The second and final future wager pool for the Kentucky Oaks will be offered this weekend, and I’m interested because the top two probable betting choices, Gamine and Swiss Skydiver, may wind up bypassing the Sept. 4 race.
Gamine is the 9-5 morning line favorite for the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. Her connections skipped Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), which had been mentioned as a possibility by trainer Bob Baffert in late June, in favor of the 7-furlong Test (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 8, and Gamine has been a superstar at one-turn distances, winning the June 20 Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park by 18 3/4 lengths in stakes-record time most recently.
In her lone attempt at two turns, a 1 1/16-mile entry-level allowance at Oaklawn Park, Gamine was all out to win by a neck. I think it’s fair to say the Into Mischief filly looks like a one-turn type, and the Kentucky Oaks is contested at 1 1/8 miles.
Swiss Skydiver, who is the early 3-1 second choice to Gamine, exits a clear second in the Blue Grass (G1), her first attempt against males and at 1 1/8 miles. Blue Grass winner Art Collector, who entered the race in razor-sharp form, is the early 9-2 second choice in Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and Swiss Skydiver netted her third triple-digit Brisnet Speed rating for the commendable performance.
More of a stalker early in her career, Swiss Skydiver has been setting the pace in her last two outings, and she will bring quality speed to future engagements. Speed can be advantage in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field, and there isn’t a lot of depth lining up for this year’s edition.
People questioned Winning Colors at the 1 1/4-mile trip before she stole the 1988 Kentucky Derby wire-to-wire, and barring a loss in an upcoming prep race, I can easily envision Swiss Skydiver’s connections taking a shot at the big race.
I will play the following horses in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager this weekend:
Speech (8-1 morning line): The Ashland (G1) winner will take action this weekend, but she will be the third choice at worst and her odds promise to be much shorter on Oaks Day. Speech appears to be peaking at the right time for Michael McCarthy, and she will compete for Oaks favoritism if Gamine and Swiss Skydiver aren’t in the lineup.
Shedaresthedevil (30-1): Perfect from two starts under the Twin Spires, Shedaresthedevil showed her affinity for Churchill Downs when posting a six-length allowance win in early June, and the multiple Grade 3-winning filly exits a five-length score in the July 8 Indiana Oaks (G3). The Brad Cox-trained filly is receiving no respect on the morning line this weekend.