Kentucky oaks preview

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There are no shortage of opinions and angles when handicapping the Kentucky Derby. With up to 20 horses leaving the starting gate on the First Saturday in May, let our experts help you find good plays and picks for your Kentucky Derby betting. Once you find your favorite personality or a good looking pick, head over to to back your pick with a $2 win bet!

Joe Kristufek

Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds and racing analyst Joe Kristufek began his career in his native Chicago, climbing the ladder at the local racing venues. The 1989 rivalry between Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence and his nemesis Easy Goer got Joe hooked on horse racing. A self-proclaimed "horse racing ambassador", Joe's industry experience spans from Dubai to Hong Kong to more than 35 tracks across North America. An award winning TV producer and fan development specialist, he relishes the challenge of scouting Kentucky Derby and Oaks hopefuls months in advance. From the infield to the suites and now the paddock, Joe has attended 15 Kentucky Derbies in person.  Follow Joe on Twitter:@JoeyDaKRacing

  1. Hot Rod Charlie 
  2. Mandaloun
  3. King Fury
  4. Essential Quality 
  5. O Besos
  6. Rock Your World
  7. Midnight Bourbon
  8. Highly Motivated
  9. Known Agenda
  10. Super Stock
  1. Clairiere
  2. Malathaat 
  3. Travel Column
  4. Pass the Champagne
  5. Search Results
  6. Maracuja
  7. Crazy Beautiful
  8. Will's Secret
  9. Millefeuille
  10. Pauline's Pearl 

Ed DeRosa

Ed DeRosaEd DeRosa is a director of marketing for, the official wagering site of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs. Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. in July 2011 following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times. He grew up in Cleveland and learned to love horse racing while going to Thistledown (now known as Jack Thistledown) with his grandfather. Before 2015, Ed had never seen a Triple Crown winner; he still hasn't seen an Indians World Championship. Ed's favorite horses are Real Quiet, Ghostzapper, and Rachel Alexandra. Follow Ed on Twitter:@EJXD2

  1. Highly Motivated
  2. Essential Quality
  3. O Besos
  4. Keepmeinmind
  5. Dynamic One
  6. Sainthood
  7. Midnight Bourbon
  8. Rock Your World
  9. Hot Rod Charlie
  10. Soup and Sandwich
  1. Malathaat
  2. Coach
  3. Crazy Beautiful
  4. Travel Column
  5. Competitive Speed
  6. Clairiere
  7. Search Results
  8. Beautiful Gift
  9. Moraz
  10. Will's Secret

James Scully

James ScullyJames Scully writes/handicaps for, and He started working for in 1998. A graduate of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, James has been a lifelong University of Kentucky and Cincinnati Bengals/Reds fan. He remembers watching Seattle Slew on TV and attended his first Kentucky Derby in 1981 (Pleasant Colony). Follow James on Twitter: @James_Scully111

  1. Hot Rod Charlie
  2. Midnight Bourbon
  3. Essential Quality
  4. Known Agenda
  5. King Fury
  6. Mandaloun
  7. Medina Spirit
  8. Highly Motivated
  9. Rock Your World
  10. O Besos
  1. Travel Column
  2. Clairiere
  3. Malathaat
  4. Crazy Beautiful
  5. Search Results
  6. Pass the Champagne
  7. Pauline's Pearl
  8. Will's Secret
  9. Millefeuille
  10. Ava's Grace

Kellie Reilly

Kellie Reilly

Kellie Reilly, a staff writer in the Editorial Department at, is a regular contributor to the blog and Her articles have also been featured on and in the official Kentucky Derby program. Kellie's academic background is in history, culminating in an M.A. from her hometown University of New Orleans. A racing fan since childhood, Kellie is especially interested in pedigrees and the international racing scene. Follow Kellie on Twitter:@GallantFox1930

  1. Affable Monarch
  2. Corniche
  3. Pinehurst
  4. Annapolis
  5. Wit
  6. Gunite
  7. Classic Causeway
  8. H P Moon
  9. Double Thunder
  10. Major General
  1. Grace Adler
  2. Echo Zulu
  3. Hidden Connection
  4. Wicked Halo
  5. Juju's Map
  6. Matareya
  7. Jester Calls Nojoy
  8. Classy Edition
  9. Electric Ride
  10. Turnerloose

Vance Hanson

Vance Hanson

Vance Hanson is a contributing writer and editor for, and with over 20 years of Thoroughbred racing experience. Prior to joining the Churchill Downs Inc. family, he served as a publicity assistant at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, where he began following the sport in the late 1980s, and as a handicapper/writer for Daily Racing Form in Lexington, Kentucky. 

