Keeneland Select Pick of the Day | March 23, 2019
Race 12 at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 23 | Post Time 5:44 PM Eastern Time (4:44 Central Time)
Fair Grounds Oaks | Purse $400,000 | One and One Sixteenth Miles | Fillies, Three Years Old
Speedette (1) offers better value for the risk then likely heavy favorite Serengeti Empress (2), who certainly is capable of winning. Speedette opens at 10/1 odds because although she earned a strong win in her most recent race (January 21) that effort came on turf. It was her best effort yet, in her fifth career start, earning her a 97 Equibase Figure which is slightly better than the 95 figure Serengeti Empress earned winning the local prep for the Oaks, the Rachel Alexandra Stakes on 2/16. Although Speedette led from start to finish in the win on January 21, her pace and speed figure combination (88, 97) suggest she does not need the lead to win, also as evidenced by her previous start on 12/29 when she stalked the pacesetter in second for most of the race then took the lead in the stretch, before tiring to fourth. She’s worked well on the main track since the last win and more importantly she’s a daughter of Preakness winner Oxbow, who produced a Kentucky Oaks contender in Coach Rocks. Trainer Keith Desormeaux has a very sharp 7 for 22 record with horses going from turf to dirt over the past two years and that’s another factor in Speedette transferring her recent form from turf to dirt successfully.
Slewgoodtobetrue (7), like Speedette, is another California based horse shipping out because of the hiatus in racing. She has never been worse than second in four starts and has won both her two-turn races. Both times she relaxed off the pace then drew off late and in her most recent win on 2/3 she earned a strong 92 figure which could be improved upon in this race. She was flattered by the runner-up out of the last effort, who came back to win and improved by four points as well so opening at 8/1 odds Slewgoodtobetrue is another possible win bet.
Serengeti Empress (2) ran the field off their feet in the Rachel Alexandra, taking the lead from the start and never giving any of the other seven horses a chance to run. That’s the same tactics which results in two stakes wins last year, before the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in which she was taken back to second early and backed up to seventh at the end. Given the fact it appears she needs the lead to win, it’s tough to justify a win bet as the likely odds-on favorite. Just the same, two of her three stakes wins earned 95 and 97 figures and repeating those efforts could see her winning again.
We will add Liora (8) for second on exacta tickets as she was clearly second to Serengeti Empress in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes last month.
Win Bets: Speedette (1) to win at odds of 2 to 1 or more.
For a slightly smaller amount, a win bet on Slewgoodtobetrue (7) at odds of 5/2 is warranted as well.
Exacta: Speedette (1), Serengeti Empress (2) and Slewgoodtobetrue (7) over Speedette (1), Serengeti Empress (2), Slewgoodtobetrue (7) and Liora (8).