Today's Churchill Downs feature, the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, is the deepest edition we can ever remember. As stated before, if any of these fillies were the only top filly in the race, there would be comparisons to some of the greats of all time.

Unlimited Budget (9-2) is undefeated in four starts, can come from far back, like she did in the Rachel Alexandra or in her latest, when she was forced to race closer to the early pace. But she's done a lot of developing in a short time this year.

Stablemate Dreaming Of Julia (3-1) ran faster on the Equiform scale than any of the colts in today's Kentucky Derby. If memory serves, it might have been the best figure of any dirt runner this year. She must regress, but still might be good enough.

Midnight Lucky (9-2) actually drew off in the stretch winning the Sunland Park Oaks while being eased by Rafael Bejarano; never quite have seen anything like that. Have no idea how good the very lightly-raced filly is.

But we'll take any value offered on undefeated Close Hatches (6-1), who won her debut by circling the field going 7 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. Not many races there are won in that fashion. (In her next start she fell out on the lead and took it wire to wire, as she did in the G2 Gazelle, albeit that was more by design. We think she's be better with a target--although today's targets might prove faster than she is.

Taking Close Hatches to win at early line odds or greater and key her first and second in multiples with her rivals here.


Number of Selections: 1306

Number of Win-Place-Show Finishers: 399-249-201

Amount Wagered: $2,612 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $2,741.80

Profit to Date: $129.80