Here’s my approach for Kentucky Oaks Day. I’ll have several Pick Fours explained below, and my singles double as spot plays. As a heads-up, it is supposed to be a bit wet in Kentucky on Friday, and this analysis assumes that all races carded for the turf stay there. If races come off, then some of this is outdated.
Anyway, on with the show!
$0.50 Pick Four: Race #2
36 bets, $18
If you want to spend a few more bucks and punch the “ALL” button in the first leg, go ahead. It’s one of the best betting races on the card, and chances are you’ll want to spread in there. As far as the rest of the ticket is concerned, Elate will be heavily-favored in the second leg, but her recent money-burning pattern is a big concern and Daria’s Angel may very well be the lone speed horse in the field. Sassy Little Lila will be a heavy favorite in the third leg, but she may need a race, so I sought some more coverage there. The one favorite I have tons of confidence in is Paid Up Subscriber, who’s 3-for-3 at Churchill Downs and has the pedigree to embrace a wet track.
$0.50 Pick Four: Race #4
39 bets, $19.50
The first two legs of this Pick Four are the last two legs of the previous one, so use that analysis here. I’ll expound a bit more on my somewhat-aggressive third-leg single, which comes in the form of Honorable Duty in the Alysheba. This race has a TON of early speed signed on, and while it’s far from cheap speed, it’s safe to assume they’ll be flying early on. Honorable Duty comes in on a three-race winning streak, likes Churchill Downs, and has beaten a number of rivals he’ll face in this spot during his recent run of success. I think he’ll be tough to hold off late, and I’ll gladly take 5-1 odds if I can get them. I don’t have the same convictions about the payoff leg, but the previous legs were pretty thin, so we can afford to punch the “ALL” button and hope for a price.
$0.50 Pick Four: Race #8
36 bets, $18
The first two legs of this wager are not easy. If you have deep pockets and conviction in the last two legs, going ALL-ALL may not be the worst idea in the world. Hopefully, we can get to a cold double of favorites to finish it off, but note that La Coronel (my single in the 10th) may bypass the Edgewood for the American Turf on Saturday. If she does, this ticket will be altered (and likely cost more since the race will become much more wide-open). Paradise Woods, meanwhile, looks extremely tough to beat in the Kentucky Oaks, and I’m not going to try to do that. Hopefully, one or two of our price horses connect in the opening two legs to make this pay a bit.
$0.50 Pick Four: Race #10
60 bets, $30
If you’re burnt out by this point, I get it. However, I think this Pick Four could provide a surprising return, even if it starts out in formful fashion. The 12th race is a complete mess, and the finale isn’t much clearer. That’s a recipe for a healthy Pick Four payoff, one that could provide a healthy boost to our Derby Day bankroll.