Kentucky Oaks 2019: Entries, odds and post positions

April 29, 2019 10:44am
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A full field of 14 is in for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks, with the top prize for 3-year-old fillies worth a record $1.25 in purse money as they go 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs. California-based Bellafina is squarely the one to beat, but she’ll offer little value in a race that includes division champion Jaywalk, the speedy Serengeti Empress and Lady Apple, an up-and-comer out of Oaklawn Park.

Post time for the Oaks, Race 11 of 13 at Churchill Downs, is 6:12 p.m. ET with NBC Sports Network providing live coverage. Here’s a look at the field in post order with trainers, jockeys and Mike Battaglia's morning line

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1. Out for a Spin, 15-1 (Dallas Stewart/Irad Ortiz Jr.): She scored in Keeneland’s Ashland (G1) at 52-1, reminding that you should never completely count out a Stewart longshot. But they don’t often strike twice. The numbers show a huge jump last time.

Chocolate Kisses, 20-1 (Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione): She won two straight heading into the Ashland but never got involved that day. The good news: Given all the need-the-lead types in this race, the pace could set up for a deep closer like Chocolate Kisses.

Lady Apple, 20-1 (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.): She made it to the races in April of 2018, raced four times and went to the sidelines after August. In the new year, Lady Apple is 3-for-3, looking much improved when she shot up the rail to win Oaklawn Park’s Fantasy Stakes (G2).

Bellafina, 2-1 (Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat): Detractors will point to her defeat last fall at Churchill Downs, but she had an excuse that day, being in reproductive heat. More concerning if you’re going against the favorite is that she has registered higher figures at distances shorter than nine furlongs.

Flor de La Mar, 20-1 (Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario): Second to Bellafina in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), this lightly raced Godolphin runner has performed well, but only on fast tracks. In case of rain Friday as predicted, she’s one to fade.

Positive Spirit, 30-1 (Rodolphe Brisset/Manny Franco): It looks like we can draw a line through that last-place finish at Fair Grounds to open her season. That’s sandwiched between some respectable performances at the Oaks distance, including a win in the Dec. 1 Demoiselle (G2).

Jaywalk, 8-1 (John Servis/Javier Castellano): Brilliant at age 2, she was defeated in both her starts to open this season. A third last time in the Ashland (G1) might have been better, however, than it looked given she factored in a hot pace scenario.

Motion Emotion, 15-1 (Tom Van Berg/Mike Smith): This filly fits Smith by bringing certain speed to the race, but there looks to be plenty of that signed on. She was tracked down and finished second in consecutive stakes at Oaklawn leading into this.

Liora, 20-1 (Wayne Catalano/Channing Hill): Shades of Farrell, who also ran for Coffeepot Stables in the 2017 Oaks. Liora owns a gritty Grade 2 win over this track and, notably, in the slop. Rain could be an equalizer after three defeats this season.

Champagne Anyone, 6-1 (Ian Wilkes/Chris Landeros): A change of equipment — blinkers on — seemed to make the difference when this daughter of Street Sense went from Grade 2-placed to winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) with a pace pressing trip.

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Jeltrin, 15-1 (Alexis Delgado/Luis Saez): She was the 51-1 winner of Gulfstream’s Davona Dale (G2) when Jaywalk flopped as an odds-on favorite to open her season. Jeltrin hasn’t raced since then and will make her two-turn debut in the Oaks.

Street Band, 15-1 (Larry Jones/Sophie Doyle): Serengeti Empress’ issues in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) set this filly up for her first graded stakes victory. Jones has won this race three times, while Doyle is seeking to become the second female jockey to take it.

Serengeti Empress, 8-1 (Tom Amoss/James Graham): Dominant at times, including with a Grade 2 last fall win over this track by 19 1/2 lengths, the filly has a major question to answer after she dropped from the lead in her final prep due to bleeding through Lasix.

Restless Rider, 6-1 (Kenny McPeek/Brian Hernandez Jr.): She takes a unique route into this one with McPeek, by design, prepping Restless Rider just once after a Grade 1-winning 2-year-old season. She ran a credible second in the Ashland and figures to improve.

Dunbar Road (5-1) and Point of Honor (30-1) are both listed as also eligibles and could gain entry into the field before the 9 a.m. ET Friday scratch deadline in that order of preference. Dunbar Road, a Chad Brown trainee, was the Gulfstream Park Oaks runner-up in just her second career start. Point of Honor, fourth in that race, won Tampa Bay Downs' Suncoast Stakes two back.


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