  1. Jack Christopher
  2. Commandperformance
  3. Rattle N Roll
  4. High Oak
  5. Wit
  6. Tiz the Bomb
  7. Corniche
  8. Pinehurst
  9. Pappacap
  10. Major General
  1. Ain't Easy
  2. Echo Zulu
  3. Hidden Connection
  4. Juju's Map
  5. Distinctlypossible
  6. Tarabi
  7. Electric Ride
  8. Behave Virginia
  9. Gerrymander
  10. Pretty Birdie

Scott Shapiro

Scott Shampiro for TwinSpires and Kentucky Derby

Scott Shapiro handicaps thoroughbred racing for TwinSpires, is part of the Churchill Downs on-air simulcast team, and analyzes NFL football & PGA golf for TwinSpires Sportsbook. Scott fell in love with thoroughbred racing when his father took him to Garden State Park in 1985 to see Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck race in the Jersey Derby instead of the Preakness Stakes. Scott graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1996 and remains a die-hard Badger football and basketball fan today. His favorite horses are A.P. Indy, Fly So Free, Victory Gallop, and Ghostzapper.  

Follow Scott on Twitter:@ScottShap34

  1. Dynamic One
  2. Mandaloun
  3. Essential Quality
  4. Highly Motivated
  5. King Fury
  6. O Besos
  7. Hot Rod Charlie
  8. Rock Your World
  9. Medina Spirit
  10. Known Agenda
  1. Malathaat
  2. Travel Column
  3. Pass the Champagne
  4. Search Results
  5. Clairiere
  6. Crazy Beautiful
  7. Millefeuille
  8. Pauline's Pearl
  9. Ava's Grace
  10. Will's Secret

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2021 Kentucky Oaks at a Glance

The Return to Normalcy Tour at Churchill Downs starts Friday when the Longines Kentucky Oaks returns to its traditional spot on the eve of the first Saturday in May. A field of 13 will be on hand for the famed Grade 1 stakes that has once again attracted a stellar collection of the best 3-year-old fillies in training and turned the 1 1/8-mile stakes into a highly attractive betting affair.

1. Pauline’s Pearl (20-1 morning line odds): She’s certainly interesting at the odds and from the rail. After finishing a good second in the Honeybee Stakes while making her stakes debut, she earned her spot in this field by winning Fantasy Stakes over another Oaks starter in Coach. Deserves some consideration to figure in the exotics. Notable that she gets Asmussen’s top rider, Ricardo Santana Jr.

JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana Jr. TRAINER: Steve Asmussen

2. Maracuja (20-1): Was second to one of the Oaks favorites, Search Results, in the Gazelle Stakes, so you can’t toss her out. That was a big improvement over previous tries and there’s a good chance she may bounce off it in a bigger and better field.

JOCKEY: Kendrick CarmoucheTRAINER: Rob Atras

3. Clairiere (5-1): Asmussen’s leading candidate has never been worse than second in four career starts. Has raced against Travel Column three times, winning once. A quick pace and the added distance will definitely help her cause.

JOCKEY:Tyler GaffalioneTRAINER: Steve Asmussen

4. Crazy Beautiful (15-1): Another interesting longshot possibility. She was Grade 1-placed at age 2, then was reluctant to load when a distant second in her 3-year-old debut. She was better behaved in the Gulfstream Park Oaks and won by 2 ¼ lengths. Continued improvement would make her a contender here.

JOCKEY: Jose OrtizTRAINER: Ken McPeek

5. Pass the Champagne (15-1): She was only a head behind Malathaat, the Oaks favorite, in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes, which makes her a big threat at nice odds. The drawback is that the added distance may work against her.

JOCKEY: Javier CastellanoTRAINER: George Weaver

6. Travel Column (3-1): In her last three starts, all in Grade 2 company, she has two wins and a second by a neck. With two wins already at Churchill Downs, she figures to be a force in this field and just might be the one to beat.

