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Added April 30th, 2010 by David Glisan

Favorite Blind Luck Wins Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks is in the books, and the favorite Blind Luck took the lillies as she came from dead last in the field to catch Evening Jewel at the wire.  It was a photo finish, with Blind Luck winning by a nose in the 136th running of the Kentucky Oaks.  The Oaks is the traditional Friday ‘warm up act’ for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, and Blind Luck’s win in the 1 1/8 mile Grade 1 stakes race for three year old fillies earned her owners a cool half million dollars.

With a number of speed horses in the 14 horse field, the expectation was for a blistering early pace but it didn’t materialize with Evening Jewel leading at the half mile pole along with Tidal Pool turning a reasonable time of just over 48 seconds.  The thinking of many handicappers (including myself) going into the race was that an especially fast early pace would open the door for several proven closers, but the speed at the front of the field was able to maintain throughout.  Blind Luck cranked it into another gear in the late stages of the race, moving up to 6th at the 3/4 turn and closing like a freight train with jockey Rafael Bejarano urging her along.  The fractions of 23.95 seconds and 48.15 and 1:12.50 were nowhere near what was expected, but despite the race not playing out exactly to form the famously tenacious Blind Luck was able to prevail.

5 Blind Luck Bejarano R 121 4.60 3.60 2.80
11 Evening Jewel Desormeaux K J 121 9.40 7.20
8 Tidal Pool Borel C H 121 5.00

The 5-11 exacta paid $58.40–handicappers that liked Blind Luck in the race probably paired her with most, if not all, the field. Not a bad strategy, though it would have still been a ‘sweat’ with the photo finish of the race.

Earlier in the Friday card at Churchill Downs, superstar filly Rachel Alexandra suffered another shocking defeat as she finished second to Unrivaled Belle in the $400,000 La Troienne Stakes. Rachel Alexandra held the lead into the second turn but was caught by Unrivaled Belle. The two horses raced neck and neck until the final 100 yards when Unrivaled Belle pulled away for the win. Rachel Alexandra would settle for second, with Morena taking third. Unrivaled Belle’s upset victory paid a healthy $20.80.

Check back later tonight for our Kentucky Derby betting selections. We’ll get the video of the Kentucky Oaks up later, but here’s a clip of the winner Blind Luck working out at Churchill Downs earlier this week:

UPDATE: Here’s the video of the race:

 
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