2012 Kentucky Oaks Contenders
The Kentucky Oaks® is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred fillies staged annually at Churchill Downs® on the day preceding the Kentucky Derby®.
The race currently covers 1 1/8 miles and the winner of the Kentucky Oaks® is presented with a Garland of Lilies draped around the filly's withers.
Top 10 Contender Picks for the Kentucky Oaks®
Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012. This week's top 10 contenders list compares my top 10 Kentucky Oaks® contenders with two expert's picks: John Asher and Loren Hebel-Osborne.
Next Update: Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Be sure to subscribe to the Derby Experiences blog and follow QuintEvents on Facebook and Twitter @QuintEvents for updates on the Kentucky Derby® and
*Unique Pick for Each Analyst
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Breaking Down the Picks
Asher and Hebel-Osborne have On Fire Baby as their number one Kentucky Oaks® contender. At 13-1 odds, On Fire Baby has some of the best odds for the May race. She won the March 10, Grade 3, $125,000 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park and had a strong third place finish in January's Smarty Jones Stakes. She has been the heavy favorite in each of her Oaks preps, so look for her odds to improve before the Kentucky Oaks®.
Grace Hall has moved up in this week's rankings after her win at Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks. Daughter of classic winner Empire Maker, Grace Hall has experienced some success in her Oaks preps. Loren Hebel-Osborne says, "I was certainly tempted to put Grace Hall in the top spot based upon her romp in the Gulfstream Oaks; however, I left On Fire Baby in place again with a nod to her affinity for the Churchill Downs course." Grace Hall finished second in both the Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park on February 25, and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Phillies this past November. She is currently a 8-1 second choice for the Kentucky Oaks® and should be on your radar for the May race.
My number one contender continues to be Princess Arabella. She is currently the 6-1 favorite for the Kentucky Oaks® and has performed well in her Oaks preps. She won the March 25 $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in impressive fashion; winning the race by eight-lengths. She won all three of her Oaks preps starts and will likely be one of the top contenders at Churchill Downs®.
See the current odds on the Kentucky Oaks contenders»
See the Kentucky Oaks® prep race schedule»
About the Experts
John Asher joined Churchill Downs® in 1997 as a publicist and racing analyst, and moved to his current role as vice president of Racing Communications two years later.
Loren Hebel-Osborne maintains an active racing and breeding farm just outside of Louisville. She often serves as a guest speaker and racing analyst for schools, clubs, corporate events and local news stations WHAS-TV and WBKI’s “Louisville Live” for Kentucky Derby® and Breeders’ Cup coverage. Loren also spent 15 years with VISA where she was involved in all aspects of managing its sponsorship of the Triple Crown and the Kentucky Derby®.
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