JOCKEY: Florent Geroux TRAINER: Brad Cox

7. Ava’s Grace (50-1): Scratched.

8. Moraz (30-1): She’s never been worse than third in five career starts and it’s hard to toss her out. But in a field as competitive as this, you would like to see at least one stakes win to her credit and so far, she’s 0-for-3 in that regard. At least she has the services of a hot jockey in California’s Flavien Prat.

JOCKEY: Flavien PratTRAINER: Michael McCarthy

9. Coach (50-1): Another who has long odds and has been competitive with several of the main horses in this race. She was third in the Fantasy, so it wouldn’t be a shock if she wins, but it doesn’t seem likely, either. On the bright side, maybe she kicks off a huge weekend for Luis Saez and Brad Cox.

JOCKEY: Luis SaezTRAINER: Brad Cox

10. Malathaat (5-2): She’s undefeated and the morning-line favorite. You can’t knock four wins in as many tries, but she had to work hard to win the Central Bank Ashland in her lone race at 3-year-old. The other top contenders appear to have an edge in being battle-tested this year and perhaps that will be the deciding factor in the final furlong.

JOCKEY: John VelazquezTRAINER: Todd Pletcher

11. Will’s Secret (30-1): She won a pair of Oaklawn stakes, including the Honeybee Stakes, but then was a little more than five lengths behind Malathaat when third in the Central Bank Ashland. A wide trip may have hurt her there, but ground loss could be a problem once again here from post 11.

JOCKEY: Jon Court TRAINER: Dallas Stewart

12. Search Results (3-1): She’s a perfect 3-for-3 and seems ready to handle the big step up in class from a Grade 3 win at Aqueduct to the Oaks. The post is a concern, but the skills of jockeyIrad Ortiz Jr. just might negate that. She is definitely one of the major players in a highly contentious race.

JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr.TRAINER: Chad Brown

13. Competitive Speed (50-1): Having lost by four lengths or more in her last three starts, she has not lived up to her name. We’ll pass on her, especially from post 13.

JOCKEY: Chris Landeros TRAINER: Javier Gonzalez

14. Millefeuille (20-1): She led in mid-stretch in the Gulfstream Park Oaks but settled for second behind Crazy Beautiful. She was a little less than a length behind Malathaat as a 2-year-old in the Demoiselle Stakes, so, there are things to like in her past performances. What’s much tougher to like is post 14 in a field where there’s little to choose between many of the top contenders and significant ground loss promises to be costly.

JOCKEY: Joel Rosario TRAINER: Bill Mott

THE PICK: Travel Column

LIVE LONGSHOT: Pauline’s Pearl

SUPERFECTA: 6-1-12-10

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Kentucky Oaks 2021: Post Positions, Field and Race Preview

Kentucky Derby entrant Like The King works out at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The 2021 Kentucky Oaks is primed to be a showdown between several of racing's top three-year-old fillies.

Four horses are listed with morning-line odds of 5-1 or lower, starting with pre-race favorite Malathaat at 5-2. Clairiere, Travel Column and Search Results all come into Friday's race with strong track records as well, making it hard to choose a winner from the 13-horse field.

The field was originally 14 horses, but Ava's Grace was scratched earlier in the week.

Kentucky Oaks Post Positions and Field


Morning-line favorite Malathaat has four victories, but she has only competed in one race as a three-year-old.

Malathaat took first at the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April in a six-horse field that also included Oaks entries Pass the Champagne and Will's Secret. The high level of competition from that Grade I race should ease any concerns about Malathaat's lack of time on the track in 2021.

When it comes to Churchill Downs experience, Clairiere and Travel Column have a slight edge over Malathaat and Search Results.

Clairiere took first and second in two races at the track to conclude 2020. She also has a first-place mark from the Rachel Alexandra Stakes in February and a second-place finish from March's Fair Grounds Oaks. Travel Column has two victories on the track and reversed results with Clairiere at the Rachel Alexandra Stakes and Fair Grounds Oaks.

The two fillies should meet up early in Friday's race since they are slotted into posts No. 3 and No. 6 around a few long shots.

