The annual Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool opens for action this weekend, with 23 individual fillies plus an “all others” option available for bettors to consider.
The Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs is just two months away, but the potential field for the race remains in flux. That’s why it’s tough to consider playing the morning line favorites when there’s no guarantee that they’ll be among the favorites (or even among the starters) when the field enters the starting gate on May 3.
With that in mind, let’s examine four higher-priced alternatives who could offer some value in the future wager pool:
#6 Enaya Alrabb (15-1): This improving filly has thrived since stretching out around two turns, finishing second by a head against Chasing Yesterday in the Starlet Stakes (gr. I) before falling less than a length short against Bellafina in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. II). Those two are the morning line favorites in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool, so doesn’t it make sense to take a shot with Enaya Alrabb at a much higher price? Trainer Doug O’Neill has no problem getting horses ready for big races at Churchill Downs, considering that he’s won the Kentucky Derby twice since 2012.
#8 Feedback (20-1): Sold for just $85,000 as a weanling, Chad Brown’s talented filly Feedback caught eyes while winning her debut at Saratoga last summer by eight lengths. Sent to the sidelines afterward, Feedback returned a gutsy winner of the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (gr. III) on February 2 at Gulfstream Park, pressing a solid pace and prevailing by a half-length with the next-out graded stakes winner Jeltrin coming home fourth. If Feedback can handle stretching out around two turns, she can be player on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
#16 Orra Moor (50-1): Trainer Todd Pletcher has won the Kentucky Oaks three times, and while Orra Moor has yet to run beyond six furlongs, she hasn’t been challenged while winning her first two starts at Gulfstream Park. As a daughter of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, Orra Moor should have the stamina to stretch out in distance, so it’s not really a reach to conclude that she’ll be a major factor in an upcoming Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep race. And if she wins, wouldn’t a future wager at 50-1 seem like good value?
#17 Point of Honor (30-1): It’s hard to say if she’s beaten much in the way of quality, but Point of Honor is 2-for-2 for trainer George Weaver, unleashing sharp late runs to win a Gulfstream maiden race and then the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Both of those races were longer than a mile, which isn’t surprising since Point of Honor is a stoutly-bred daughter of Curlin out of a Bernardini mare. Interestingly, Point of Honor is the only filly in the future wager pool to have earning two triple-digit BRIS Late Pace ratings, posting eye-catching numbers of 114 and 105 so far.