2012 Kentucky Oaks Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 @ 16:14 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 24, 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, May 1, 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. Grace Hall
2. Grace Hall 2. Grace Hall 2. Believe You Can
3. Summer Applause 3. Eden's Moon 3. On Fire Baby
4. Mamma Kimbo 4. Agave Kiss* 4. Summer Applause
5. Believe You Can 5. Believe You Can 5. Eden's Moon
6. Karlovy Vary 6. Summer Applause 6. Mamma Kimbo
7. Amie's Dini 7. Disposablepleasure 7. Karlovy Vary
8. Eden's Moon 8. Yara 8. Broadway's Alibi
9. And Why Not 9. Broadway's Alibi 9. Yara
10. In Lingerie* 10. Karlovy Vary 10. And Why Not

*Unique Pick for Each Analyst

Tweet your top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Oaks®»

Breaking Down the Picks

This week's contenders list features some shuffling at the top with the Oaks less than two weeks away! John Asher and  Loren Hebel-Osborne have On Fire Baby as their number one Kentucky Oaks® contender. At 13-1 odds, On Fire Baby had the fifth best odds in the future wager 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 to be the overall favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Oaks®

My new number one contender for this year's Kentucky Oaks® is Grace HallShe was second in the in the Oaks' future wager odds at 8-1 and is coming off a victory in March's Gulfstream Oaks. She's currently first in graded stakes earnings at $740,000 and has been impressive in her past three races. Grace Hall is a safe bet for this year's race and should be highly considered on your Oaks' wager ticket.

Princess Arabella, my previous number one contender, was retired last week due to an inflamed tendon injury. Her trainer Bob Baffert stated that Princess Arabella will not undergo surgery and has been sent to Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, KY., for recovery. Unbeaten in three starts, Princess Arabella was considered a leading candidate for the Kentucky Oaks® at Churchill Downs on May 4.

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 
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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.