Fair Grounds Oaks Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Clairiere (2/1)

Post Position and Odds – Fair Grounds Oaks

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 ZAAJEL 5/1
Irad Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
2 MOON SWAG 20/1
A Beschizza B Walsh
J R Velazquez M Casse
L Saez T Amoss
J Ortiz W Mott
J Talamo S Asmussen
B Hernandez Jr K McPeek
F Geroux B Cox

Best Bets for the Fair Grounds Oaks

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$10 Exacta box – Clairiere and Travel Column = $20

$5 Trifecta part wheel – Clairiere over Travel Column over Zaajel, Li’l Tootsie and Obligatory = $15

$5 Trifecta part wheel – Clairiere over Zaajel, Li’l Tootsie and Obligatory over Travel Column = $15

Top Pick:

Clairiere (2/1)

It’s time for the rubber match, as Clairiere and Travel Column are set to meet for the third consecutive race. The stakes are higher than ever before as the pair of talented 3-year-old fillies headline a field of eight for the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Clairiere could go off the slight favorite over her rival, as the daughter of Curlin got the better of Travel Column by a neck in both fillies’ season debut in last month’s Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds. It was the second win in three starts for the Steve Asmussen-trained filly, with her only loss coming when second to Travel Column in the respective final race of their juvenile seasons.

A game runner-up to Clairiere last time, Travel Column won the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs last November in an eye-catching performance. Favored in the Rachel Alexandra, the daughter of Frosted will look to bounce back on Saturday in a race that could decide the favorite for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on April 30.

Chief among their rivals in the key Oaks prep includes a trio of talented fillies in Zaajel, Li’l Tootsie, and Obligatory, trained by Todd Pletcher, Tom Amoss, and Bill Mott respectively.

Contested at 1 1/16-miles, Saturday’s Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks will offer Kentucky Oaks qualifying points on a scale of 100-40-20-10.

How to Watch the Fair Grounds Oaks

Fair Grounds Oaks Information
What Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade 2)
Where Fair Grounds
When Saturday, March 20 — 5:14 pm Central time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $400,000

Race Analysis


There is no doubt that she was only second best when runner-up to Travel Column in the Golden Rod, but you have to remember that was only the daughter of Curlin and Cavorting’s second career start. With that experience under her belt, she looked like a real pro in moving through traffic and rallying by her rival last time in the Rachel Alexandra. With that impressive win over the track and the likelihood that she is only going to get better with experience, she is the one to beat on Saturday. Her rival is also very talented, and there are a trio of interesting new shooters in here, but I believe she can do it again. She is the top pick.

Travel Column

It’s hard to forget all that she overcame to beat a strong field in the Golden Rod on Thanksgiving weekend last year. It may well have been the most impressive race run by any 2-year-old filly last year. Her return race was solid in the Rachel Alexandra, but she couldn’t quite hold off the rally of Clairiere. Much as I suspect that one will improve on Saturday, I would also believe that this Brad Cox-trained gray can also step it up a notch off her seasonal debut. In fact, there looks to be so little between the top two, the decision could come down to racing luck. Clearly, she is the top threat to my top pick.


If anyone can upset the apple cart of the top two, it could be this daughter of Street Sense. Irad Ortiz, Jr. picks up the mount on the filly who has won her only two starts, both coming at 7 furlongs at Gulfstream Park. Her pedigree says the stretch out to 8 ½ furlongs on Saturday will not be a problem, and it’s worth noting that one of the fillies that she beat in the Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes was Wholebodemeister, who came back to win the Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park in a romp. Her speed figures are a bit light, but that Forward Gal could come back to be a key race.

Li’l Tootsie

The local filly has won two straight nicely after finishing second in her career debut. All three races were over this track, and after winning impressively in a fast sprint in her second career start, she was able to come from well off the pace to win in the slop against allowance company. Those last two races point out her talent, now it is just a matter of whether she can compete with the top two in class. If she can handle the move up in competition, there is plenty to like about this daughter of Tapiture, who gets the services of Luis Saez in the saddle for the first time on Saturday.


This one is the least experienced filly in the field but is clearly well-intended. She has bounced around early while sprinting last fall in her career debut at Belmont Park, but the Juddmonte Farm homebred was still favored for her second career start, which came six weeks ago at Gulfstream Park. She lived up to those expectations with a strong rally to break her maiden nicely while going a mile. It was a nice move forward for the daughter of Curlin, and one that shows potential to be a filly of quality around two-turns. Another move forward would be no surprise, but she’ll need to do just that to have a real shot against this field.

Il Malocchio

This one showed some good form last year on turf and Tapeta running at Woodbine, while likely not seeing the kind of competition she can expect against graded stakes fillies in America. Having said that, she did nothing to embarrass herself in her first time on dirt last time when third in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. I like her best of the longshots, and if she can move forward again, who knows? Still, it looks like a pretty tall order for the Kenny McPeek-trained filly

Souper Sensational

Another filly who looked good on a surface other than dirt last year in Canada, but unlike the one above her, she has already had two chances against good fillies at Fair Grounds and came up short both times. Granted, she had less than an ideal trip last time in the Rachel Alexandra, but still, she has just not shown enough locally to get excited about her longshot chances in a race as solid as the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Moon Swag

This one was also in both the Silverbulletday and Rachel Alexandra, and the daughter of Malibu Moon did rally from last to get up for third behind Clairiere and Travel Column most recently. The problem is that she was nowhere near putting a scare into the top two, and it’s hard to imagine that she can improve enough in her fourth try at Fair Grounds to recommend her on Saturday.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]