#12 Stellar Wind (VA) – Three reasons have me believing this will be your Kentucky Oaks winner: 1) She has three victories in a row where she has crushed the competition. 2) The two preps she ran in might have been the strongest of any group of horses and she easily defeated them. 3) The breeding suggests she is going to relish the mile and one-eighth distance. The outside post could be the only concern as I think she will do her best running from a stalking position, but at least she drew outside of all the speed in the race. If Espinoza can work out the right trip I believe she is your winner.
#13 Birdatthewire (KY) – Could not have been more impressed with her last two races at Gulfstream Park as I was high on Eskenformoney and both times this horse collared her. Seems to be a push button type of horse that has a big turn of foot. Should get the perfect set up as the pace will be hot, and draws outside which is ok for her late running style. Expect her and Stellar Wind to make their moves together and battle it out down the stretch.
#7 Lovely Maria (KY) – Has been beaten by stable mate I’m A Chatterbox once, but this might be the Larry Jones filly that is coming into the race in the best shape. Has had several strong workouts since her Ashland Stakes win, and today’s distance looks like it will suit her well. I’m looking for a stalking type of trip and should be tough to beat with that kind of set up.
#8 I’m a Chatterbox (KY) – The distance of this race is finally going to get her beat. Last time out I felt she was struggling to get that final furlong so I’m not looking forward to seeing her go even longer. This horse is all heart though so I do expect her to try hard and hang around until the end.
#5 Condo Commando (KY) – Much like I’m a Chatterbox, I don’t think this one will like this distance, and she’ll also face significant pace pressure for the first time in this race. It’s tough to know how she will respond to not having things her way, but the guess usually is it won’t go well. She’s classy enough to stick around, but I prefer others a little more.
#1 Forever Unbridled (KY) – I’ll make this one quick…I give her ZERO chance to win this race, but she looks like the type of horse that will keep running in the end and grind out an on the board finished. Don’t expect her to ever threaten the winner by any stretch though.