Betting on a budget in the Delaware Oaks

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 30th, 2022

Is it possible to spend a budget-friendly $20 and still score a meaningful payday betting Saturday’s $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) at Delaware Park? We believe the answer is yes.

Eight sophomore fillies have turned out to contest the 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks, so there are plenty of possible outcomes. That alone boosts the potential for enticing payoffs.

We’ll start by acknowledging the talent of morning line favorite #3 Shotgun Hottie (5-2). Victorious in the seven-furlong Ruthless S. during the winter at Aqueduct, Shotgun Hottie subsequently performed well on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, finishing second in the Busher S. and third in the Gazelle (G3). She’s been freshened for three months and is adding Lasix for her return to action, setting the stage for a competitive performance.

But at least two fillies appear capable of challenging Shotgun Hottie for top honors. #1 Republique (4-1) is undefeated in two starts for hot trainer Saffie Joseph, winning maiden special weight and allowance races over the synthetic Tapeta track at Gulfstream Park. Her allowance score was especially encouraging, as Republique pressed the early pace before taking over to win the one-mile and 70-yard heat by one length.

Republique has never run on dirt, but her sire Strong Mandate won the Hopeful S. (G1) over the Saratoga main track, and Republique’s half-brother Rombauer demonstrated his dirt prowess with an upset score in the Preakness S. (G1). Switching surfaces shouldn’t be an issue for Republique, who signaled her readiness for a strong run when breezing a swift half-mile in :46 2/5 last Saturday.

#6 Sandstone (6-1) is the other filly worth considering. The daughter of Street Sense has shown little in two starts this season, but last year she trounced a maiden special weight and the Rags to Riches S. at Churchill Downs by wide margins, counting future graded stakes winner Secret Oath and Yuugiri among her beaten rivals. If Sandstone recaptures this level of form, she can challenge for victory.

So how should we bet the Delaware Oaks? We’ll play a pair of exactas counting on Republique to finish either first or second, with Shotgun Hottie or Sandstone filling the remaining slot. If we cash, the payoff should be worthwhile.

  • $6 Exacta: 1 with 3, 6 ($12)
  • $4 Exacta: 3, 6 with 1 ($8)
    Total: $20

Good luck!