Brandon A. Quick |  Fri 04/05/2018 - 07:59 EDT

2018 Kentucky Oaks Preview and Predictions

2018 Kentucky Oaks Preview and Predictions
Amidst the chaos of Kentucky Derby weekend, it may be easy for horse players to forget about the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, but do so at your own peril as this represents the best betting race of the year for three year-old fillies.

A Pair of Stars

14 fillies will enter the starting gate Friday, May 4 at Churchill Downs for the Oaks (6:12 ET post), but two have established themselves as budding heroines in the three year-old filly division. Midnight Bisou (5/2) and Monomoy Girl (2/1) have run a combined 11 times, winning 8 starts and finishing second three times. Neither filly has last this year and both appear destined for stardom. 

Dig deeper and there’s even more cache in the form of opposing running styles and an east coast versus west coast subplot. Monomoy Girl, a front-running filly based in Kentucky for trainer Brad Cox has won 5 of 6 career starts, including the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes last out. Midnight Bisou, a fast-closing freight train, hails from the west coast barn of trainer Bill Spawr and has won 3 of 5 career efforts, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks most recently. 

The tale of the tape puts these fillies right on the line together leaving their 12 rivals with work to do. The showdown on Kentucky Derby Eve might even surpass the main event if the race lives up to half the hype. 

Meet the Field 

  1. Sassy Sienna 15/1
  2. Coach Rocks 12/1
  3. Classy Act 15/1
  4. Chocolate Martini 12/1
  5. Wonder Gadot 20/1
  6. Kelly’s Humor 
  7. Rayya 12/1
  8. Heavenhasmynikki 50/1
  9. Take Charge Paula 15/1
  10. Midnight Bisou 5/2
  11. My Miss Lilly 10/1
  12. Patrona Margarita 30/1
  13. Eskimo Kisses 15/1
  14. Monomoy Girl 2/1 

Capping the Race

It seems pretty clear that the trio of Classy Act, Heavenhasmynikki and Take Charge Paula will be involved – in some form or fashion – for the early lead. That should put Monomoy Girl sitting a comfortable trip and leave Midnight Bisou tracking the action from several lengths off the pace.

My Miss Lilly is the wild card in this race as the rapidly-improving gal seems to be the most logical threat to the top two. Trained by Mark Hennig, My Miss Lilly is one of two horses in the field with a victory at the mile and one eighth distance of the Oaks, and seems to be getting better with each start. If My Miss Lilly can duplicate her last-out win in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes (92 Beyer Sped Figure), she can have plenty to say about the outcome. 

As far as long shots go, there are worse ones to back than Wonder Gadot who is the only other filly in the race to have won at the mile and one eighth distance. Chocolate Martini and Coach Rocks also make some sense as both fillies enter the big race in good form and having recorded upbeat workouts over the Churchill Downs dirt. 

Kentucky Oaks Picks

I can’t go against the top two horses in here and I’m probably splitting hairs by virtue of having to pick either, but I’ll take Midnight Bisou on top. The extra distance and pace of the Oaks should flatter her closing kick and it’s more than worth noting that she’s actually been running against a track bias at the traditionally speed-favoring Santa Anita where she’s won her last three starts. Monomoy Girl had the misfortune of drawing the widest starting post in this race, but she’s more than capable of overcoming that. 

Players looking to avoid the certainty of a short-priced winner or exotic bet can lean towards My Miss Lilly, who would represent very fair value at anything close to her 10/1 morning line price. 

  • 1st: Midnight Bisou
  • 2nd: Monomoy Girl 
  • 3rd: My Miss Lilly
  • 4th: Wonder Gadot 

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Category : Sports Betting News

Tag : Kentucky Oaks

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