I still have some work to do with Saturday's Derby, but give Birdatthewire the nod over Include Betty, Condo Commando and I'm a Chatterbox in my exacta and trifecta for today's Kentucky Oaks.
Birdatthewire appeared to be headstrong and basically strangled by jockey Irad Ortiz down the backstretch, ran into the heels of horses approaching the second turn, and blew by the field (and that same horse) in a race with a dawdling pace.
In the Oaks, I like that she drew an outside post and think she'll get enough speed to run into and mow down front-runner Condo Commando, who looked hand-ridden to me in her win in the Gazelle at Aqueduct but I'm not sure has been challenged by credible foes just yet.
Include Betty has an outside shot, as I see it, at 20-to-1, but my only hesitation with putting her on top is that she's the deepest of closer types and I'm not sure the pace will be frenetic enough for the others to wear down. This, of course, is contingent upon I'm a Chatterbox reverting to her form two back, where unlike the easy front-running score in the Fair Grounds Oaks, she rallied clear late to win.
Anyway, I'll likely invest between $30-$40 in the race, using:
- Top pick (single): 13
- Second: 3, 5, 8
- Third: 3, 5, 8, 10, 11
- Fourth (possible superfecta): 3, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14
- Oaks-Derby Double: 13 with 2, 15, 18