The Kentucky Oaks (G1) is one of the most historic races in America. Run since 1875; it draws the best three-year-old fillies in the country to compete for a $1.25 million purse, the iconic blanket of lilies, and a place in horse racing history.
The 2022 Kentucky Oaks will be an excellent betting race. It drew an overflow field: 14 of the best sophomore fillies in the main field, plus one on the also-eligible list. Who will add her name to a winners’ list that includes great horses like Modesty, Princess Rooney, and Rachel Alexandra?
Keep reading to find out.
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Kentucky Oaks Field and Odds
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 is entered as an also-eligible entrant. She will draw into the field if another horse scratches before on-site wagering begins at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6. If a horse scratches later than that, she will not draw in since betting will have already begun on track.
Here are the current Kentucky Oaks betting odds. As the race draws closer, the odds will fluctuate and firm up. Your best bet is to keep an eye on these odds and bet on the race online when you like the odds on your horse. That way, you can lock in the best odds.
Kentucky Oaks Handicapping
The Kentucky Oaks is a mile and an eighth, which is longer than many of the runners have ever gone. So, looking for a horse with a strong stamina pedigree is good. Furthermore, with rain in the forecast for this week, there is a good chance that Oaks day will be wet, and a horse with a good mud pedigree will have an advantage.
Kentucky Oaks Favorites
Nest is likely to go off favored in the Kentucky Derby for very good reason. She has already won a graded stakes at the Oaks distance last year in the Demoiselle (G2), and looks even better this year. She won both her preps, including the Ashland (G1), with total authority. Nest should be able to rally into a sharply contested pace, and her pedigree is attractive for the likely wet conditions as well.
The other horse likely to be heavily bet, Echo Zulu, is worth taking a stand against. She only took one prep before the Kentucky Oaks, a race she was all-out to win. Last year’s juvenile champion should be fitter for her second time out, but she’ll have to battle with foes like Yuugiri, Venti Valentine, and Turnerloose upfront. That will be a difficult task with such good horses chasing her down.
Kentucky Oaks Contenders
Secret Oath tried males last out in the Arkansas Derby (G1), and though she did not win, she finished a credible third behind serious Derby contender Cyberknife. Her off-pace style should suit the setup she will get in the Oaks. Even though she drew the rail, she has already proven that she can encounter trip trouble and keep fighting to win. In short, she has the tools to make an impact.
Kathleen O. is undefeated in four starts. Most of those came at Gulfstream, where she was not necessarily facing the best of the Oaks prep company, but it says something that she is good enough to keep winning by open lengths as a closer at speed-loving Gulfstream. It also helps that her maiden victory came over a muddy track, with rain in the forecast on Oaks day.
Kentucky Oaks Value Horses
Shahama, the breakout star of the Dubai Carnival meet, makes her first American start. Though she drew toward the outside, she is a closer so she should have no trouble finding somewhere toward the back to drop in. She won last out going 1 3/16 miles, making her the only contender turning back in trip. And, with rain in the forecast, it helps that her sire is one of the best off-track sires in the game: Munnings.
Nostalgic comes in off of a victory in the Gazelle (G3), going the same distance as the Kentucky Oaks. Though she sat fairly close to the pace that day, she has won from farther off the early going, too, a positive with so much speed drawn into the race. With improving form and a nice off-track pedigree, Nostalgia may be able to turn a few heads at a big price.
Free Kentucky Oaks Bets
Here are your best bets 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