Full card Kentucky Oaks 2018 day picks for Churchill Downs

May 04, 2018 02:35pm

In addition to the featured Kentucky Derby and Oaks, 25 races blanket horse players the next two days at Churchill Downs. Pick & choose your spots wisely, manage your bank roll and, most importantly, have fun this weekend.

Here we go with Friday's full card Churchill selections...

Race 1: 1 1/16 Miles, 3YO Fillies, Optional Claiming

Though the opener is short on entries, it definitely is not short on early pace.
#4 She’s Pretty Lucky is getting blinkers and going a route of ground on dirt for the first time. Breeding suggests the route will not be a problem, and look for improvement with the blinkers. Typically a slow work horse, she breezed 4 furlongs in 47 4/5 seconds in preparation for this. #6 Go Google Yourself is a logical favorite, but looks to have trouble finishing in route races once making the lead. #1 First Alternate may be the speed of the speed and will be sent hard early with her rail draw.

Selections 4-6-1-5

Race 2: 1 Mile Turf, 3YO Fillies & Up, Md Sp Wt

#9 Pachinko
has worked well for her first start in 11 months. Trainer Cox is firing at 23% with horses off a layoff of 90 days or more. Also, he and jockey Florent Geroux are hitting at a 42% clip over the last 60 days. #3 Tactical Affair is trying grass and a route for the first time. Her dam is a multiple-stakes winner over the lawn and has produced multiple turf winners. Trainer Shug McGaughey is 31% with runners getting Lasix for the first time. #7 Dabinett is from the powerful Chad Brown barn and should improve 2nd time out, while retaining jockey Jose Ortiz.

Selections 9-3-7-5

Race 3: 6 Furlongs, 3YO & Up, Md Sp Wt

#8 Bulge Notes
is an $825K purchase hailing from the Pletcher barn. He’s been working well for this, and Johnny V. gets the mount. Jimmy DiVito, trainer of #7 Cummings, is always dangerous first time out. The dam has 6 winners from 7 starters, so a must use at a square price. #6 Keros ran well on debut at Turfway Park in February. Trainer is dangerous in maiden races, so expect a similar effort at worst.

Selections 8-7-6-10

Race 4: 1 1/16 Miles Turf, 3YO & Up, Optional Claiming

#1 Keep Quiet
is 3rd off a 16-month layoff for trainer Mark Casse. Look for him to get a ground-saving trip off the leaders and have first jump on the deep closers. You’ll have to watch the weather with the ironically named #2 Sun Lover. He loves to hit the board, but some of his poorest performances have come over soft/yielding courses. #11 Krampus and #12 Saham are both contenders that must navigate outside posts while preferring to sit mid-pack trips.

Selections 1-2-11-12

Race 5: 7 Furlongs, 3YO Fillies, Eight Belles Stakes (G2)

In a race loaded with front runners who have no success going this far, look for
#7 Hold Her Tight to come running late in the final furlong. Trained by Eight Belles conditioner, Larry Jones, Hold Her Tight lacks stakes experience, but her style and speed figures fit this race well. #6 Gas Station Sushi also comes from off the pace, but will need to improve off the speed figure she recorded when winning the Beaumont last out. #3 Mia Mischief rated a little last out and got the job done at 6 furlongs. Jockey Santana will need to sit a similar trip off the early speed drawn to her inside to have any chance.

Selections 7-6-3-4

Race 6: 
1 1/16 Miles, 3YO & Up Fillies/Mares, La Troienne Stakes (G1)

#3 Abel Tasman
should win this, but with her coming off a 6-month layoff, the odds will be right to play against her. #1 Salty was arguably best in last year’s Kentucky Oaks when having a ton of traffic trouble. Then she spent the rest of the year chasing Able Tasman. She has two 1-turn races under her belt this year, so expect her to be a little sharp and get the jump on last year’s BC Distaff runner up. #8 Martini Glass is in career form, and shouldn’t be overlooked if the top 2 falter.

