Closing in on the Kentucky Oaks
Posted by Brian Appleton on May 1, 2012
What’s not to like about the Kentucky Oaks? In 137 runnings, the Kentucky Oaks has produced some of the sports brightest stars and most thrilling memories and yet it still plays second fiddle to its world-famous counterpart, the Kentucky Derby. There are several upsides to rooting for the Kentucky Oaks and two especially big reasons to like it just as much as the Derby. First, the Kentucky Oaks is run at the same thrilling venue as the Derby but is restricted to a reasonable 14 horse field. This means it can be run as an actual race, with strategy and some amount of uniformity and not as mad-house 20 horse dash like the Derby. Ok, the Derby might not be that hectic, but there’s a whole lot more disarray once the field breaks from the gate than there is in the Oaks. Second, winners of the Kentucky Oaks, and participants in general, tend to have much longer careers on the track than winners and participants of the Kentucky Derby. Recent powerhouse fillies such as Rachel Alexandra and Blind Luck have provided some of the most exciting post-Oaks winning careers this decade. So I ask again; what’s not to like about the Kentucky Oaks? Absolutely nothing I say.
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