2012 Kentucky Oaks Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 16:09 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, April 17, 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 24, 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. Grace Hall 1. On Fire Baby 1. Princess Arabella
2. On Fire Baby 2. Grace Hall 2. Grace Hall
3. Princess Arabella 3. Eden's Moon 3. Eden's Moon
4. Zo Impressive 4. Agave Kiss* 4. Zo Impressive
5. Summer Applause 5. Believe You Can 5. On Fire Baby
6. Believe You Can 6. Princess Arabella 6. Believe You Can
7. Karlovy Vary 7. Summer Applause 7. Summer Applause
8. Mamma Kimbo 8. Disposablepleasure 8. Disposablepleasure
9. Broadway's Alibi 9. Yara* 9. Mamma Kimbo
10. Amie's Dini 10. Broadway's Alibi 10. Karlovy Vary

*Unique Pick for Each Analyst

Tweet your top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Oaks®»

Breaking Down the Picks

This week's contenders list features three different names atop our expert's rankings. John Asher has Grace Hall as his top contender for the upcoming Kentucky Oaks®. Grace Hall is second in the current Oaks' odds at 8-1 and is coming off a victory in March's Gulfstream OaksHebel-Osborne has On Fire Baby as her number one Kentucky Oaks® contender. At 13-1 odds, On Fire Baby currently has the fifth best odds for the May 4th 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®.

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 the odds favorite come race day.

Believe You Can was the biggest mover this week and is now ranked in the top six of each of our expert's rankings. Hebel-Osborne likes her chances in this year's Oaks citing the tactics of Believe You Can's trainer, Larry Jones. "Believe You Can moves onto the list with impressive victories at Fairgrounds. Trainer Larry Jones has a special niche for having his fillies peak at Churchill Downs that first weekend in May." 

The latest addition to the Kentucky Oaks® contenders list is Mamma Kimbo. She was victorious in last Wednesday's Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Mamma Kimbo opened her racing career with a 5 1/4-length maiden victory at Santa Anita on February 18. She was making just her second start in the Fantasy, and now boasts $213,600 in earnings to go with her perfect two-for-two mark. She will look to continue her winning streak with a victory at the Kentucky Oaks®, making it a perfect three-for-three in 2012!

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. 


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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.


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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.