Selections 1-3-8-6

Race 7: 5 Furlongs Turf, 3YO & Up, Turf Sprint Stakes (G3)

In a wide-open grab bag loaded with early speed,
#11 Sonic Boom is a horse I’m willing to try at a price. His last was his maiden voyage into a true turf sprint, and he was welcomed with a troubled trip. He’s 2-for-2 when running 2nd off a layoff and should have plenty of foundation at this distance to make a late run. #1 Delectation is a filly running against the boys, but this is actually a step down in class for her. A group winner in Great Britian going 6 furlongs, the main worry is getting buried on the rail with all the speed signed on here. #9 Bucchero has learned to run from off the lead in the last year, and it has paid off in spades. He will have to come from farther out of it in here than he ever has though.

Selections 11-1-9-7

Race 8: 1 1/16 Miles, 4YO & Up, Alysheba Stakes (G2)

In a race void of early speed, #3 Always Dreaming should recreate the effort that earned him the blanket of roses in last year’s Derby. Expect #8 Awesome Slew to show more pace than usual when stretching out to a route. #1 Good Samaritan looked great in his 2018 bow. Anything near that performance makes him a major contender.

Selections 3-8-1-4

Race 9: 7 Furlongs, 3YO Fillies, Optional Claiming

#2 Electric Forest
was very impressive on debut, but sat a perfect outside trip that day. A repeat of that performance may earn her a berth in the Acorn against Caledonia Road on the Belmont Stakes undercard. #6 Devine Mischief was valiant in defeat last out against Hold Her Tight (top pick in Eight Belles Stakes). She’s the clear cut danger to the top pick. #1 Saints’ Girl steps out into open company for the first time after facing Louisiana breds in 4 career starts. Big step up, but her sprint win puts her in contention for a superfecta spot.

Selections 2-6-1-10

Be sure to check out my Play of the Day!

Race 10: 1 1/16 Miles Turf, 3YO Fillies, Edgewood Stakes (Grade 3)

#3 Altea
closed like a freight train when seen for the first time in the U.S. Though there are some very accomplished fillies in here, she will be very tough base on that last effort. #7 Toinette ships in for conservative trainer, Neil Drysdale. She earned the highest speed figure in the field last out, when competing in her first turf route. #11 Rushing Fall is undefeated in 4 starts, but must overcome a tough post draw. At odds on she is worth a play against, as her speed figures don’t tower over these.

Selections 3-7-11-10

Race 11: 1 1/8 Miles, 3YO Fillies, Kentucky Oaks (G1)

#11 My Miss Lilly
really flourished with the stretch out to 9 furlongs last out at Aqueduct. The daughter of Tapit owns the best late pace figure last time, and should get plenty of early speed to close into. #14 Monomoy Girl is very versatile, and is consistently faster than everyone, but must overcome a tough post in order to get the lilies. #10 Midnight Bisou is 2 noses away from being undefeated in 5 tries. She fires every time, but isn’t quite as versatile as the top 2 and will have to weave her way through traffic.

Selections 11-14-10-5

Race 12-1 1/16 Miles, 3YO Fillies, Optional Claiming

#4 Nucla
should get enough pace with many in here stretching out to a route for the first time. Another dangerous filly from the formidable Cox/Geroux team. #1A Villamay might be known as Derby contender Hofburg’s workmate, but breeding suggests that the added ground should be no problem. #10 Gio Game has the most experience, but must overcome the dreaded outside draw.

Selections 4-1A-10-8

Race 13-1 Mile, 3YO & Up Fillies/Mares, Md Sp Wt

#2 Rizzoli
towers over these from a speed figure standpoint. Two good works since her last race and a nice inside draw makes her a major threat. #1 Jan One ran respectable in her 2 starts last year, and has worked well for her first try in 7 months. After the top pick, everyone looks pretty even, so she must be included at a price. Trainer Dallas Stewart isn’t know for success with debut runners, but #4 Auspicious Babe was working under the Twin Spires last summer for her debut before something put her on the bench. She has plenty of foundation from her published works, and her breeding hints that 8 furlongs first out is within her grasp.

Selections 2-1-4-6


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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, Nebraska. From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10. Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for playing the races has risen to a new level. Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch. My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping Pick 4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do. I encourage others to post picks they like, too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions. That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal. Best of luck.

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