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2017 Kentucky Oaks Preview & Picks

Handicapping Expert Frank Taddeo shares his insights for the 143rd Kentucky Oaks.

When: Friday, May 5, 2017
Where: Churchill Downs
Time: 6:12 p.m. EST post time

Top Choices

  • #4 Paradise Woods (5-2)
  • #10 Miss Sky Warrior (9-2)
  • #13 Abel Tasman (5-1)
  • #14 Salty (6-1)

Favorite Longshots

  • #2 Lockdown (20-1)
  • #11 Tequilita (20-1)

With torrential rains in the forecast throughout Friday, the 143rd running of the Kentucky Oaks could be a handicapper's nightmare or lead to a dream score!

Santa Anita Oak's winner & Kentucky Oaks favorite #4 Paradise Woods is likely to be the early speed even on an expected off track. Paradise opened eyes around the horse world when she won the SA Oaks by a whopping 11 lengths.

#10 Miss Sky Warrior enters fresh off a 13 length win in the Gazelle and is unbeaten in her last five starts.

HOF Trainer Bob Baffert sends out #13 Abel Tasman who was beaten soundly by Miss Sky Warrior in the SA Oaks, but I fully expect to rebound in the Oaks.

Trainer Mark Casse will be seeking Oaks/Derby Double glory as he sends out #14 Salty from the extreme outside coupled with Kentucky Derby contender Classic Empire who also drew post #14 on Saturday.

In races like this on muddy tracks, I often feel looking for value on longshots who can return big on your race investments is the way to go. Therefore, here are my two favorite longshot plays: #2 Lockdown & #11 Tequilita.

Lockdown, who is sent out by highly respected NY trainer Bill Mott, finished a disappointing 13 lengths behind rival Miss Sky Warrior in the Gazelle. However, since then her morning works have been eye-catching fast, and she is someone I feel could score here in the expected slop. Drawing an inside post, I don't think will hinder her too much as she can tuck in nicely saving ground behind the hot pace up top, leaving her squarely in place to hit the board at a very big price.

Tequilita turned in a bad performance in the Gulfstream Park Oaks finishing behind rival and eventual winner Salty. She finished well down the stretch and passed several horses in fine fashion. In a race where there could be a hotly contested pace up front this closer could be flying late if she takes to the muddy track.

My $$$ Plays

WIN/PLACE PLAYS: #2 Lockdown & #11 Tequilita

EXACTA BOX: 2-4-10-11-13

TRIFECTA BOX: 2-4-10-11-13

$$$ Exacta P/W: 4/2,10,11,12,13,14

SMALLER Exacta P/W: 2,11/2.4,10,11,12,13,14

$$$ Trifecta P/W: 4 /10, 13/ 2,7,10,11,13,14

SMALLER Trifecta P/W: 2,11/2,4,10,11/2,4,7,10,11,12,13

OAKS/DERBY DOUBLES: 4,2,11/ 2, 8, 11,15,17,19


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