Friday, May 4, 2007

Ladies Day

So it feels a little weird not to be in Louisville today. Each of the last 8 years I have played my annual Derby Week round of golf with Brain, then either watched Oaks, listened to it on the radio, or gone to the track and watched it in person. Now I'm sitting in my cube at work, and it just feels... wrong. I'm also envious of my good friend The Hit, who through his numerous connections is sitting in Millionaire's Row at Churchill Downs enjoying Oaks Day in style as we speak.

Thankfully the slingbox is letting me be unproductive and watch the outstanding coverage on ESPN. Aside- Horse Racing seems to be the only sport covered on ESPN that hasn't dramatically turned to shit since ESPN was acquired by Disney and moved it's emphasis away from sports and towards entertainment. Well, Champions League coverage is good, but that is mainly just the fact that they show it, whereas the horse racing analysts and presenters are flat-out excellent.

So today is the Kentucky Oaks for 3 year old fillies. And what a great race it is shaping up to be. The storyline is that trainer Todd Pletcher, who has an amazing 5 Derby starters tomorrow, also has 3 quality starters in the Oaks, meaning that he has an excellent chance to become the first trainer to win the Oaks-Derby double since the great trainer Ben Jones did it in 1952.

Your 4 favorites are RAGS TO RICHES, OCTAVE, and HIGH COTTON, all trained by Pletcher, as well as DREAMING OF ANNA, who won last year's Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

The trick today is that it is raining and the track is off, and 8 of the full 14 horse field have never run on an off track. Included in these 8 are the 4 favorites, so really anything can happen.

Watch out for HIGH HEELS, who ran huge last time out and could offer some value as a strong contender.

I haven't been able to study & handicap this as much as I would like, but I like an exacta box with DREAMING OF ANNA and HIGH HEELS.

Today at Churchill Downs. ESPN: 12-2 p.m. PST

The 133rd Kentucky Oaks: ESPN2: 2-3 p.m. PST

Kentucky Oaks Post Time: approx 2.45 p.m. PST


No comments: