The Kentucky Oaks is a G1 stakes race for three-year-old fillies and is often referred to as the Kentucky Derby for fillies. The race is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby each year and is run over 1 ⅛ miles at Churchill Downs in Louisville Kentucky. The winner of the race gets $750,000.00 out of the $1,250,000 purse money plus the traditional “Lillies for the Fillies” and the silver Kentucky Oaks Trophy.
History of The Kentucky Oaks
This year’s race will be the 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks, which was first held in 1875 when Churchill Downs was still known as the Louisville Jockey Club. Both the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby are the longest running continuous sporting events in the history of America. It is also considered as one of the most popular horse races in the country do the crowd it attracts. It is estimated that an attendance of about 100,000 spectators are on hand to watch the Kentucky Oaks since its 127th edition.
Since the field for the Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 horses (just like the Kentucky Derby), a qualifying stage called The Road To Kentucky Oaks is being held each year. The 29-race event is held from September when the fillies are aged two to April when they have turned three years old.The top four finishers of each race are awarded points .
Last year, Monomoy Girl took the lead at the halfway point of the race and then held off Wonder Gadot to win the Kentucky Oaks. Read our horse racing betting guide.
Here are the favorites to win the Kentucky Oaks 2019 as per the latest oddsboard from bet365.com as of 4/4/19:
|Flor De La Mar||+1600|
|Point of Honor||+3300|
The Top Favorites
Bellafina has made two starts this year, winning both races. She made her 2019 debut by winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita by 8 ½ lengths last January 6, 2019. She returned to Santa Anita for the Las Virgenes (G2) on February 9, 2019 and stamped her class with another victory there as well. The Simon Callaghan trained filly has five wins in seven starts and already has a pair of G1 wins at Del Mar and Santa Anita last year. However, she was favored in the Breeders’ Cup but disappointed bettors by coming in at fourth.
Jaywalk capped of a fantastic 2018 season by winning the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Prior to her win at Churchill Downs, After finishing second in her debut race, Jaywalk won four straight starts including the Frizette (G1). Trained by John Sevis, she was named as the top two-year old Filly.at the 2018 Eclipse Awards.
Chasing Yesterday is the Tapit half-sister to Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh. She won her debut on 7/28/18 at Del Mar by 4 ¼ lengths. The chestnut filly was then shipped to Saratoga for the G1 Spinaway Stakes where she finished a disappointing 7th. Trainer Bob Baffert then brought her back to California where she picked up two consecutive victories before winning the G1 Starlet Stakes at the Los Alamitos Race Course last December 8th. The Tapit filly won the Sunland Park Oak to improve her record to five wins in six starts.
Jeltrin is the three year old daughter of Tapizar who has a record of 2-1-1 from six starts. Bred in Kentucky, Jeltrin was at the Keeneland September sale as a $7,000 yearling. After finishing 4th in her two previous starts of 2019, she won for the first time since breaking her maiden, as the longest shot on the board in the G2 Davona Dale Stakes beating defending champion Jaywalk who finished off the board at 4th.
Dunbar Road was impressive in her career debut, winning by 8 ¾ lengths at Gulfstream Park. The Chad Brown trained Bay filly moved up to a G2 competition in her second start. Dunbar Road came up short after a determined run to finish second behind Champagne Anyone in the Gulfstream Park Oaks just last March 30, 2019.
As we mentioned earlier, Champagne Anyone is coming off an upset of Dunbar Road at the Gulfstream Park Oaks last week. Owned by Six Column Stables and Randall Bloch, Champagne Anyone has a 3-0-3 record in seven starts. Prior to that victory, she finished third in the Forward Gal Stakes (G3) last February 2 and also third in the Davona Dale Stakes (G2).
Serengeti Express has four wins in seven starts. She broke her maiden on her debut, winning at Indiana Grand last July 4th by 5 ½ lengths. After a 4th place finish at Saratoga, Serengeti came back with impressive back to back wins, taking the Ellis Park Debutante by 13 ½ lengths and the Pocahonta Stakes (G2) by an incredible 19 ½ lengths. She also won the Rachel Alexandra (G2) earlier this year by 4 ½ lengths. Overall, Serengeti Express has won four races by a combined 43 lengths.
Bellafina is widely considered as the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks and the oddsmakers agree. However, I like Bob Baffert’s winning tradition and the fact that Chasing Yesterday is the half-sister of American Pharaoh. As for the filly, Chasing Yesterday currently ranks 4th in The Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard. Last month, she displayed the class of her pedigree when she won the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks by 11/14 lengths despite breaking slow. She has won five of her six starts including four straight stakes. Prediction: Chasing Yesterday