2022 Kentucky Oaks: Full Oaks Day Card Picks & Analysis

Chris Adams

Even the most casual sports fan knows the Kentucky Derby. However, this weekend it may not even be the best race at Churchill Downs. That distinction likely belongs to the Kentucky Oaks.

Kentucky Oaks Analysis

Churchill Downs Race 11-Kentucky Oaks

Post: 5:51 PM ET; Purse: $1,250,000 Longines Kentucky Oaks, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 15

Echo Zulu is a major player in the Kentucky Oaks from Churchill Downs
Echo Zulu. Photo Credit Blood Horse

The Major Players

  • #1 SECRET OATH (6-1) was once a possibility to run against the boys in the Kentucky Derby. A troubled trip in the Arkansas Derby led to a third place finish and this one seems to be the contender picking up the least steam.
  • #4 NEST (5-2) was massively impressive the last out. She’s a major player, but in an ultra competitive field I worry she will be bet down way below value. Regardless of value, this is a tough play against if you want to cash a horizontal ticket.
  • #7 ECHO ZULU (4-1) stuffed me in a locker when I claimed that Juju’s Map would be the better 2 year old in the Breeders’ Cup. I won’t make that mistake again. She is 5 for 5 and is the champ until she’s not. This is by far the toughest test, but she gets my top pick.
  • #10 KATHLEEN O. (7-2) may get the benefit of speed drawing alongside of each other in this one. That can often lead to faster paces which is exactly what deeper closers like this one want. She closed at Gulfstream which is no easy task. Workout reports are sour on this one but she’s all about the game and like Allen Iverson has never been much about practice.

The Possible Upsetters

  • #2 NOSTALGIC (15-1) has been getting progressively better under Bill Mott and ran a great race on the inside in her last contest. This one is definitely an outsider, but makes a ton of sense being in with a chance late.
  • #3 HIDDEN CONNECTION (20-1) has to be considered if you like Echo Zulu. This horse was within a nose of her in the Fair Grounds Oaks. You’re getting a much better price here. The real question is what percent was the winner that day cranked up to? Maybe the gap is bigger than the race replay shows.
  • #13 SHAHAMA (15-1) is the horse I think is most likely to pull the upset win. This horse has been good, but no one really knows how good because the form lines have no common opponents. In a race where the others have raced against one another this wild card may be the one you want. The outside post is not ideal though.

The Underneaths

  • #5 GODDESS OF FIRE (15-1) hasn’t been better than these early in races or late and feels like a type that could run an even 4th in the right circumstance but that feels like the ceiling.
  • #6 YUUGIRI (30-1) will be going for the lead. I’m not sure if she will get there with plenty of confirmed speed in the race. That being said, maybe a speed and hold on for desperate 3rd or 4th at a price.
  • #9 DESERT DAWN (20-1) is actually a really interesting prospect here. The win seems a reach, but Adare Manor was once considered a major player in this race and she put that one away in the Santa Anita Oaks. She is a grindy closer who could get another blistering pace to clunk up into. I could see this one closing in as high as 2nd.

The Tosses

  • #8 VENTI VALENTINE (20-1) has been speed and fade and looks like she may be in that spot again against better.
  • #11 COCKTAIL MOMENTS (30-1) is a deep closer who lacks the finishing kick of some of the other rivals.
  • #12 CANDY RAID (30-1) could be out the back early and it feels like this one will forever have the memory of making the chart of the Kentucky Oaks, but that’s about it. Put the postage on the participation trophy for this runner.
  • #14 TURNERLOOSE (20-1) wanted so badly to spring the upset on Echo Zulu last out and then just flattened. It feels like Brad Cox was deep on his preferred jockey depth chart when he signed Manny Franco to ride. Manny’s a solid jockey, but not top of the list for one of the elite barns in the country.
  • #15 BEGUINE (30-1) may not even draw into the race. They could announce she was running after they had loaded half the field and it would have no consequence on this race.

Selections: 7-10-4-1

Betting the Oaks

Betting the above selections in any kind of vertical wager will not produce much value. On Thursday at 2 pm Eastern Betting News will provide a betting guide for all budgets. The focus of the article will be to provide a balance between the probability of winning the wager with the value returned.

Kentucky Oaks Undercard Analysis

Churchill Downs Race 1

Post: 10:30 AM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #6 CUSTOMER DRIVEN (9-2) gets the top pick based on speed figures.
  • #4 SEQUIST (7-2) is a player given the class and early pace.
  • #5 PARK ON THE NILE (10-1) looks good in this spot based on stamina .
  • #3 IDIOMATIC (4-1) could be competitive given the record at the distance and form.

Selections: 6-4-5-3

Churchill Downs Race 2

Post: 11:00 AM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 12

  • #11 INVENTING (7-5) gets the top pick based on speed figures, record at the distance, race flow, pace, and form.
  • #8 BLAMETHECHAMPAGNE (6-1) is a player given the class.
  • #12 OLGA ISABEL (12-1) is an outsider with a shot.
  • #10 MISREAD (7-2) could be competitive given the connections.

Selections: 11-8-12-10

Churchill Downs Race 3

Post: 11:30 AM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance, 1 1/8 Miles on Turf; Entries: 9

  • #1 Q F SEVENTY FIVE (7-5) gets the top pick based on record at the distance and form. The better half of the entry.
  • #8 AVIANO (4-1) is a player given the speed figures and projected pace setup.
  • #1A ARABIAN PRINCE (7-5) makes some sense as a stand alone, but gets upgraded because of the stablemate you get with this one.
  • #3 RED HORNET (4-1) could be competitive given the late kick and class.

