'Diamonds' a longshot pour moi in Epsom Oaks

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

June 2nd, 2016

The withdrawal a week or two ago of So Mi Dar from Friday's Oaks (G1) at Epsom not only deprived fans of an intriguing clash between her and 1000 Guineas (G1) winner MINDING, but it left the latter as an overwhelming favorite for the 1 1/2-mile classic.

Minding is easily the most accomplished filly in the nine-horse field, and the ease of her Guineas success at Newmarket stamped her as a potential superstar. Even a recent setback in the Irish 1000 Guineas (G1), a race where she was a last-minute substitute for another Coolmore entry and in which she banged her head leaving the gate and burst a sinus, did little to diminish her status for this race.

While fully expecting Minding to run up to her ability in the Oaks, backing an odds-on choice offers no appeal. From an action standpoint, and perhaps hoping the quick turnaround and step up in trip might dull the favorite a bit, I'll be looking for a price in the win pool as a well someone to box with Minding in an exacta.

She's a bit of a wise-guy horse (a subject I'll be noting in my Epsom Derby [G1] selection blog as well and the type I usually fall for), but DIAMONDS POUR MOI has the potential to do very well in this race. From a personal standpoint, I like that she is by Pour Moi, who I cashed on in the Derby several years ago. Aside from the fact distance is absolutely no problem, the filly won at first asking late in her juvenile season and then stayed on well to finish a fine third in the Cheshire Oaks on her seasonal return May 4. She should show major improvement from that experience second off the bench.

Another thing to like is that trainer Ralph Beckett is no stranger to winning the Oaks with longshots, saddling Talent (2013) and Look Here (2008) in recent years. I didn't back either of those fillies, but maybe third time will be the charm.