Kentucky Oaks 2018

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SportsLine’s Jody Demling had the Kentucky Derby winner early and called the Belmont, Breeders’ Cup

All eyes are on Churchill Downs in Louisville this weekend for the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown. But before Saturday’s festivities, we have a full day of racing set for Friday, culminating with the 2018 Kentucky Oaks.

There are 13 races Friday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET. NBCSN will begin its TV coverage at noon and run for three hours. NBCSN resumes coverage from 5-6:30 p.m., which will include the signature race of the day. Online streaming of Friday’s coverage is available through NBC Sports Live Extra.

The Kentucky Oaks is a 1⅛-mile race between the best three-year-old fillies in the world. Monomoy Girl is the favorite at 2-1 odds and starts on the outside in the 14th post, with Midnight Bisou at 5-2 starting in 10th position.

Monomoy Girl is trained by Brad Cox, who has three horses in the race, including Sassy Siena at 15-1 in the first post.

“Sassy will be close,” Cox told the Associated Press Thursday. “Her and Monomoy have similar styles as far as where we would like for them to be placed in the race. Obviously, there’s going to be concern with one being caught wide in the first turn and the other one hopefully getting a clean run.”

Derby weekend kicks off at Churchill Downs on Friday with the 2018 Kentucky Oaks. Post time is 6:12 p.m. ET, and the race features the top 3-year-old fillies. Midnight Bisou, trained by William Spawr, is the 5-2 favorite, the same as where she opened. Monomoy Girl, winner of the Ashland Stakes and Rachel Alexandra, is right behind at 4-1 after opening at 2-1. Five horses are listed at lower than 10-1 Kentucky Oaks odds.

Before you bet the 2018 Kentucky Oaks, you’ll want to hear what Jody Demling has to say.

A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling comes into the Kentucky Oaks on a mind-blowing streak: He has nailed nine straight Oaks-Derby doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both races nine straight years.

He followed up his win last May by picking Tapwrit to edge Irish War Cry in the Belmont Stakes — which is exactly what happened, enabling him to cash trifecta and superfecta bets for a monster payout.

Demling also nailed the Travers Stakes winner, West Coast, for SportsLine members. And he capped off 2017 by hitting the superfecta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

To start off 2018, he called the top two finishers in the Pegasus World Cup, and nailed Noble Indy winning the Louisiana Derby over favorite My Boy Jack. Anyone who has followed Demling’s picks is way, way up.

Following this week’s post draw, Demling finalized his Longines Kentucky Oaks picks and listed where he believes all 14 horses will finish.

We can tell you he’s not high on the fourth-biggest favorite, Eskimo Kisses (9-1). In fact, Demling says she barely cracks the top 10 in the Kentucky Oaks 2018.

“Eskimo Kisses was the runner-up in the Ashland Stakes, but has to make up almost six lengths in the Oaks, which will be tough to do,” Demling told SportsLine.

Eskimo Kisses took down back-to-back races at Oaklawn Park in February, but has not won since. She took second in the Fair Grounds Oaks to Chocolate Martini, who’s listed at 11-1 on Friday. There are much better values in the 2018 Kentucky Oaks field than the 9-1 she’s getting.

One shocker: Demling says Wonder Gadot, listed at 18-1, makes a strong run at the title. She’s a target for anyone looking for a massive windfall.

“She looked much better as a 2-year-old,” Demling told SportsLine. In last month’s Fantasy Stakes, Wonder Gadot finished second to Sassy Sienna at Oaklawn Park. She has finished in the top three in three straight races and won December’s Demoiselle Stakes by almost four lengths.

Demling is especially high on a major sleeper that would net any backer a huge payday. He’s including her in his exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets, and so should you. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over at SportsLine.

Which horse wins the $1 million Kentucky Oaks? And what major sleeper does Demling say contends? Check out the latest Kentucky Oaks odds from Churchill Downs below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling’s picks for the Kentucky Oaks.