Selections: 1-8-1A-3

Churchill Downs Race 4

Post: 12:05 PM ET; Purse: $134,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • #7 JUJU'S MAP (1-1) should have this group over a barrel, topping the field in almost every key metric. Proven form means no price is too short for me.
  • #5 SEMBLE JUSTE (10-1) could get up underneath.
  • #9 TABOR HALL (12-1) has some performances that make this one usable in exotics.
  • #2 FAMILY TIME (12-1) is a connections play.

Selections: 7-5-9-2 (Best Bet: #7 JUJU’S MAP

Churchill Downs Race 5

Post: 12:43 PM ET; Purse: $250,000 Modesty S. presented by TwinSpires, 1 1/8 Miles on Turf; Entries: 9

  • #8 BLEECKER STREET (9-5) gets the top pick based the record at the distance and the recent form.
  • #7 CURLY RUTH (6-1) is a player given the speed figures.
  • #1 FLUFFY SOCKS (3-1) has run some good races in the recent starts and makes sense to be involved.
  • #9 PASS THE PLATE (8-1) could be competitive given the early pace. Sometimes turf races get real slow and a horse can get loose.

Selections: 8-7-1-9

Churchill Downs Race 6

Post: 1:26 PM ET; Purse: $750,000 La Troienne S. presented by Signify Health, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 7

  • #2 SHEDARESTHEDEVIL (6-5) gets the top pick based on speed figures alone though there is a lot to like about this one.
  • #6 PAULINE'S PEARL (2-1) has been good at the 8 1/2 furlong distance.
  • #4 BATTLE BLING (6-1) is a fringe player here
  • #1 JILTED BRIDE (6-1) could save ground and always seems to show up at this distance.

Selections: 2-6-4-1

Churchill Downs Race 7

Post: 2:09 PM ET; Purse: $500,000 Alysheba S. presented by Sentient Jet, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 8

  • #5 OLYMPIAD (9-5) has been so good lately and could get the perfect setup in this race.
  • #1 MAX PLAYER (5-2) gets the check mark for speed figures and class, but I always end up on the wrong side of this one.
  • #7 HAPPY SAVER (7-2) has run against decent runners in the past and could use that experience here.
  • #2 WEYBURN (5-1) goes out for Brendan Walsh who got rolling at the Keeneland meet.

Selections: 5-1-7-2

Churchill Downs Race 8

Post: 3:03 PM ET; Purse: $500,000 Edgewood S. presented by Forcht Bank, 1 1/16 Miles on Turf; Entries: 10

  • #5 DOLCE ZEL (5-2) gets the top pick based on class.
  • #4 KNEESNHIPS (12-1) is a player given the speed figures.
  • #3 MCKULICK (7-2) has a chance based on the speed figures ratings. #9 NEW YEAR'S EVE (12-1) could be competitive given the connections .

Selections: 5-4-3-9

Churchill Downs Race 9

Post: 4:04 PM ET; Purse: $500,000 Eight Belles S. presented by TwinSpires, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

  • #4 AIN'T EASY (12-1) is a pace player that may be able to spring the upset here.
  • #8 MATAREYA (5-2) is a player given the speed figures and recent form.
  • #2 PRETTY BIRDIE (4-1) has a chance based on the connections and potential race flow.
  • #6 GERRYMANDER (8-1) makes sense in this spot.

Selections: 4-8-2-6

Churchill Downs Race 10

Post: 4:51 PM ET; Purse: $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. presented by Sysco, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Turf; Entries: 13

  • #1 GREGORIAN CHANT (10-1) gets the top pick based on record at the distance.
  • #8 GEAR JOCKEY (5-1) is a player given the speed figures. This one always shows up.
  • #3 CARAVEL (5-1) could get a solid race flow in this spot.
  • #10 ARREST ME RED (4-1) could be competitive given the Brisnet power ratings.

Selections: 1-8-3-10

Churchill Downs Race 11-Kentucky Oaks

Post: 5:51 PM ET; Purse: $1,250,000 Longines Kentucky Oaks, 1 1/8 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 15

Selections: 7-10-4-1

Churchill Downs Race 12

Post: 6:25 PM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance Optional Claiming, 6 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 13

  • #9 WISH YOU WELL (1.8-1) gets the top pick based on speed figures record at the distance race flow pace form .
  • #2 REAGAN'S DECISION (5-1) is a player given the connections .
  • #4 SOCIETY (8-1) has a chance based on the record at the distance ratings.
  • #1 ONTHEONESANDTWOS (6-1) could make sense in the exotics.

Selections: 9-2-4-1

Churchill Downs Race 13

Post: 7:00 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 16

  • #6 LITTLE BLAZE (6-1) gets the top pick based on speed figures earned in the previous start.
  • #10 MERCI ROAD (8-1) should be forward throughout.
  • #15 COMEDY ACT (20-1) goes out for top connections if he can draw in.
  • #9 RATHER BE LUCKY (4-1) is a player in this spot.

Selections: 6-10-15-9

More Kentucky Oaks and Derby Coverage from Betting News

  • Thursday 9 am Eastern: Kentucky Derby Final Answer Analysis
  • Thursday 2 pm Eastern: Bankroll Management Tips for 2 Days of Racing Including Bets for Every Budget
  • Friday 9 am Eastern: Upgrades and Downgrades Based on May 3rd, 4th, and 5th Racing.

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