The surplus field of 15 foals in the second year will move to Post Kentucky Oaks $1.25 million (G1) at Churchill Downs on Friday. The advantage on a huge day of racing has attracted an impressive team of three-year-olds who will travel 1 1/8 miles on dirt in one of the most competitive performances of racing in recent memory.
Kentucky Oaks Picks
- #1 Secret Section
- #10 Kathleen O.
- #7 Echo Zulu
- #4 live
- #2 Nostalgia
Kentucky Oaks contenders
#1 Secret Flat (6-1) The foals dominate this season and come with a fine Third place appears in the Arkansas Derby (G1) against boys for conditioner dr. Wayne Lucas. Arrogate’s awesome filly would be a perfect fit with seven road attempts under her belt so far, and if she can beat a tough railroad pole, she’s the one to beat in my opinion. Luis Saez is in charge.
#2 Nostalgia (15-1) It’s never been better than Bill Mott’s conditioner. The local Godolphin family put in their best showing when they edged out Gazelle S. (G3) last time out, and another lead forward would give them a big chance on Friday behind Jose Ortiz. The price is right too.
#3 Subtle Connection (20-1) He earned a score of 3 from one race on the course for coach Brett Calhoun. Connect’s daughter had a good preparation for this mile with a brave second at Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), and could culminate in her third start of layoff. Relo Gutierrez has the job.
#4 Live (5-2) House Roar Confirmed 8 1/4 Length Ashland S Award winner. (G1) Todd Bletcher. Curlin’s once battered filly has shown steady progress in her life, and has posted two powerful morning workouts in the meantime. And you’ll be tracking the pace from the start with regular pilot Errad Ortiz at the controls.
#5 Goddess of Fire (15-1) Apparently she was second when she finished second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on her last ride. The Mineshaft daughter hasn’t finished off her signature count yet, but she’s been close on a few occasions and has plenty of oomph for weird things at a good price. John Velasquez will instruct Bleacher’s pupil.
#6 Yujiri (30-1) She led on every call to score her first win over a graded stakes in Fantasy S. (G3) at Oaklawn Park last time. The Gulf filly has never missed the plate in her five-race career, but she will need her best range to upset this cast on Friday. Florent Giroud will always guide the good sophomore.
#7 Echo Zulu (4-1) She brought her undefeated mark to the Oaks by Steve Asmussen. The three-time Division 1 star got a little tired of late at Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) recently on her first attempt of the season, but she showed a late heart and will improve from this performance. The two-year-old champ hasn’t had a four-point lead in a row and he clearly can catch up under Rosario.
Echo Zulu rehearsing at Churchill Downs before Kentucky Oaks (Kuadi Photography)
#8 Fenty Valentine (20-1) She finished first or second in each of her five attempts in her life so far for Jorge Abreu. The double-stakes victor has a versatile running style as it approaches the climax to appear for the third time in 2022. Tyler Gavallioni in New York-born filly Firing Line, who looms as a competitor.
#9 Desert Dawn (20-1) The heart of the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) comes under the radar for Philip D’Amato. Sure, the three-year-old Cupid has turned a corner in her latest endeavor, but the Arizona native will have to prove it to me in a whole field of elegant competitors before I can confidently back her up. Umberto Rispoli will lead Gazi California.
#10 Kathleen O. (7-2) It’s four against four while showcasing a devastating foot turn on every occasion for Shug McGaughey. Upstart’s daughter gives the impression of a foal who will thrive on the go to nine furlongs, and she’s posted three lovely morning moves in anticipation of her biggest test yet. Javier Castellano keeps the rope.
#11 Cocktail Moments (30-1) Has won or placed in every job offer to date, which has included a Victory Day at Churchill Downs In her first appearance in the second. Dark Bai’s daughter was Uncle Mo in the second match at Ashland S. (G1) last time and He has a lot of weird charms To the field for coach Kenny McPeak. Corey Laneri will make one late on top of the fun long throw.
#12 Candy Red (30-1) He raced home to claim a clear All-Weather win at Bourbonette Oaks recently for coach Keith Desormeaux. Candy Ride has never been this skilled on dirt, and they’d be a huge surprise against the field.
#13 magnanimity (15-1) She is considered as a wildcard in the cast during her US debut. Moning’s daughter won four to four in Dubai in this campaign, winning every race by a good margin of speed, and it could be any kind in her first Bleacher race. Kentucky boys will have Flavian Pratt in silk, which is an obvious positive.
#14 Turnerloose (20-1) Tired late at Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) after a Nice tally at Rachel Alexandra S. (G2) for Brad Cox conditioner. The talented Nyquist miss draws the widest range on the main body on the field, and she looks like she’s slashed beneath top field foals at this point in her development. Mane Franco inherits the ride.
#15 Pigeon (30-1) He is first on the list also eligible for Peitz. Chestnut has improved in every job performance thus far, but she’ll need a huge leap forward to challenge this group of late if she joins the group.
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