The racing action will come thick and fast once the summer arrives in the United States, and one of the biggest races that horse racing fans will already be looking forward to is the Grade I Kentucky Oaks.
The race will be run at Churchill Downs before the Kentucky Derby takes center stage. This famous race is run over a mile and an eighth, which is around 1,800 meters, with $1.25 million in the prize pot for owners, trainers and horses to compete for.
Sharedaresthedevil won this race 12 months ago for trainer Brad H. Cox, while Monomoy Girl, Lovely Maria and Princess of Sylmar have also picked up wins since 2013. This year’s hot favorite is Travel Column, but is the three-year-old a good thing for the race this year?
Travel Column Heavy Favorite
Brad Cox’s record in this race is excellent, as the trainer has won two of the last three installments. His leading chance in the Kentucky Oaks in 2021 will be Travel Column, and there is good reason why the three-year-old is seen as the market favorite.
She was excellent last time out, as she won by two and three-quarter lengths from Clairiere at Fair Grounds. That success in the Fair Ground Oaks was an excellent response by the horse, who had lost out to the same horse just over a month earlier.
There has been a constant battle between the two horses over the past 12 months, as Travel Column and Clairiere also clashed at Churchill Downs at the end of November in the Golden Rod Stakes. Travel Column was successful in that meeting, as she won by a length from her rival.
The overall match-up score between the two sees Travel Column ahead 2-1. However, some gamblers will be wary of her inconsistency, as he has won just two of her last four. That could mean that some may look for value elsewhere in the market for the Kentucky Oaks.
Clairiere Among Leading Contenders
Clairiere will rightly be among the front-runners to challenge Travel Column for the Kentucky Oaks, as she has beaten her rival on one occasion so far this calendar year. That victory at Fair Ground was by the tightest of margins, as she managed to hold on by just getting her neck over the line before her rival.
The two defeats will lead gamblers to question whether she has the natural ability of her rivals, but like Travel Column, she has won two of her last four.
She will be a serious player when it comes to the Kentucky Oaks, and it would be dangerous to write off her chances completely just because she lost to Travel Column last time out.
Could An Outsider Be Worth The Chance?
Make no mistake about it, there is a talented field that will line-up for the Kentucky Oaks, which means that there will be interest beyond the top two in the market.
Will’s Secret is one of the most interesting, as the Dallas Stewart trained horse has won on his last starts over a mile and a half, which includes her success in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park at the beginning of March.
It was a narrow winning margin from Pauline’s Pearl, but there are definite signs of improvement in the three-year-old. Dayoutoftheoffice has also been improving with every run, as the three-year-old has finished in the places on all previous runs.
She finished second for the first time in her career at the Breeders’ Cup back in November, as Vequist raced clear. Still, she does hold a victory over her rival, and could be one of the horses with a second look before the Kentucky Oaks.And if you are still undecided on who to bet on the Kentucky Derby, it’s probably a good idea to review the contenders here: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/contenders