How to bet the Fair Grounds Oaks

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 18th, 2021

An especially talented field of eight sophomore fillies will vie in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). The 1 1/16-mile affair will offer 170 total qualifying points (100-40-20-10) towards securing a spot in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on April 30 at Churchill Downs.

I came away super impressed by the late rally put in by Rachel Alexandra S. (G2) heroine #6 Clairiere off the layoff and feel that she will be the one to hold off on Saturday. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the bay daughter of Curlin has been very sharp from a trio of lifetime outings, and I expect her to move forward in her second assignment of the season, as well. The three-year-old lass smoked a bullet five-eighths on the course to prepare for her most difficult assignment to date. She will be my key on top of the vertical plays.

In a race without much pace, I expect unbeaten #1 Zaajel to sit a very good trip throughout in her first try on the Fair Grounds oval. The Todd Pletcher pupil was a fine winner of the Forward Gal S. (G3) last time out and will move forward in her route debut on Saturday. The Shadwell homebred continues to train forwardly this campaign, and she will pick up the services of top pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr., as well. She will be an important piece to my exotics at a fair price, and I expect her to be first or second in the early going.

Golden Rod S. (G2) queen #8 Travel Column has tactical speed and comes off a neck defeat to the top pick for Brad Cox. The $850,000 daughter of Frosted has never run a bad race in her career, and she has every right to move forward making her second run of 2021. She makes a lot of sense from the outside post.

I also give a top-three chance to a pair of fillies who will be making their stakes debuts in the Fair Grounds Oaks. #4 Li'l Tootsie has won two in succession on the surface and looks to be a really nice prospect for Tom Amoss. I expect the daughter of Tapiture to take another step forward and make some noise late beneath Luis Saez. #5 Obligatory lived up to her 1.70-1 odds at Gulfstream Park most recently when flying home in a smart maiden tally off the shelf. Curlin filly lacks the seasoning of most of her foes, but her ceiling appears to be very high.

Fair Grounds Oaks Wagers

  • $5 Superfecta: 6 with 1 with 4,5,8 with 4,5,8 ($30)
  • $2 Superfecta: 6 with 4,5,8 with 1 with 4,5,8 ($12)
  • $1 Superfecta: 1 with 6 with 4,5,8 with 4,5,8 ($6)