2012 Kentucky Oaks Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

The Kentucky Oaks®

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, March 27, 2012. This is our first contender picks for the 2012 Kentucky Oaks®! 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 3, 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
Kentucky Oaks®.

John Asher's Top 10 

Loren Hebel-Osborne's Top 10 

Matt's Top 10 

1. On Fire Baby 1. On Fire Baby 1. Princess Arabella
2. Princess Arabella 2. Grace Hall 2. Grace Hall
3. Grace Hall 3. Eden's Moon 3. On Fire Baby
4. Dixie Strike 4. Princess Arabella 4. Zo Impressive
5. Eden's Moon 5. Agave Kiss* 5. Eden's Moon
6. Summer Applause 6. DayattheSpa* 6. Summer Applause
7. And Why Not* 7. Summer Applause 7. Avie's Sense
8. Millionreasonswhy* 8. Disposablepleasure 8. Disposablepleasure
9. Reneesgotzip* 9. Yara* 9. Captivating Lass*
10. Avie's Sense 10. Broadway's Alibi* 10. Dixie Strike

*Unique Pick for Each Analyst

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 Smary 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®.

My number one contender is Princess Arabella. She is currently the 6-1 favorite for the Kentucky Oaks® and has had a strong showing in her Oaks preps. She won last Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in impressive fashion; winning the race by eight-lengths. She has now won all three of her starts and will likely be one of the top contenders at Churchill Downs®.

Another top contender in this week's rankings is Grace Hall. Daughter of classic winner Empire MakerGrace Hall has experienced some success in her Oaks preps. She finished second in both the Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park 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. 

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®.

Who is your favorite in this year's Kentucky Oaks? Share your thoughts below. 

QuintEvents-DerbyExperiences-Kentucky-Derby-Contenders-2012Ready for the first Friday and Saturday in May? See your contenders face off at Churchill Downs® in the "Run for the Roses" at the Kentucky Derby® and Kentucky Oaks®! Get Official Ticket Packages from 
Churchill Downs® now!


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Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 


Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.


Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.