisy, second choice in the ML at odds of 9-2. She has good early speed and won her first two lifetime starts going wire-to-wire. She failed to carry her speed at 1 1/8 miles and ran fourth in the (G2) Damoiselle Stakes to finish off 2017, and then couldn't make the lead breaking from the outside gate in her 2018 debut in the Suncoast Stakes and had to race three-and-four wide throughout the race.
Despite that, she showed good energy late to get up for the Place money, and with a good start out of the #5 post position, she's likely to be in much better position early in this one.
Still really learning how to race, Cache could be a sleeper pick at 8-1. Unraced in her two-year-old season, she won her first lifetime start despite shifting inside early and then drifting out late after taking control at the top of the stretch. She then tried stakes racing in the (G3) Davona Dale at Gulfstream where she was fifth, but again showed that she's really just learning how to race, making a poor break from the gate and then not firing when she had a clear path to make a move on the leaders late. She's a threat to get into the money if she can take a step forward in terms of her racing maturity.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks is race #12 on a 14-race card at Gulfstream that includes the (G1) Florida Derby, a qualifying race for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Expected post time for the Oaks is 5:26 PM Eastern.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Eightthirtyone (30-1)
- Coach Rocks (8-1)
- Take Charge Paula (4-1)
- Cache (8-1)
- Daisy (9-2)
- Blonde Bomber (6-1)
- Heavenhasmynikki (12-1)
- CS Incharge (6-1)
- Princess Warrior (5-1)
- Tel Your Mama (30-1)
- Silver Bay (20-1)
- Mihrab (15-1)
- Alter Moon (30-1)
Gulfstream Park Oaks Picks
- 1) #3 - Take Charge Paula
- 2) #9 - Princess Warrior
- 3) #5 - Daisy
- 4) #4 - Cache
While it would be great to be in south Florida to catch the live racing action, you can also bet the full Gulfstream Park Saturday card from home with an account at BetOnline or another top-rated online racebook.
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