Micah Joe’s Free Betting Picks for the Kentucky Oaks
Free Plays: Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs (Friday, May 3)
Race 5: Grade 2, Eight Belles Stakes, 7 furlongs, est. post time 12:35 pm EST
Morning line has #3 Queen of Beas and #4 Break Even as co-favorites at 4-1. Break Even is undefeated in three races and just keeps improving, but that has to stop at some point. I like Break Even and will be using her in exotics, but i don’t think she wins today. Queen of Beas finished 2nd in her debut and then won two straight. I expect both of these horses to be in contention and will use them in exotics. #5 Bell’s the One had won four straight heading into the Ashland Stakes, was running 3rd at the half mile pole and had to be eased, finishing last. Nothing was found to be wrong but she needed the points from that race to be eligible for the Kentucky Oaks. Instead she’s entered here at a morning line of 15-1, which I think will drop. I like #7 Lyrical Lady to win. She is the lone speed in this race (Break Even will stalk closely), and should get an uncontested lead on the rail for trainer Steve Asmussen. Plenty of value at 8-1 on the morning line if she can fend off the undefeated Break Even, which I believe she will.
Bet #7 Lyrical Lady to win. I will also have a $2 trifecta box (total cost $48) on these four horses: 3,4,5,7.
Race 11: Grade 1, Kentucky Oaks, 1 ⅛ miles, est. post time 6:12 pm EST
This race is LOADED with speed horses. It will be the largest crowd and biggest field of horses most of these fillies have ever experienced. I expect the speed horses to be especially excited in the early stages of the race with a huge battle for the early lead. #4 Bellefina is the favorite at an undefeated 3-0 in 2019. But when we look deeper she hasn’t had much competition. In her last three races, she has faced a total of nine individual horses in fields of 3,4,5. Yuck. In fact, the only horse in the Oaks field she beat is 20-1 Flor de Mar. She’ll have to beat me at 2-1. I expect four to five fillies to contest the lead in the first turn:
#8 Motion Emotion (faded last 2 races at a shorter distance)
#13 Serengeti Empress (vanned off last race after bleeding from the nostrils)
#7 Jaywalk (faded last 2 races at a shorter distance)
#1 Out for a Spin – I don’t think she’s fast enough to get the lead unless she is a super horse. Her last race was a huge upset at 52-1ish where she ran the race of her life. In my experience, she is a likely ‘bounce’ candidate. Combine that with the fact she may not be fast enough anyway and we have an exhausted horse in the stretch.
I think the pace will be too fast for all these ‘need-to-lead’ horses so that leaves us looking for a horse that can pick up the pieces after the torrid pace. #10 Champagne Anyone is a versatile horse that can (and will have to) come from off the pace. She hasn’t beaten many in today’s field and has probably ran her best race last out. #11 Jeltrin would not be a consideration if not for the fast pace. But she is a steady performer that doesn’t have to lead and wears down horses in the stretch. My pick is #14 Restless Rider at 6-1. As a two year old she scored 3 wins and 3 seconds. After a long layoff of four months she needed a race and ran second by a neck to Out for a Spin in the Ashland Stakes. She can definitely move forward after that race and I expect a big effort from her on Friday. She has four races at Churchill Downs and has never finished worse than second.
Bet #14 Restless Rider to win. I will also have an exacta box with 10,11,14 in case I am exactly right but the wrong order.