The Kentucky Oaks is finally here.
Once just “the day before the Derby” then “Louisville’s day at the races,” and now a full-blown event in its own right with the second-largest attendance of any horse racing event in the Western Hemisphere, the Kentucky Oaks commands our attention.
The growth has made the event more exciting each year, and more importantly as a gambler: potentially more lucrative. The more casual people, the better the edge for people like me who think they know what they’re talking about.
But everyone starts somewhere, and there’s no better way to start playing the ponies than TwinSpires.com, which is offering Kentucky Sports Radio readers a free $20 to bet the Derby plus another $80 once you actually start betting. Visit the links on this page, enter KSR20 as your deposit code, and you’re off and running faster than some of my picks.
At the risk of alienating all of you before we even get to my Derby pick tomorrow, my pick to win this year’s Kentucky Oaks is Birdatthewire. I know, most people reading this don’t want to see a bird win ever, but maybe picture the bird in chicken wire waiting to get eaten by a Wildcat.
Anyway, Birdatthewire has been racing this year in Florida, which I consider the SEC of the filly division this year, and she that division’s “the conference championship:” the Gulfstream Park Oaks.
Just like pundits look to strong conferences to perform well in post-season play, horse handicappers look to see who performed best against the best as a strong indicator of who can win races such as the Kentucky Oaks (and Derby and Breeders’ Cup) when horses from different parts of the country converge for a championship-level race.
The other number-one seeds in this group are Condo Commando from New York, Stellar Wind from California, and I’m a Chatterbox from Louisiana, and I’d love to beat all three in here.
And since I like Birdatthewire (who is the softest of the number-one seeds based on odds), I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Eskenformoney, who finished second in the aforementioned Gulfstream Park Oaks. Think of her as an at-large bid horse who can make some noise in the big dance.