Loaded and Soggy Kentucky Oaks Leads Off 2022 Kentucky Derby Weekend

Written By Fairway Jay on May 6, 2022
Kentucky Oaks Derby Double

The finest 3-year-old fillies hit the racetrack Friday at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks. Unfortunately, it will be a rainy and soggy day at the racetrack for patrons, horses, and the horseracing personnel. At least an 80% chance of rain showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for Friday afternoon.

The huge 13-race card Friday includes seven big graded stakes races headlined by the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks.

Horse betting will be big throughout the day, especially for the Oaks/Derby Double. That’s Race 11 for the Kentucky Oaks Friday at 5:51 p.m. EDT and Race 12 for the Kentucky Derby Saturday at 6:57 p.m. EDT. Picking the two winners of those races can provide a bigger bonus and payoff, especially if a longshot or less popular contender wins.

Sharp bettors for Saturday’s 148th running of the Kentucky Derby will be following the tote boards and the exacta pools. They’ll be looking for the Derby horses attracting the most money in the Oaks/Derby Double, which will impact the payout and odds. Additionally, this data provides clues on where the early money is going for the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Oaks Field and Odds

  1. Secret Oath (6-1)
  2. Nostalgic (15-1)
  3. Hidden Connection (20-1)
  4. Nest (5-2)
  5. Goddess of Fire (15-1)
  6. Yuugiri (30-1)
  7. Echo Zulu (4-1)
  8. Venti Valentine (20-1)
  9. Desert Dawn (20-1)
  10. Kathleen O. (7-2)
  11. Cocktail Moments (30-1)
  12. Candy Raid (30-1)
  13. Shahama (15-1)
  14. Turnerloose (20-1)

Is Nest the Best of the 14 Fillies?

Trainer Todd Pletcher saddles the Kentucky Oaks favorite, Nest (5-2), with top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. riding. Pletcher has won the Oaks four times, including twice with fillies racing on a sloppy or ‘off’ track. So he’s confident Nest will splash home a winner if the conditions and track are sloppy.

“If the track’s wet, I think Nest will handle it really well,” Pletcher said this week.

Nest has won 4-of-5 career starts, including a stunning 8 1/2 length romp a month ago. Nest was by far the best in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

“We loved her race in the Ashland; it was kind of a breakthrough performance. She’s gained some weight since then, looks super and has two good works over the track.”

Nest is a hard-closing Bay daughter of the great Curlin out of an A.P. Indy mare. Those are the same colors and closing running style of another Pletcher runner in the Kentucky Derby, Mo Donegal. Could Pletcher capture the Oaks/Derby Double with his trio of horses in each race with Nest, Goddess of Fire, Shaham / Mo Donegal, Charge It, Pioneer of Medina?

Our colleagues and contacts at Guaranteed Tip Sheet have provided brief insight on their four talented fillies to complete the superfecta in the loaded Kentucky Oaks.

  • Echo Zulu is undefeated in five starts. The only question is the distance, but she should be better in her second start after a layoff and should not have too much competition for the lead.
  • Nest improved her speed figure in three straight and should be coming fast at the end.
  • After winning three easy races prior, Secret Oath held her own against the boys in the Arkansas Derby.
  • Kathleen O. is undefeated in four Gulfstream Park races and could be at her best in the third start after a layoff.

Our partners at TVG provide additional insight on the Kentucky Oaks odds and contenders, along with their picks.

Win: Echo Zulu

Place: Kathleen O.

Show: Secret Oath

Longshot: Juju’s Map

TVG offers pari-mutuel betting and provides the perfect online destination with live streaming capabilities for racing enthusiasts following and betting the races.

Photo by AP | Charlie Riedel
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Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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