Few races have the history and pageantry of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 5 at Churchill Downs! The $1.25 million race for the best three-year-old fillies in the country is also one of the best wagering opportunities in the country. With a big field testing their stamina over 1 ⅛ miles, betting the Kentucky Oaks can lead to great payouts!
Kentucky Oaks winners over the years have include great horses like Modesty, Princess Rooney, Rachel Alexandra, and even recent stars like Secret Oath 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 Kentucky Oaks!
Kentucky Oaks Online Betting
Your first step is to set up an account at a trusted online sportsbook. Betting the Kentucky Oaks at an online sportsbook is convenient because you can do it anywhere with an internet connection. It is also more profitable because they often offer better odds than you will ever find at the track! Our expert reviews make it easy to choose the best online sports betting site.
Make sure to choose the site with the best bonuses for your betting style: this can mean hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars for your bankroll. Taking a few minutes now to read our reviews and pick the best online betting bonuses for how you like to play can make betting the Kentucky Oaks even more profitable than ever!
These are the best online sportsbooks for playing the 2023 Kentucky Oaks:
Kentucky Oaks Field
This is the official field for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
- Mimi Kakushi (Salem bin Ghadayer / Mickael Barzalona) - 20/1
- The Alys Look (Brad Cox / Javier Castellano) - 15/1
- Gambling Girl (Todd Pletcher / Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 15/1
- Southlawn (Norm Casse / Reylu Gutierrez) - 8/1
- Wonder Wheel (Mark Casse / Joel Rosario) - 12/1
- Botanical (Brad Cox / Chris Landeros) - 4/1
- Wet Paint (Brad Cox / Flavien Prat) - 5/2
- Promiseher America (Raymond Handal / Jorge Vargas, Jr.) - 30/1
- And Tell Me Nolise (Peter Miller / Ramon Vazquez) - 15/1
- Flying Connection (Todd Fincher / Florent Geroux) - 15/1
- Defining Purpose (Kenny McPeek / Brian Hernandez, Jr.) - 12/1
- Dorth Vader (Michael Yates / Luis Saez) - 20/1
- Affirmative Lady (Graham Motion / John Velazquez) - 10/1
- Pretty Mischievous (Brendan Walsh / Tyler Gaffalione) - 10/1
- Taxed (Randy Morse / Rafael Bejarano) - 20/1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
- Julia Shining (Todd Pletcher / Luis Saez) - 15/1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
- Hoosier Philly (Tom Amoss / Edgar Morales) - 30/1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
If horses scratch from the Oaks field before 9:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday, then Taxed, Julia Shining, and Hooser Philly can get into the field, in that order of priority. If Julia Shining draws into the field, Luis Saez will ride her and Jose Ortiz takes over the mount on Dorth Vader.
Remember that the morning line is just the track’s best estimate for the betting odds come post time. Odds at the track fluctuate until post time, so you don’t know what you are actually going to get. Your best bet is to play at an online sportsbook. If you see an overlay on your Kentucky Oaks choice, you can go ahead, bet, and lock in your odds!
These are the odds at the top of the Kentucky Oaks market at the best online sportsbooks:
Kentucky Oaks Handicapping
With your online betting account all set up, let’s get to know the contenders and pretenders for the Kentucky Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks Best Bet
Sometimes the favorite is the goods, and this year that is the case with Wet Paint. She won all three Oaklawn preps with authority, and the importance of Oaklawn as an Oaks prep circuit is increasing. She won just as strongly on both a wet track and a dry one, which is interesting especially since there is a good chance Churchill turns up wet on Oaks day.
The positives don’t end there. She is trained by two-time Oaks-winning trainer Brad Cox, and her pedigree reads like one that will handle 1 ⅛ miles perfectly well. From a pace perspective, she usually closes from the rear but showed in the Martha Washington that she doesn’t have to drop to the clouds. And, she got a great middle draw.
Kentucky Oaks Bet-Against
The second choice for the Kentucky Oaks, Botanical, is a play-against. Yes, she won her two points races impressively. But, those came over Tapeta at Turfway. And, she has never tried a dirt track. Her connections are good and she might be interesting if she were any kind of a price. But, with no dirt experience against a bunch of proven dirt horses, you can’t take chalk on her, and chalk is what she’ll be.
Kentucky Oaks Contenders
Affirmative Lady hit her stride at Gulfstream this winter, breaking her maiden in February and moving forward to win the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) next out. The outside post could be tough from a ground loss perspective, but she could also work a nice outside stalking trip. And, she ran a great race to be second in the Demoiselle (G2), at 1 ⅛ miles on slop, which should be much like the Oaks conditions.
Southlawn has been a new horse at age three. She was a cut below the better juveniles, but in her two three-year-old starts at Fair Grounds she has been impressive. The one reason to be cautious is the fact that her two races at Churchill last year were both flat, so she may not love the surface. But, she has improved enough since then that she may reverse that trend.
Gambling Girl would be a surprise on the win end, since her only wins have come against New York-breds. But, she has been a plucky sort in Oaks preps and has hit the board in three points races at the 1 ⅛-mile distance of the Oaks. This kind of consistency for strong Oaks trainer Todd Pletcher should serve her well and she has a good shot to hit the board.
Kentucky Oaks Longshots
Promiseher America took a big step forward in the Gazelle (G3), her first two-turn race and her first try against winners. The question is whether she will regress on Oaks day. But, at north of 20/1 odds in major markets, that’s enough of a price to bet that she is just a better horse going long, since the Gazelle is the same distance as the Oaks. She is by American Pharoah out of an Unbridled’s Song mare, so that tracks.
Free Kentucky Oaks Picks
These are your free expert picks for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks:
- $30 to win: #7 Wet Paint
- $10 to win/place/show: #8 Promiseher America
- $1 exacta key: #7 Wet Paint with #3 Gambling Girl, #8 Promiseher America
- $1 trifecta key: #7 Wet Paint with #3 Gambling Girl, #8 Promiseher America, #13 Affirmative Lady
- $1 superfecta key: #7 Wet Paint with #3 Gambling Girl, #4 Southlawn, #8 Promiseher America, #13 Affirmative Lady