Seven Horses Not to Bet For The 2018 Kentucky Oaks Win
Handicapping The Kentucky Oaks
The best way to go about getting a handicapping handle on a large field such as the 14-filly Kentucky Oaks is to eliminate the horses that don't appear to have a chance to win, and then concentrate your efforts on the rest. To help with that task, here's a look at seven horses we predict won't be hitting the wire first on Friday afternoon, listed by post position.
Odds courtesy from Bovada's racebook.
#3 - Classy Act (33-1)
It took Classy Act four tries to get her maiden win, but things were looking up when she repeated that effort by taking a first-level allowance race at one mile at Fair Grounds. But she has faltered since stretching out in distance and stepping up to graded-stakes racing. At 1 1/16 miles she led both the (G2) Rachel Alexandra and (G1) Fair Grounds Oaks, but faded in both cases to finish second and then fourth.
#5 - Wonder Gadot (20-1)
She's been in-the-money but winless in four consecutive starts in 2018, and although she deserves some consideration on trifectas and superfectas, it's hard to see her breaking that 0 for 4 streak here. She actually lost a bit of ground to Classy Act when finishing third in the Fair Grounds Oaks last out, and she simply lacks the speed to beat the top contenders in the field.
#6 - Kelly's Humor (25-1)
A late-running filly, her lone stakes win was at Ellis Park, where she came from way back, but in a race where she ran the final furlong in a shockingly slow 14.50 seconds. Since then she's run second, fifth, tenth and second in Kentucky Oaks qualifying, and it's telling that the filly that beat her last out isn't even in this race.
#8 - Heavenhasmynikki (20-1)
The Bovada oddsmaker is very kind to her - in the official mornig line odds, she's the longest shot in the field at 50-1. She started her career in the lower tier of racing at Mahoning Valley Race Course in Ohio, and while she did grab an allowance win at Gulfstream Park, she has been third and fourth in two graded-stakes races since then. In both cases she weakend late in races at seven furlongs and then one mile, so it seems unlikely she'll last 1 1/8 miles in the Oaks.
#9 - Take Charge Paula (12-1)
On paper, she looks like a contender, with first-or-second place finishes in eight of her nine races, four of those in graded stakes. But if you believe in speed numbers, she's one of three fillies in the field who has yet to crack 80 as a Beyer speed rating, and that won't get it done in a field where six others have scored 85 or higher, three of those in the 90s.
#12 - Patrona Margarita (50-1)
The longest shot on the Bovada board, she's 30-1 in the ML odds. While she does have a win on the Churchill dirt working in her favor, she has been beaten by Oaks second-favorite Monomoy Girl in her last two races in a row, the first time by 7 1/4 lengths, the second by 13. She's going backwards, and it would take something of a miracle to reverse that trend.
#13 - Eskimo Kisses (16-1)
Of the fillies on this list, she likely has the best chance to pull the upset. She's been first or second in six of her seven lifetime starts, and was the runner-up in both the (G2) Fair Grounds Oaks and (G1) Ashland Stakes - albeit more than five lengths behind Monomoy Girl in that one. And her only previous start at Churchill was the only time she finished out of the money. That being said, she should benefit from a bit more distance, and if the pace is blazing early and falters late, she may be able to get up and grab a minor prize.
Betting the Kentucky Oaks
While we would be hard-pressed to recommend any of these fillies for the win on Friday, it's also worth pointing out that three of the top four finishers in last year's Kentucky Oaks were in double-digit odds, and so risking a few bucks to include one or more of these in exotic bets on race day is certainly something to consider.
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