2018 Rachel Alexandra Stakes Picks
Rachel Alexandra Stakes Preview and Odds
Named for the 2009 Preakness Stakes winning filly, the Rachel Alexandra is the first of the 30 Kentucky Oaks qualifiers in the 2017-18 season to offer points on a 50-20-10-4 scale. In the past couple of years, the cut-off point for the 14 spots in the Oaks starting gate has been right around 40 points, and so it's clear that a win or even a runner-up finish in the Rachel Alexandra would go a long way for a filly trying to make the Oaks field.
In an evenly matched field for what should be a very good betting race, Wonder Gadot (4-1 in the morning line odds) is already a graded-stakes winner, having won the (G2) Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in December, as well as the (G3) Mazarine Stakes at her homebase of Woodbine last October. She made her 2018 debut at Fair Grounds, finishing second by a neck to a 33-1 long shot in the Siverbulletday Stakes, but that effort was probably just what she needed after a six-week layoff, and she should be primed for her second race off the break.
She has shown very good ability to stalk just off the pace, and with a win already at 1 1/8 miles, distance isn't a question. Breaking from the #4 gate should allow jockey John Velazquez every opportunity to put her in a good position early. She currently sits in third place on the Oaks leaderboard with 14 points.
Monomy Girl Needs To Grow Up
Favored in the ML at odds of 8-5, Monomoy Girl started her career with two consecutive wins on the turf, before she was switched to dirt to capture the Rags To Riches Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths at Churchill Downs last October. She capped 2017 by stepping up to graded-stakes racing, where she ran second in the (G2) Golden Rod Stakes. She was a bit erratic in the stretch drive in that one, lugging in and out, which is what ultimately caused her to lose the race by just a neck. The Rachel Alexandra will be her first start of 2018.
Monomoy Girl is expected to show lots of early speed, and she's most likely going to be joined on the front end by Classy Act (6-1) who will be making her stakes debut. It took her four tries to get her maiden win, but she did that on the Fair Grounds turf course in late December, and then came back to win last month on the Fair Grounds dirt at the allowance level. She went wire-to-wire for the win, setting fast early fractions and then cruising to the win by 2 1/2 lengths.
If a speed duel does develop up front, it could play right into the hands of a closer like Patrona Margarita (6-1) who came from way back to capture the (G2) Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill last September by 3 3/4 lengths at odds of 24-1. She seems to be getting better as the distances increase, but she has been off since the Pocahontas win, and conditioning may be a factor.
The Rachel Alexander Stakes goes Saturday, February 17 from Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. One of several stakes races in the card, it precedes the (G2) Risen Star Stakes, which is a qualifier for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Expected post time for the Rachel Alexander is 4:05 PM Central.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Actress On Board (20-1)
- Testing One Two (6-1)
- Classy Act (6-1)
- Wonder Gadot (4-1)
- She's A Julie (12-1)
- Heavenly Love (6-1)
- Patrona Margarita (6-1)
- Monomy Girl (8-5)
Rachel Alexandra Picks
- 1) #4 - Wonder Gadot
- 2) #7 - Patrona Margarita
- 3) #8 - Monomy Girl
- 4) #3 - Classy Act
You can bet the Rachel Alexandra Stakes and the entire schedule of races leading to the Friday, May 4, Kentucky Oaks with an account at a top-rated online racebook.
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