Scully: Kentucky Oaks Day Pick 4 plays
The $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies serves as the main event Friday and anchors a Pick 4 (races 8-11). I will preview the sequence and list my Pick 4 tickets below.
The Alysheba (G2) marks the second start back this year for 2017 Kentucky Derby winner #3 Always Dreaming, who exits a runner-up effort at Gulfstream Park. The possible odds-on choice hasn’t won since proving best over a wet track last year and while I won’t let him beat me in Pick 4, Always Dreaming is type I like to play against at short odds.
#4 Backyard Heaven is my top choice and will be forwardly-placed from the start. Trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-olld exits a pair of sharp wins at Aqueduct that netted 102 and 106 BRIS Speed rating.
#1 Good Samaritan may not have enough pace and will be cutting back in trip, but he’s eligible to be one of the top older horses on the East Coast this year for Bill Mott and should be rolling late.
The only non-stakes race in the sequence, this 7-furlong entry-level allowance features a 10-horse field and #2 Electric Forest looks very imposing. The Curlin filly exits an impressive debut win at Keeneland for Chad Brown and should receive a good stalking trip from just off the pace. She is a single on a ticket.
#6 Devine Mischief exits a pair of encouraging front-running efforts at Fair Grounds and Keeneland and #10 Sworn Silence will be running late for Brad Cox and Javier Castellano.
A 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies, the Edgewood features a prohibitive favorite in #11 Rushing Fall, who improved to 4-for-4 when opening the year with a comfortable victory in the Appalachian (G2). She will be used as a single on a ticket.
#6 Daddy is a Legend came back from a layoff with a solid effort in the Appalachian and the Grade 3 winner is eligible to show more in the second start back for George Weaver. #7 Toinette is another back-up play.
Known as the Run for the Lillies, the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks has a full field of 14 and the morning-line favorites (Monomoy Girl and Midnight Bisou) have been earning BRIS Speed ratings in the mid-to-upper 90s. I am expecting an upset.
#13 Eskimo Kisses has made fine progress for Kenny McPeek since breaking her maiden in February, easily winning an allowance and recording runner-up finishes in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and Ashland (G1), and I’m expecting another forward move from the well-bred To Honor and Serve filly (Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors is her second maternal dam). With plenty of pace entered, Eskimo Kisses can prove best from off the pace.
#5 Wonder Gadot will enter the Oaks on the upswing for Mark Casse, missing by a nose in the Fantasy (G2), and she figures to get the jump on the confirmed closers. She’s trained well at Churchill Downs in preparation and at 20-1 on the morning line, Wonder Gadot could prove to be a live longshot.
#10 Midnight Bisou does project to receive a favorable set-up and will be included in Pick 4 wagers. I’ll also add #1 Sassy Sienna, #2 Coach Rocks, #7 Rayya and #11 My Miss Lilly to my tickets.
Pick 4 Tickets (Races 8-11)
50-cent Pick 4: 1,3,4 with 2 with 6,7,11 with 1,2,5,7,10,11,13 ($31.50)
50-cent Pick 4: 1,3,4 with 2,6,10 with 11 with 1,2,5,7,10,11,13 ($31.50)