Kentucky Oaks Free Picks, Predictions and Preview (5/6/22)

Oaks Day is on Friday. Here is numberFire racing's analysis of two of the biggest races on the card.

According to numberFire Racing's analysis, these are the best bets and plays to make on TVG on Friday, May 6th.

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Race 6 – La Troienne Stakes (Gr 1)

1 - Jilted Bride: A 7 3/4 lengths winner of an allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn Park last time. Has finished in the top three on all four runs at this track. Third both starts in minor graded stakes and more of the same probably the best she can hope for at the top level.

2 - Shedaresthedevil: Has won three Grade 1s, including the Kentucky Oaks as a 3-year-old and last year’s renewal of this, with her record 5-5 round here. Made a pleasing return behind Ce Ce and Pauline’s Pearl in the Azeri at Oaklawn Park in March, both of whom were race fit. Major player.

3 - Temper Tim: Progressing with racing, adding a pair of allowance successes on her last two starts to her 13 lengths maiden (1m) win here in the soup last November. Is unlikely to be far from the pace but faces a large hike in class.

4 - Battle Blin: Left one shrewd barn and joined another at the turn of the year, taking her form up another notch from three starts in stakes company. Won at Aqueduct over 9f in January. Could run a good race at a price.

5 - She's All Wolfe: A winner of seven starts, including an allowance here and a stakes race at Remington Park last year. Not disgraced stepped up into graded company the last twice, though has work to do to turn the tables on the main players in this.

6 - Pauline's Pearl: Down the field in last year’s Kentucky Oaks but has well and truly got her career back on track since, the latest of her four wins coming in the Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston in January. Attempted to concede weight all round when narrowly beaten in the Azeri at Oaklawn Park last time. Another bold bid looks assured.

7 - Ava's Grace: Has fewer miles on the clock than the rest. An impressive wire-to-wire winner of a 1m allowance at Oaklawn Park last month. Faces a stiff task in this grade.

Verdict: Another intriguing clash between SHEDARESTHEDEVIL and Pauline’s Pearl, but the former just has the class edge and with the recent run under her belt gets the verdict back at her favorite track. Of the rest, Battle Bling has done little wrong of late and can chase them home.

Race 11 – Kentucky Oaks (Gr 1)

1 - Secret Oath: A winner of four of her seven starts. Made massive strides over the winter, completing a hat-trick by an aggregate of 23 lengths at Oaklawn Park. Found it more difficult against the boys when third in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby there last time, admittedly not getting the best of luck early on. The inside draw isn’t ideal but she’s not one to write off.

2 - Nostalgic: Is progressing well, winning an allowance at Gulfstream Park in March and the Gazelle at Aqueduct in April. This is tougher but she’s in the right hands and heading in the right direction.

3 - Hidden Connection: Won her first two starts, including the Pocahontas here last September. Has made the frame all three starts since, the latest when going down by a nose to Echo Zulu in the Fair Ground Oaks in March. Has work to do to reverse form with some of these.

4 - Nest: Met with defeat only once from five outings. Stamped herself as a serious Oaks challenger this year when running out a very easy winner of a stakes contest at Tampa Bay before storming home by 8¼ length in the Ashland at Keeneland. Unbeaten under leading rider Irad Ortiz and rates a major player for Todd Pletcher who has won this four times, including with Malathaat last year.

5 - Goddess of Fire: Has failed to add to her debut success but has run some creditable races in defeat, finding just one too good on her last three starts. Gave Kathleen O. a brief scare in the Gulfstream Park Oaks last time and a minor role looks the best she can hope for today.

6 - Yuugiri: A two-time winner, including a neck success in the Fantasy at Oaklawn Park last month. Finished a well-beaten third behind Secret Oath in the Honeybee at the same track on her penultimate start. Plenty to find strictly on a line through that rival.

7 - Echo Zulu: The 2021 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly winning all four of her juvenile starts, three of them at the highest level, her final success by 5¼ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar. Maintained her unbeaten record with a narrow victory over Hidden Connection in the Fair Ground Oaks last time, going with usual enthusiasm but ultimately holding on in workmanlike fashion. Claims there for all to see, but this looks her toughest test so far.

8 - Venti Valentine: Never out of the first two. Only defeats came in graded company, latest behind Nostalgic in the Gazelle last time after setting the tempo. This is a lot tougher.

9 - Desert Dawn: A winner of a maiden as a juvenile, added the Santa Anita Oaks to her record with a battling success over Adare Manner last time with the pair pulling well clear. Could go well at a big price in the hunt for the minor money.

10 - Kathleen O.: Unbeaten in four starts. Landed a pair of Grade 2 contests at Gulfstream on last two starts, the Davona Dale and Gulfstream Park Oaks. Generally starts slowly but that shouldn’t be a problem with the anticipated strong pace. A classy filly in the making, her barn won this in 1993 with Dispute.

11 - Cocktail Moments: Off the mark at the first time of asking here last November. Placed all three starts since, including behind leading candidates Kathleen O. and Nest the last twice. Plenty to find on that basis.

12 - Candy Raid: Won twice as a juvenile at minor tracks. Ran out a ready winner in a stakes race on the synthetic surface at Tampa Bay last time. Career-best required by some way.

13 - Shahama: Ran up the four-timer in the UAE over the winter months when trained by Fawzi Abdulla Nass, including landing the classic double of the 1000 Guineas and Oaks. Is worth taking her chance but will need significant improvement on what she’s shown so far to be in the mix, though has switched to a strong barn.

14 - Turnerloose: Raced exclusively on the turf last season, winning her first two starts. Has taken the switch to dirt in her stride with success in the Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds in February, beating several who reopposes today. Failed to back that up last time. Step forward required.

15 - Beguine: Took three tries to land a first success in a maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park in March. Backed that up when a close second to Yuugiri in the Fantasy there last time.

Verdict: This is an interesting and competitive renewal of the Kentucky Oaks. NEST’s vast improvement this season certainly catches the eye with her impressive performances, and she is taken to land another Oaks for Todd Pletcher. Kathleen O.’s run style promises to suit this large-field scenario, and she can chase the selection home, whilst Echo Zulu will no doubt put up another bold performance from the front.

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