Friday Churchill Downs Stakes: Garrity picks the Kentucky Oaks, La Troienne, Eight Belles, Alysheba and more
It’s Kentucky Oaks Day.
A decent amount of rain fell in Louisville on Thursday, but the skies are supposed to clear by Friday morning, and things dry out quickly in northern Kentucky this time of year. So we are expecting fast dirt, and firm turf, in these races. Let’s go.
Churchill Downs, Race 6, 1:26 pm ET
Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, 4 & Up
Churchill Downs, Race 7, 2:09 pm ET
Grade 2 Edgewood Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, 3-Year-Old Fillies
We’ve put these two Grade 2 races together because they appear to be dominated by obvious horses who figure to win at short prices. In the Alysheba, it’s 6-Maxfield, who holds a big speed-figure edge on his five rivals; in the the Edgewood, it’s 6-Aunt Pearl, who is undefeated in three career starts, and who figures to remain undefeated after taking on six overmatched rivals going a mile and a sixteenth on turf.
Rather than try to fight either favorite, we will try to leverage their short odds by hammering them in the Double comprising the two races. Don’t look for upsets; these two will win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 6, $50 double, 6 (Maxfield) with 6 (Aunt Pearl).
Churchill Downs, Race 8, 3:03 pm ET
Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up
Seven highly accomplished and highly talented older females go in the La Troienne. The 8/5 favorite, 2-Shedaresthedevil, won the Kentucky Oaks last year; the 5/2 second choice, 3-Dunbar Road; won the 2020 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. These are probably the two biggest races of the year for 3-year-old fillies, and it’s a sign of how good this race is that they both start here.
But our pick is neither of those two: it’s 1-Envoutante. She is also a 4-year-old filly, like the favorites, and while she does not have the credentials of either of the headliners, she has run fast, and we think that the shape of the race will favor her: she is a pace-presser in a race that figures to favor that running style. Look for her to press the pace; we will bet her to win at 8-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 8, $35 to win on 1-Envoutante.
Churchill Downs, Race 9, 4:04 pm ET
Grade 2 Eight Belles Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A fast pace likely in the Eight Belles, which makes 6-Slumber Party a strong play. Look for her to sit mid-pack early, and win with a big move around the far turn. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 9, $40 to win on 6-Slumber Party.
Churchill Downs, Race 10, 4:55 pm ET
Grade 2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, 5 ½ furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
Turf sprints are difficult to handicap, and this Grade 2 race is no exception, but we think we’ve found a winner, and it’s 3-Fiya, who comes into this Grade 2 with five wins in seven career starts. We think she makes it 6-for-8 here; we will bet her to win. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 10, $30 to win on 3-Fiya.
Churchill Downs, Race 11, 5:51 pm ET
Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, 1 ⅛ miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Old Fillies
A full field of 14 goes to the gate for the Kentucky Oaks. Many of them have similar speed figures, which makes it a real handicapper’s race, and which makes our pick 12-Search Results. One of these fillies will step forward, and we think that it will be Search Results. Look for her to stalk the pace from her outside post, and win with a move at the top of the stretch.
We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 11, $50 to win on 13-Search Results.
That’s all for today. Until the next time -- Derby day! -- enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.