Thoughts on the Kentucky Oaks Day Late Pick 5

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 2nd, 2019

As this is being written, rain is forecast throughout Kentucky Oaks morning before tapering off in the afternoon. That doesn't mean the quick-drying Churchill surface will be anywhere close to fast by post time for the Oaks, but at least there's a chance of a track with lessening moisture late in the day. The 50-cent Late Pick 5 that covers Race 9-13 looks like an intriguing sequence. Here's how we're playing it. Race 9 From a back class perspective, the veteran #7 SOLID WAGER (5-2) will be tough to beat if he runs back to his pre-San Carlos (G2) form. Fourth, beaten a length, in the 2017 Churchill Downs (G2) in his last trip to Louisville. #11 TIZ MISCHIEF (20-1) also has a touch of back class and performs way better here than anywhere else. #15 SOUL STREIT (2-1) races close to his native Indiana for the first time. Lightly-raced four-year-old will be well backed with Bob Baffert in his corner. Race 10 -- Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) #6 WORLD OF TROUBLE (1-1) ran lights out here in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), only losing to Stormy Liberal. Figures again, though had a tougher time than usual winning a weak renewal of the Carter H. (G1). #8 UNDRAFTED (8-1) is the old man of this field at age nine, has placed in this race twice before, loves this course, and will get a pace to close in to. Race 11 -- Kentucky Oaks (G1) Despite being my official second pick, I'll take a stand against morning line favorite #4 Bellafina at a short price. #6 POSITIVE SPIRIT (30-1) might be a cut below these, but is proven at nine furlongs, has won over this track, can sit a nice trip behind what is expected to be a contested pace and, being a half to Always Dreaming, might be able to handle the mud if necessary. Drawing a line through her Rachel Alexandra (G2) and was on the lead by default in the Gazelle (G2), which isn't her game. #2 CHOCOLATE KISSES (20-1) is another capable of benefiting from a quick tempo. Connections will reportedly allow her to make one late run, which she did successfully in the Honeybee (G3). She rated too close in the Ashland (G1). #10 CHAMPAGNE ANYONE (6-1) is a filly improving at the right time and has been training well. Race 12 #8 COSMIC CODE (5-1) endured a case of seconditis over the winter at Fair Grounds, but did run eventual Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) winner Street Band to a nose in one of them. Overmatched in the Fantasy (G3) last time. #11 FREE COVER (5-1) likely better than her lone route attempt would suggest, and the speed wasn't coming back to her last time at Keeneland. Race 13 A couple first-time starters catch the eye. #4 HALLAWALLAH (5-1) is by Candy Ride and out of sprint champion Maryfield. Asmussen/Santana a typically dangerous combo. #2 CHOCOLATE SWIRL (20-1) might be overlooked. By 18% debut sire Twirling Candy, she's a three-quarter sister to Ahh Chocolate, who won on debut going six furlongs and later became a multiple graded stakes winner. Here's the 50-cent ticket: 7,11,15 with 6,8 with 2,6,10 with 8,11 with 2,4 = $36   (c) NYRA/Viola Jasko/Adam Coglianese Photography