Search Results owns a trio of wins, but her lack of Churchill Downs experience and tough starting draw are going against her. The Chad Brown-trained filly drew post 12, which is two spots to the right of Malathaat. There is a chance Search Results links up with the pre-race favorite while working inside, but getting there will be more of a challenge than others face.

If there is an edge between the four favorites, it could belong to Travel Column because of the jockey-trainer combination of Florent Geroux and Brad H. Cox, who linked up to win the 2018 and 2020 Kentucky Oaks with Monomoy Girl and Shedaresthedevil.

Pauline's Pearl may have the best chance to upset the favored horses as a 20-1 long shot. She has three top-two finishes in 2021 and could benefit from her starting position on the rail.

Statistics obtained from

Kentucky Oaks 2021 Preview

The 148th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) will be ran Friday, May 6, 2022 at Churchill Downs. Looking for picks and tips? We’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re looking for 2022 Kentucky Oaks contenders, entries, odds, 2021 results and payouts, news, Kentucky Oaks prep race schedule, past performances, 2021 points standings and leaderboard, picks and tips, or handicapping advice, you will have the most updated information here.

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The Kentucky Oaks 148 field is based on a tiered point system in select races throughout the country. See below for the entire schedule of Kentucky Oaks prep races.

2021 / 2022 Kentucky Oaks Prep Season (17 races)

Sep 18, 2021PocahontasChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Hidden Connection
Oct 1, 2021ChandelierSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1Ain’t Easy
Oct 3, 2021FrizetteBelmont Park1 Mile10-4-2-1Echo Zulu
Oct 8, 2021AlcibiadesKeeneland1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1
Nov 5, 2021Breeders’ Cup Juvenile FilliesDel Mar1 1/16 Miles10-8-4-2
Nov 27, 2021Golden RodChurchill Downs1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1
Dec 4, 2021DemoiselleAqueduct1 1/8 Miles10-4-2-1
Dec 4, 2021StarletLos Alamitos1 1/16 Miles10-4-2-1
Dec 26, 2021UntapableFair Grounds1 Mile 70 Yards10-4-2-1
Jan 9, 2022Santa YnezSanta Anita7 Furlongs10-4-2-1
Jan 22, 2022SilverbulletdayFair Grounds1 Mile 70 Yards10-4-2-1
Jan 29, 2022Martha WashingtonOaklawn Park1 Mile10-4-2-1
Jan 30, 2022BusandaAqueduct1 1/8 Miles10-4-2-1
Feb 5, 2022Forward GalGulfstream Park7 Furlongs10-4-2-1
Feb 5, 2022SuncoastTampa Bay Downs1 Mile 40 Yards10-4-2-1
Feb 12, 2022Las VirgenesSanta Anita1 Mile10-4-2-1
Mar 4, 2022Cincinnati TrophyTurfway Park6 ½ F (AW)10-4-2-1

2022 Kentucky Oaks Championship Series (15 races)

Feb 17, 2022UAE OaksMeydan Racecourse1 3/16 Miles50-20-10-5
Feb 19, 2022Rachel AlexandraFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5
Feb 26, 2022HoneybeeOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5
Mar 5, 2022Davona DaleGulfstream Park1 Mile50-20-10-5
Mar 12, 2022Busher InvitationalAqueduct1 Mile50-20-10-5
Mar 13, 2022Santa YsabelSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5
Mar 26, 2022Fair Grounds OaksFair Grounds1 1/16 Miles100-20-10-5
Mar 26, 2022Sunland Park OaksSunland Park1 1/16 Miles50-20-10-5
Apr 2, 2022Gulfstream Park OaksGulfstream Park1 1/16 Miles100-20-10-5
Apr 2, 2022FantasyOaklawn Park1 1/16 Miles100-20-10-5
Apr 2, 2022Bourbonette OaksTurfway Park1 Mile (AW)50-20-10-5
Apr 8, 2022BeaumontKeeneland7 Furlongs10-4-2-1
Apr 9, 2022GazelleAqueduct1 1/8 Miles100-20-10-5
Apr 9, 2022AshlandKeeneland1 1/16 Miles100-20-10-5
Apr 9, 2022Santa Anita OaksSanta Anita1 1/16 Miles100-20-10-5

(AW) = All-Weather

Note: Scheduled dates subject to change.

