Fair Grounds Oaks Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks 2022

Post Position and Odds – Fair Grounds Oaks

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 ECHO ZULU 3/5
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J Rosario S Asmussen
2 TURNERLOOSE 5/1
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F Geroux B Cox
3 FAVOR 6/1
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T Gaffalione T Pletcher
4 BERNABREEZY 10/1
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J Graham M Shirer
5 SEQUIST 10/1
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J Alvarado D Stewart
6 HIDDEN CONNECTION 6/1
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R Gutierrez W B Calhoun

Best Bets for the Fair Grounds Oaks

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$20 Win – Favor = $20

$20 Exacta – Echo Zulu over Favor = $20

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top upset pick Favor (6/1).

Fair Grounds Oaks

The unbeaten champion Echo Zulu, making her first start in more than four months, will go off as a prohibitive favorite when she headlines a field of six sophomore fillies entered in Saturday’s $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks.

The daughter of Gun Runner found little competition in her 2-year-old season, flaunting her high cruising speed to win her four starts by a combined 22 lengths.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Echo Zulu won each of her races in an easy style, including the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park. She capped off her championship season with a dominant victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar on November 5.

Chief among his rivals in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks will be the multiple-stakes winner Turnerloose. After strictly running on the turf last year, she made her dirt debut winning one last month in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds. Trained by Brad Cox, the daughter of Nyquist charged late to upset a quality field at odds of 17/1.

Two others who deserve respect on Saturday include Hidden Connection and Favor.

The former won her first two starts impressively last year, including the Grade 3 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, before finishing fourth in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Rachel Alexandra. While the latter comes in off two straight sharp wins at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher, and will be making her stakes debut on Saturday.

Contested at 1 1/16-miles, the Fair Grounds Oaks serves as a key prep for the Kentucky Oaks and offers qualifying points on a scale of 100-40-20-10 to the top four finishers.

Race Analysis

Echo Zulu

Simply the best in 2021, it will be very interesting to see how this champion daughter of Gun Runner looks in her return to the races after a break of nearly five months.

She has been working well for her return, and even though there are some other nice fillies in the field, she should be able to control the early pace from her inside draw. If we see the same filly that we did last year, it should be another comfortable victory.

If, however, she is not at her best for her return, or she breaks a step slow from the rail, there is the opportunity for an upset. I don’t expect that to happen, but considering how prohibitive a favorite she will be, I am willing to take a small shot to beat her.

Turnerloose

After a successful dirt debut, this daughter of Nyquist will now be out to prove that the upset win in the Rachel Alexandra was no fluke.

A stakes winner on the grass last year, she is a filly of some class. With the champion going right out for the early lead, this filly from the highly successful barn of Brad Cox should be able to find a comfortable spot in mid-pack early, and if she is good enough, make her move on the far turn.

The win over the track gives hope, and she has just as good credentials as anyone in the field not named Echo Zulu. Still, I do like a few others better as she faces even a tougher test than last time.

Hidden Connection

After starting her career with two monster wins, this daughter of Connect came back to Earth in the last two.

The first of her defeats came at the hands of Echo Zulu, in which she was no match. Still, she did not have the best of trips that afternoon at Del Mar, and she is eligible to do better

After a decent return race in which she just faded a little late, she should be sharp and ready to take the race to Echo Zulu early. Of course, that is easier said than done. I guess that she will eventually falter due to going after the champion early, but running second all the way around is a real possibility.

Favor

This daughter of Pioneer of the Nile is the wildcard of the race. While the others all have stakes experience, she will be making her stakes debut on Saturday.

Facing last year’s champion is no easy spot to run in your first stakes race, but on the other hand, this might be a good time to test her, given that Echo Zulu has not raced in nearly five months.

I like what I see from the Todd Pletcher-trained gray filly in her two recent wins at Gulfstream Park. She has good tactical speed and comes into the race sharp and ready.

With Hidden Connection the one most likely to try and press Echo Zulu early, Favor can sit in third and wait to pounce. It should be a good spot to be in. I like her second best and with the large discrepancy in odds, I will take a shot on her for the upset.

Bernabreezy

While the top four all have the ability to stay close to the early pace, the final two do their best running from well behind early.

The first is this daughter of Bernardini, who boasts two nice come from behind wins over the Fair Grounds track. In between her maiden win and her allowance win five weeks ago, she was a decent third in the Silverbulletday Stakes.

This race is only tougher, but she may have been too close to the early pace that afternoon. Clearly, she likes to make one late run, but that will be tough against this group. Look for her to pass tired horses, but anything better than a third-place finish would be a bit of a surprise.

Sequist

Another one with very little early speed, this daughter of Nyquist rallied to win at first asking last summer at Colonial Downs, but has failed to find the winner’s circle in four subsequent starts.

Having said that, she has run against very good horses and hasn’t been embarrassed. Like Bernabreezy, who beat her in her return race, she will benefit if the early pace is contested, but in the small field, it seems like only a minor share is much more likely than actually getting up for the win.

How to Watch the Fair Grounds Oaks

Fair Grounds Oaks Information
What Fair Grounds Oaks (Grade 2)
Where Fair Grounds
When Saturday, March 26 — 6:12 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $400,000

 

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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]