The 2021 Kentucky Oaks is one of the best horse races of the year. All serious handicappers are making their plans to bet this race that features fourteen of the best three-year-old fillies in the country. It is a 1 1/8-mile race at Churchill Downs with a purse worth $1,250,000.
Every major sportsbook offers odds on the Kentucky Oaks, and these are the Vegas odds at the top online sportsbooks:
The likely favorite in the Kentucky Oaks is Malathaat, an undefeated filly for trainer Todd Pletcher. She should be able to get a good trip rallying into the speed, but she has not yet raced at Churchill Downs, and that is a serious question for her to answer at a short price.
Travel Column is already a stakes winner at Churchill Downs. She is trained by Brad Cox, who has won the Oaks twice in the last three years, and comes in out of a win in the Fair Grounds Oaks, an excellent Kentucky Oaks prep. She has a versatile running style and a good pedigree for the distance. Travel Column is the horse to beat.
Clairiere is another horse worth considering in the Kentucky Oaks. She ran a good second to Travel Column in both the Fair Grounds Oaks and the Golden Rod last year at Churchill, and she beat Travel Column in the Rachel Alexandra. With a sharp pace likely in the Oaks, Clairiere could get a very good trip.
One shorter-priced horse to play against in the Kentucky Oaks, unless there is an overly pronounced speed bias, is Search Results. She is undefeated, but in each race she has been up very close to the pace. With a lot of horses in the Kentucky Oaks who like that kind of trip, she will have a more difficult time than ever getting the right run of the race. And, her trainer Chad Brown tends to be overbet.
Kentucky Oaks Handicapping
Though Travel Column is our top selection in the Kentucky Oaks, the best way to score big is to play exotic wagers with price horses. And, there are two very live, very interesting price horses worth building into your tickets in the Kentucky Oaks.
Pauline’s Pearl, Clairiere’s stablemate in the Steve Asmussen barn, comes into the Oaks off of a win in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn. She has shown she can rally well through horses, a skill that should get her a good trip in a crowded, speed-laden Kentucky Oaks. Asmussen’s usual first-call rider, Ricardo Santana, Jr., rides Pauline’s Pearl.
Brad Cox won the Oaks with a longshot last year, and this year he has another live longshot: Coach. Coach is already a winner at Churchill Downs. She is well bred for the Kentucky Oaks distance, and should be able to run well into the lively pace up front. Furthermore, her rider Luis Saez is in the best form of his career.
Kentucky Oaks Jockeys and Trainers
Trainer Brad Cox has won two of the last three editions of the Kentucky Oaks, with Monomoy Girl (2018) and Shedaresthedevil (2020). Florent Geroux rode both of those winners for Cox.
Other trainers in this year’s Kentucky Oaks who have won it before include Todd Pletcher (2004, 2007, 2013), Steve Asmussen (2005, 2014), and Dallas Stewart (2006). Dallas Stewart’s previous winner was Lemons Forever, the longest shot to win the Kentucky Oaks in the race’s history.
The other jockeys in this year’s Oaks who have won it before include Jose Ortiz (2019), Javier Castellano (2016), and John Velazquez (2004). John Velazquez’s win came with Ashado for Todd Pletcher; he rides for Pletcher again this year.
Kentucky Oaks Day Picks
The entire Kentucky Oaks card is full of rich stakes races and great betting opportunities. Here are some horses you should play on the Kentucky Oaks undercard:
Alysheba Stakes (G2): $30 to win on Maxfield
Edgewood Stakes (G3): $30 to win on Aunt Pearl
Eight Belles Stakes (G2): $10 to win on Make Mischief
Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2): $20 to win on Diamond Oops
To get the best Vegas odds on these horses, and every other horse you bet, make sure to sign up for the top online betting sites. All of these sites are trustworthy. They offer easy-to-use betting interfaces and excellent bonuses, so you can play the Kentucky Oaks from the comfort of your own home.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: