We are just under a week away from the Kentucky Derby and even closer to the Oaks, which will run on Friday afternoon/evening. As per my usual I am pretty excited about the upcoming weekend and greatly looking forward to it. As also is my usual, I have my picks and some insight as to why they are my picks. I am going to give mine for the Oaks today and follow-up with my Derby picks tomorrow.
For those that don’t know, the Oaks is the feature race of the day on Friday, the day before the Kentucky Derby. It is for three-year old fillies whereas the Derby is for three old male horses, though a female can run in the Derby the converse it not true. It has been, historically considered Kentucky’s race as well – as it is so hard to get in on Saturday many locals go on Friday – though this is starting to change somewhat over the last few years in my opinion – becoming a full weekend for the tourist.
On to my picks…
First, I have to mention that my top pick for the race was Take Charge Brandi who was romping as a two-year old, was Champion 2 year filly last year, and doing well this year is out. She came up with a bone chip in her knee in mid-march and took her off the trail – though she was pointing to a race that may have qualified her in the Derby itself. Alas…
Of horses likely in the field my first choice is I’m A Chatterbox. This filly is trained by Larry Jones, one my favorite trainers and someone who knows Fridays in May very well. She just wins and is in my opinion the horse to beat.
Second choice Lovely Maria. Stablemate to I’m A Chatterbox and also trained by Larry. She is a good horse in her own right, but a notch below. She also has Thundergulch in her pedigree and I really like that horse. Could it be a 1-2 finish? I am thinking possibility.
Third choice for me has been Forever Unbridled. Now before you go placing a bet, keep in mind two things. First of all, she is horse 15 on the list of a field that will be set to 14 – so unless there is a defector soon she will not be there Friday. Also note that I like her, especially in the exotics with the two above, but her performance up to this would suggest she is not a winner even if she draws in.
Fourth pick for me is Birdatthewire and if Unbridled does not draw in (maybe even if she does) it is to move her to my 3rd spot. Seems like she has come on lately and is peaking and just the right time.
My last pick, just to round out a top five (or likely four) is Include Betty. Again, just seems to have been peaking at the right time and seems ready for the challenge.
** – Image is from Chuchilldowns of the Kentucky Oaks Lily.