Bet on the Kentucky Oaks
The Kentucky Derby is not the only important spring race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses: the Kentucky Oaks is an equally prestigious and historic race. While traditionally, the colts run for the roses on the first Saturday in May, the fillies run for the lilies on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.
Contested at a mile and an eighth beneath Churchill Downs racetrack’s famed twin spires, the Kentucky Oaks has a rich history all its own since it began in Louisville alongside the Derby in 1875. The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks are the longest consecutively-running horse racing events in America.
Kentucky Oaks Racebooks
Anyone can wager on major horse racing events like the Kentucky Oaks from the comfort of their own home with the convenience of an online racebook. With an online racebook, it is easier than ever to get the most out of their investment through sign-up bonuses, rebates and easy-to-use wagering platforms. An online racebook can make it easy to get in on all of the action of one of the greatest sporting events in American history, the Kentucky Oaks.
These are the best online sportsbooks for Kentucky Oaks bettors:
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* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!
Kentucky Oaks Betting Online
Bovada Racebook offers horseplayers the opportunity to make the most out of their wagers on races like the Kentucky Oaks. With Bovada, new players can receive rebates of 3% on win wagers and 5% on exotics in addition to the 50% free bet bonus of up to $250 simply for signing up. In addition, making withdrawals and deposits is a streamlined, simple process. With friendly and easy-to-reach customer service available around the clock, Bovada makes online wagering simple and fun.
Other great options to bet on Kentucky Oaks horses and other races throughout the year include BetOnline and WagerWeb. These are all well-established sportsbooks with trusted payouts, market-leading odds, and great user interfaces. Take a look at all of our recommended sportsbooks, and let our expert reviews help you find which sportsbook will maximize your bankroll!
Then, you will be ready not only for Kentucky Oaks betting and Kentucky Derby betting, but also to play the Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup, and racing and sports all year long!
Kentucky Oaks Current Odds
As the race draws closer, these are the Kentucky Oaks futures odds on the horses near the top of the market. Keep in mind that, unlike at the track, you can take advantage of these great odds before the race: you no longer have to wait until post time!
Online future wagers mean you lock in your odds at the moment you bet, meaning you get an advantage since you won’t have to take a lower price if other people bet your horse strongly as they approach the starting gate.
These are the Kentucky Oaks odds as of April 12, 2023:
Kentucky Oaks Handicapping Tips
Before placing bets for the Kentucky Oaks, bettors should keep these handicapping tips in mind to know how to pick the right horse for the big race!
Kentucky Oaks Prep Races
Major prep races for the Kentucky Oaks happen all over the country, but some prep races are perennially better than others. The horses coming out of the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland typically run well, and in the last decade horses coming out of the Fair Grounds races in New Orleans tend to be very live in the Kentucky Oaks.
Other prep series like the ones in New York or at Gulfstream or Santa Anita do not tend to send out as many winners, though they sometimes hit the board. The prep races at Oaklawn may be in a renaissance; they were not as live five or ten years ago, but 2022 winner Secret Oath came out of that series and 2020 winner Shedaresthedevil ran in it, too.
Kentucky Oaks Distance
Handicapping the Kentucky Oaks can be challenging since most of the horses have not gone the nine-furlong distance of the race before. However, there are clues you can find. Look for horses who have been getting better as the distances get longer, and who have been finishing strong and fast.
Pedigree can also give you good clues to which horses will last the length of the Kentucky Oaks. If their sire (father) or dam (mother) – or better yet, both! – have a history of producing winners at a mile and an eighth or even longer, there is a good chance they will be able to stay the distance of the race.
Kentucky Oaks Trainers and Jockeys
Looking at which trainers and jockeys have won the Kentucky Oaks in recent years can give you a good idea of who is ready to shine in the current running of the Kentucky Oaks. For example, trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won the Oaks five times, tied for the all-time record, and Todd Pletcher is only one win behind. Brad Cox has won two editions of the Kentucky Oaks in recent times, and Steve Asmussen has won twice as well.
As for jockeys, Oaks wins have been a lot more spread out, though recent riders who have won the Oaks twice each include Florent Geroux, who has won both of his Oaks with Brad Cox horses, and Mike Smith, whose wins have come with Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert.
2023 Kentucky Oaks Contenders
The likely Oaks betting favorite is Wet Paint for trainer Brad Cox. She streaked right through three prep races at Oaklawn Park, winning each strongly and showing she can shine over a track that is either wet or dry.
However, with a full field of 14 three-year-old fillies expected for the Kentucky Oaks, it is smart to look beyond the favorite, especially since there are some excellent candidates who will be better prices.
Kentucky Oaks Best Bets
Southlawn is getting good at the right time for the Kentucky Oaks. She is a better filly as a three-year-old than she was at age two, winning a prep allowance at Fair Grounds before romping in their final prep stakes race, the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). In that race she confidently beat proven horses like Pretty Mischievous, The Alys Look, and Hoosier Philly.
Affirmative Lady also deserves a long look in the Kentucky Oaks. Though she comes out of Gulfstream, she has proven she can run well at other tracks. Often-cautious trainer Graham Motion sent her out in Kentucky Oaks prep races while she was still a maiden, and she hit the board in both the Demoiselle (G2) and the Busher. Now she has won two straight, and comes into the Oaks in her best form yet.
Kentucky Oaks Wagers
Keep in mind that, in the Kentucky Oaks, you can bet on any kind of wagers that you can play in other horses races. This includes straight wagers like win bets, place bets, and show bets, which are great when you have an opinion about a single horse.
This also includes exotic wagers like exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and multi-race wagers. These are harder to hit, but if you’re right they can lead to a life-changing score: especially when the fields and pools are as big as they will be on Kentucky Oaks day!
Kentucky Oaks History
Some of the most exciting horses of recent decades have won the blanket of lilies.
One of the most impressive performances in the history of the Kentucky Oaks came in 2009 when superstar Rachel Alexandra splashed home to a 20 ¼ length victory, firmly establishing herself as the elite of her generation. The popular bay filly went on to win the Preakness (G1), Haskell (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1), all over male rivals on her way to becoming Horse of the Year.
Though the Kentucky Oaks is restricted to female horses, a female rider had never won the race until Rosie Napravnik made history with Believe You Can in 2012. Trained by Larry Jones, the daughter of Proud Citizen pulled the upset in the Oaks at odds of 13-1, earning Napravnik a spot in the record books. Two years later, the talented female rider was back in the winner’s circle after piloting the favored Untapable to win the 2014 edition for Steve Asmussen.
In 1999, the reigning champion juvenile filly, Silverbulletday, put an exclamation point on her already remarkable career with an emphatic win in the Kentucky Oaks. Sent off as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite, the bay filly delivered with style on her way to her second Eclipse Award. In 2009, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with her trainer, Bob Baffert.