The Kentucky Oaks (G1) is one of the most historic and important races of the year! The $1.25 million race, covering a mile and an eighth on the Churchill Downs dirt, drew an overflow field of the best three-year-old fillies in the country: 14 in the main field, plus an also-eligible entrant. The winner earns the lion’s share of the purse, the iconic blanket of lilies, and a place in horse racing history!
Betting the Kentucky Derby and Oaks has been a tradition since 1875. Kentucky Oaks winners over the years have included great horses like Modesty, Princess Rooney, Rachel Alexandra, and Monomoy Girl. Who will add their name to this illustrious list? Read on to find out — and to see the most profitable places to bet the race!
Kentucky Oaks Online Betting
The first step toward a profitable Kentucky Oaks Day is to set up an account to bet on horse races online. There are so many sportsbooks out there that choosing one can seem tough. However, our expert reviews give you trusted insight into the best online sportsbooks.
Our betting experts make it easy to find the site that best fits your betting style. All sites recommended by our experts have trusted deposit and cash-out features, true Vegas odds on the Kentucky Oaks (and all races, all year long!), and excellent bonuses and incentives like horse racing rebates and deposit bonuses.
Get to know the best online sportsbooks, and make an account at the one that suits your wagering needs.
Kentucky Oaks Field
This is the official field for the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:
- Secret Oath (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Saez) - 6-1
- Nostalgic (Bill Mott/Jose Ortiz) - 15-1
- Hidden Connection (Bret Calhoun/Reylu Gutierrez) - 20-1
- Nest (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 5-2
- Goddess of Fire (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 15-1
- Yuugiri (Rodolphe Brisset/Florent Geroux) - 30-1
- Echo Zulu (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 4-1
- Venti Valentine (Jose Abreu/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20-1
- Desert Dawn (Phil d’Amato/Umberto Rispoli) - 20-1
- Kathleen O. (Shug McGaughey/Javier Castellano) - 7-2
- Cocktail Moments (Ken McPeek/Corey Lanerie) - 30-1
- Candy Raid (Keith Desormeaux/Rafael Bejarano) - 30-1
- Shahama (Todd Pletcher/Flavien Prat) - 15-1
- Turnerloose (Brad Cox/Manuel Franco) - 20-1
- Beguine (Daniel Peitz/Ricardo Santana) - 30-1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
Beguine will draw into the Kentucky Oaks if a horse scratches out of the field before 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6. If a horse scratches later than that, but before the beginning of the race, she will not be allowed in because on-track betting will have already begun.
Keep in mind that morning lines are just a racetrack’s best guess about the odds on a horse. Your best bet is to make an account at an online sportsbook. Online, you can lock in the best odds as soon as you bet a horse. When you see appealing odds on a horse you think can win the race, you can place your wager and be sure that those are the odds you will get when you win!
The current Kentucky Oaks odds at the top online sportsbooks are featured below:
Kentucky Oaks Handicapping
Now that you have your account at the online sportsbook that fits your needs the best, let’s get to know the horses in the Kentucky Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks Best Bet
Nest is the best bet for the Kentucky Oaks. Though she will be the favorite, sometimes the favorite is the goods, and this is one of those times. She has won both her preps this year with total authority, and last year she won the Demoiselle (G2) at the full Oaks distance.
Pace-wise, she tends to come from off the pace, a good style given the plethora of speed entered for this race. However, she does not need the pace to fall apart for her to rally to win, as she proved in the Ashland. She also has an excellent off-track pedigree, which is important with rain in the forecast.
Kentucky Oaks Bet-Against
Echo Zulu is likely to take a lot of betting interest, but she is a bet-against. She was all out to win the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), and though that was her first race of the year, she still has to improve a lot on that to beat the top echelon of this field.
Echo Zulu is also a speed horse. So are Yuugiri, Venti Valentine, and Turnerloose, and nothing suggests Echo Zulu is so fast that she can easily clear those foes and keep going. She will be part of a hot pace, and there will be better horses than ever trying to chase her down. That is not appealing at a short price.
Kentucky Oaks Contenders
Secret Oath tried males in the Arkansas Derby (G1), and was not disgraced, finishing third. She should be fit and ready to return to fillies for this. She should benefit from all the speed to close into. Furthermore, even though she drew the rail in a fourteen-horse field, she has already proven that she can stay interested after trip trouble and fight home to a victory.
Kathleen O. dominated the Gulfstream Park spur of the Kentucky Oaks trail. That is an astounding feat for a confirmed closer, since Gulfstream typically plays so speed-biased. It is a testament to her consistency…and gives her plenty of upsides now that she moves to a fairer track, with a race that should set up for an off-pace type anyway. She also broke her maiden in the mud, a positive with the wet forecast.
Kentucky Oaks Longshots
Shahama is the only horse turning back in the distance for the Kentucky Oaks; last out, she won the 1 3/16-mile UAE Oaks. Though it is her first start in the USA, she beat her Emirati foes convincingly in four starts, suggesting she is up to the challenge of top American dirt racing. Her late-running style gets the right setup, and the wet weather will be no problem as she is by top slop sire Munnings.
Nostalgic is coming into her own just in time for the Kentucky Oaks. She won the Gazelle (G3) last out at the same distance as the Oaks. Her running style is versatile enough to carve out a great trip: she can win from a stalking, midpack, or closing spot. She also has a strong pedigree for an off track, making the weather no worry.
Free Kentucky Oaks Picks
These are your free expert picks for the 2022 Kentucky Oaks:
- $20 win: #4 Nest
- $5 win/place/show: #13 Shahama
- $5 exacta key: #4 Nest with #1 Secret Oath, #13 Shahama
- $1 trifecta key: #4 Nest with #1 Secret Oath, #10 Kathleen O., #13 Shahama
- $1 superfecta key: #4 Nest with #1 Secret Oath, #2 Nostalgic, #10 Kathleen O., #13 Shahama