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  • Echo Zulu Makes It Look E-Z In Frizette

    ELMONT, NY – L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ heavily-favored Echo Zulu made it look e-z with a runaway effortless victory in Sunday’s $400,000 Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont […]

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    ELMONT, NY – After finishing first and third while separated by a 1/2-length in a 6-furlong Saratoga maiden special weight, Klaravich Stables’ winner Gerrymander and second-start maiden A Mo Reay […]

  • Ain’t Easy Makes It Look So In Chandelier

    ARCADIA, CA – Despite her name, trainer Phil D’Amato’s Ain’t Easy made it look exactly so as she passed her first two-turn test with a romping victory in Friday’s $200,000 […]

  • Chandelier Preview: D’Amato Sends Three After First Title

    ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Phil D’Amato is slated to send out a trio of potential superstars – Ain’t Easy, Desert Dawn, and Elm Drive – hoping to earn their barn […]

  • Hidden Connection’s Talent No Secret In Pocahontas

    LOUISVILLE, KY – Bet down to 9/5 favoritism, Hidden Connection’s talent was clearly no secret and she proved it with a dominating score in Saturday’s $300,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G3) at […]


Leaderboard for qualifying points to the 2022 Kentucky Oaks. Points are earned by the top four finishers in designated qualifying Kentucky Oaks prep races listed above. The Kentucky Oaks field is reserved for the top 14 point earners.

Road to the Kentucky Oaks

1Hidden Connection10Bret CalhounHidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds
2Ain't Easy10Philip D'AmatoOld Bones Racing Stable, LLC, Lombardi, Michael V. and Platts, Joey
3Mama Rina4Kenny McPeekHarold Lerner LLC, AWC Stables, Akman, Scott K., Nehoc Stables, Braverman, Paul and Magdalena Racing
4Electric Ride4John SadlerTalla Racing LLC
5Goddess of Fire2Todd PletcherRed Oak Stable
6Desert Dawn2Philip D'AmatoH and E Ranch, Inc.
4Code for Success1Victoria OliverFarish, William S. and Humphrey, Jr., G. Watts
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Race Recap/Replay

On Friday, April 30, 2021, Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat won the 147th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by jockey John Velazquez, Malathaat overtook Search Results in mid-stretch to win by a neck in a final time of 1:48.99 for the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route.

Malathaat’s win was her fifth from as many starts, including stakes scores in the Tempted and the Demoiselle (G2) at Aqueduct last year and the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland 4 weeks ago. Malathaat is a daughter of Curlin out of the A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia (fourth as the 3/2 favorite in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks) who was purchased for $1.05 million as a yearling and who’s now earned $1,125,150.

Get results and payouts to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks below. Also, click the link to download our 19-page Inside Track to the Kentucky Derby wagering guide. These wagering guides are included at least once a month as part of our premium picks packages.

10MalathaatJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher7.004.603.40
12Search ResultsIrad Ortiz, Jr.Chad Brown6.805.60
11Will's SecretJon CourtDallas Stewart9.60
$2.00 Exacta10-12$37.80$3,006,606
$0.50 Trifecta10-12-11$232.25$2,613,553
$1.00 Superfecta10-12-11-3$2,808.70$1,036,775
$1.00 Daily Double8-10$17.80$403,184
$0.50 Pick 37-8-10 (3 Correct)$159.90$465,579
$0.50 Pick 42-7-8-7/10 (4 Correct)$384.65$1,546,026
$0.50 Pick 52-2-7-8-7/10 (5 Correct)$3,310.45$1,492,693
$1.00 Super High Five10-12-11-3-6$6,902.00$79,806
$0.20 Pick 6 Jackpot6-2-2-7-8-7/10 (6 Correct)$2,273.30$866,981$99,382

Oaks preview kentucky

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Kentucky Oaks 2021 Preview

Rising over me, he jokingly gave me a slap, then another one. I was stunned. It terribly excited me. Sweat rolled like hail.

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She is not allowed, she is the Mistress. Time was running out and we started getting dressed. When I put on my sneakers and she was almost dressed, she looked at me and said: Take my hair. I took.

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