Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oaks Day Analysis

Brother Bobby looks like a huge overlay at 12/1. Sure he doesn't have the flashy profile like Perfect Drift or Half Ours but he has recent form. In fact he has the best recent form in the entire field. Looks like there will be decent speed with Wanderin Boy, Jonesboro and Half Ours. Brother Bobby can sit a few lengths off the pace. He needs to be hard ridden to produce his best but I think his best race is good enough. He has been working quite well for Grant Forster who has been on fire this year. Perfect Drift is consistent, reliable and generally a loser. He'll take money because of who he is but he is a bad play for first. Half Ours could be a freak because he seems to do only what he needs to and I've lost trying to beat him in the past but I don't think he is a real two turn horse and the speed in here makes him all the more likely to get burned. He and Wanderin Boy are also cross entered in the Churchill Downs Stakes and I expect that at least one of them will scratch. Stundent Council has an outsiders chance because the pace is good and his trainer is savvy with this type of horse.

1)Brother Bobby
2)Perfect Drift
3)Student Council

Race #6
I love Thru N'Thru in this race. She has many overlooked positives going for her. The first is Baffert, he excels with young horses and is also one of the best shipping trainers in the country. When he sends his horses out of town they are usually always live. I know this one was sent as a travelling partner for his Oaks entrant but there is a reason she was picked. It is also worth noting that she has been the workmate of Tough Tiz's Sis. She has actually outworked her more successful stablemate and she should be primed for a huge race. Pletcher's comebacker Featherbed will get some attention and well she should. She is likely the best horse at this distance and Todd is good off the layoff but there is no value in taking her first. Early Vintage is a horse I loved last year but I question her placement in this spot. No question in my mind that she has talent. But is a 6f race really going to show it? Graeme Six is dangerous as well but I really think Baffert will not leave empty handed.

1)Thru N'Thru
3)Early Vintage

Aegon Turf Sprint
At this time last year there likely wasn't a sprinter I held in higher regard than Gaff. That was a somewhat less than prudent judgement of his ability but perhaps turf has given him new life. He was superb in the Taylor's Special and he should get a dream trip behind the speed. Unbridled Sidney should be overbet. I don't think she is as good off the layoff but she does love CD. Roi Charmant is a horse I wish I could make my top pick. Perhaps he would be if not for my history with Gaff. Californian sprinters are top notch and this guy is blazing fast. Maybe he's too fast because there is other speed in here, he might get burned. Oddly enough he has never won on Turf in 6 tries but he has run extremely well. I also like Biancone's Congo King, I think he's the best closer in a speed heavy race. Although he really isn't a winner he might find the race falling into his lap.

2)Roi Charmant
3)Congo King

Kentucky Oaks
Rags to Riches has to be the top pick. She really is a good filly and I would be loathe to dismiss her. However on big occasions like this one is tempted to take a shot. Rags may be a different girl without Bute and whatever the reasons may be there is still the fact that her worst career race came at CD and she has never won anywhere but Santa Anita. That is enough incentive for me to try and get interesting. I think the Baffert horse Tough Tiz's Sis is an excellent candidate but the competition she has been facing is the worst in the whole field. I've always loved the pletcher pair Cotton Blossom and Octave. I simply like both of them. I'm going to favor Cotton Blossom in this race because I think Octave is due for a regression. Horses who are constantly running second tend to run worse before they run better. Cotton Blossom on the other hand will be good value since she was beaten by a freak out performance from High Heels in her last. I think High Heels will bounce sky high. She really is not as good as her last, Cotton Blossom on the other hand looks ready to take a step forward. I also like longshot Cash Included. Her 3yo season has been pretty poor but I think at her best this filly can really run. She needs to be ridden closer to the pace and I think the blinkers on will help facilitate that. Her form also hints at a big step forward in this one. I like horses who do not get beaten by very many others even when they're doing badly and Cash Included is one of those. Nakatani chose her over Mistical Plan as well.

1)Rags to Riches
2)Cotton Blossom
3)Cash Included

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