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Thu 05/05/2022 - 05:57 EDT

Nest in Perfect Form For Kentucky Oaks

On Friday, May 6, 2022, fourteen of the best three-year-old fillies in the country will compete in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks. The race covers a mile and an eighth on the dirt, and it is one of the best betting races at Churchill Downs. The winner gets the spoils: the lion’s share of a $1,250,000 purse, the iconic blanket of lilies, and a place in horse racing history.

Betting the Kentucky Oaks

Though going to the Kentucky Oaks is a lot of fun, not everyone can make it to Louisville. Fortunately, you no longer have to go to the track or to an OTB to bet it. Instead, you can get the best odds from the comfort of your home. Though having expert Kentucky Oaks picks matters, it is just as important to know the best places to bet the Kentucky Oaks online. 

Many trusted online sportsbooks are offering excellent bonuses, rebates, and features for everyone betting the Kentucky Oaks. Different racebook bonuses are designed for different kinds of bettors, so it makes sense to think carefully about your options. Read our expert reviews, make your accounts at these top sportsbooks and be ready to get the best Kentucky Oaks odds!

Kentucky Oaks Horses

Once you have made your betting account, the next step toward handicapping the Kentucky Oaks is getting to know the contenders.

This is the official field for the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:

  1. Secret Oath (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Saez) - 6-1
  2. Nostalgic (Bill Mott/Jose Ortiz) - 15-1
  3. Hidden Connection (Bret Calhoun/Reylu Gutierrez) - 20-1
  4. Nest (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 5-2
  5. Goddess of Fire (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 15-1
  6. Yuugiri (Rodolphe Brisset/Florent Geroux) - 30-1
  7. Echo Zulu (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 4-1
  8. Venti Valentine (Jose Abreu/Tyler Gaffalione) - 20-1
  9. Desert Dawn (Phil d’Amato/Umberto Rispoli) - 20-1
  10. Kathleen O. (Shug McGaughey/Javier Castellano) - 7-2
  11. Cocktail Moments (Ken McPeek/Corey Lanerie) - 30-1
  12. Candy Raid (Keith Desormeaux/Rafael Bejarano) - 30-1
  13. Shahama (Todd Pletcher/Flavien Prat) - 15-1
  14. Turnerloose (Brad Cox/Manuel Franco) - 20-1
  15. Beguine (Daniel Peitz/Ricardo Santana) - 30-1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE

Beguine is on the Also Eligible list. This means she draws in if a horse in the main field scratches out of the field before 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6. If a horse defects later than that, she will not be able to run since betting will have already opened on track. 

The odds at the top of the Kentucky Oaks market at top online sportsbooks are below:

Horses bovada betonline gt-bets


+300 +300 TBA

Echo Zulu

+350 +400 TBA

Kathleen O.

+425 +400 TBA

Secret Oath

+450 +550 TBA


+1400 +2000 TBA

Hidden Connection

+1600 +1600 TBA

Desert Dawn

+1600 +2000 TBA

Kentucky Oaks Handicapping

That is the full list of contenders.  Now it is time to get to know the horses who are going to get a lot of betting interest, as well as some of the longshots who will help you make a big profit betting on the 2022 Kentucky Oaks.

Kentucky Oaks Favorites

Nest was named the favorite, and she looks like the goods coming into the Oaks. She is already a G2 winner at a mile and an eighth, in the Demoiselle as a juvenile. She is even better this year, winning both the Suncoast and the Ashland (G1) with devastating ease. Nest should be able to rally into a sharp pace, and she is beautifully bred for the off-track that is likely on Oaks day.

Shahama To win the Kentucky Oaks

Echo Zulu may also take a lot of money and was the favorite in a lot of markets before the draw. However, she was all out to win the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). She will be fitter for Kentucky, but she will not have it easy upfront with the likes of Yuugiri, Venti Valentine, and Turnerloose to contend with.  She will be an underlay, so look elsewhere.

Kentucky Oaks Contenders

Secret Oath tried males in the Arkansas Derby (G1) last out. She finished a credible third behind Cyberknife, a serious Kentucky Derby contender. Though the rail may cause some traffic, she proved two back that she could win a race even with a troubled trip. If she carries her Oaklawn form to Kentucky, look for her to be rolling home late.

Kathleen O. is undefeated after four starts so far. She was the queen of the Gulfstream spur of the Kentucky Oaks trail, and though Gulfstream horses do not always show up in Kentucky, she is better than the average Gulfstream filly, and it is also positive that she had her maiden victory elsewhere. That came over a muddy track at Aqueduct, meaning the wet forecast should be no problem for her.

Kentucky Oaks Longshots

Shahama began her career in the UAE and made her American debut in the Oaks. She won all four of her starts at Meydan impressively, and her off-pace style should get a nice setup in Kentucky as well. Her sire Munnings is a top-class off-track influence, and this half-sister to Lookin at Lucky actually cuts back in trip for the Oaks, meaning she is stamina-proven.

Nostalgic made her mark in her last two races, winning an allowance at Gulfstream easily two back and then rallying to score in the Gazelle. She has proven she can stay the mile and an eighth, and she is another who will benefit from having so much speed ahead of her. Though she has yet to try an off track, her pedigree suits it well, giving her upside given the weather forecast.

Free Kentucky Oaks Expert Picks

Here are your free Kentucky Oaks 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

Kentucky Derby Undercard Picks

In addition to the Kentucky Oaks itself, the card on Friday, May 6 at Churchill Downs features six other rich undercard stakes races with some of the best horses in America. These are all excellent races to bet.

Churchill Downs is offering an all-stakes Pick 6 on Kentucky Oaks Day. The wager has a $0.20 minimum and requires you to pick the winners in six stakes races at Churchill Downs, starting with the La Troienne. These are horses you should make sure to use when playing Friday’s other stakes action.

  • Race 5 - $250,000 Modesty Stakes: #1 Fluffy Socks, #8 Bleecker Street
  • Race 6 - $750,000 La Troienne Stakes: #2 Shedaresthedevil, #6 Pauline’s Pearl
  • Race 7 - $500,000 Alysheba Stakes: #5 Olympiad
  • Race 8 - $500,000 Edgewood Stakes: #5 Dolce Zel, #8 Spicer, #10 Dream Lith (if the race is washed off to dirt)
  • Race 9 - $500,000 Eight Belles Stakes: #1 Sweet as Pie, #8 Matareya
  • Race 10 - $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint: #4 Chasing Artie, #7 Diamond Oops, #9 Pyron