2015 KENTUCKY OAKS BETTING

Held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby every year, the Kentucky Oaks is the biggest race of the season for 3 year old fillies. The race was first held in 1875 and is a Grade 1 event contested over 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner earns $600,000 and a garland of lilies along with a big silver trophy.

HISTORY OF KENTUCKY OAKS BETTING

The Kentucky Oaks is a massively popular live event—it's actually the third most attended race of the year behind the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and ahead of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup. It's always been very popular with 'locals' but attendance and betting has swelled in recent years thanks to a greater marketing effort by Churchill Downs. Just like the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks betting is a big component of the race and always has been since its debut in 1875. The Derby and the Oaks hold the distinction of being the longest continually contested sporting events in the world and have been held at the same site since their inception. Much like the Kentucky Derby was modeled after the Epsom Derby in England, the Kentucky Oaks was modeled after the Epsom Oaks. Churchill Downs founder Merriweather Lewis Clark, Jr. went to Europe and was impressed with the high level of racing competition he found there. Upon returning home to Kentucky, he decided to try and emulate not only the Epsom Downs race track but its marquee events. Each of the Triple Crown races now has a long standing counterpart for three year old fillies—the Preakness has the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and the Belmont Stakes has the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. In both cases the fillies race is run on the Friday before the Triple Crown race.

2015 KENTUCKY OAKS BETTING NEWS

Rachel Alexandra, Asmussen Among Hall of Fame Inductees&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Added on August 9, 2016 , in Kentucky Oaks Betting

Rachel Alexandra, Asmussen Among Hall of Fame Inductees

There is no greater accolade in any sport than enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Horse racing is no different though it is unique

...

Read more

26.07.2016 , by Jim

Rachel’s Valentina Retired From Racing

It was no secret that Rachel’s Valentina–the only daughter of legendary mare Rachel Alexandra–had been a disappointment

...

Read more

08.07.2016 , by Jim

Cathryn Sophia Pointed To New Stakes Event At Parx

The connections of the top horses in the sport are starting to map out their plans for the second half of the summer and early fall

...

Read more

20.06.2016 , by Jim

Champion Filly Untappable Retired

Horses are just like any other professional athlete–they often hang around long after they should have called it a career

...

Read more

RACHEL ALEXANDRA WINS THE PREAKNESS

One of the more memorable Kentucky Oaks winners came in 2009 when Rachel Alexandra won the race with jockey Calvin Borel aboard. Immediately after the race she was sold to a new ownership interest and impressed with her showing in the race, Rachel Alexandra's new connections pointed her next not to the Black Eyed Susan at Pimlico but to the Preakness Stakes. She would go on to win the Preakness Stakes, holding off Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in the late stretch and became the first filly to win the race in 85 years.

HANDICAPPING THE KENTUCKY OAKS

Handicapping the Kentucky Oaks isn't much different than handicapping the Kentucky Derby and presents many of the same challenges. This will be the first major test for all of the three year old fillies in the field. They've all got a competitive racing 'resume' but typically at shorter distances against weaker fields. Like their male counterparts, the Kentucky Oaks qualification is determined by points earned in prep races and that's also where a handicapper looks when deciding on which horse he'll put his Kentucky Oaks bets. One advantage in handicapping the fillies is that they don't get as much press coverage as their male counterparts so they're not subject to as much hype in the weeks leading up to the race. The changes in early career management in recent years applies to the fillies as well--at one point most three year old fillies entered the Kentucky Oaks with well over a half dozen career starts. This made it somewhat easier since they'd typically move up in class and start to develop competitive form. That's no longer the case—horses enter the Kentucky Oaks with significantly fewer career starts. This is almost certainly better for the horses themselves but makes the Kentucky Oaks betting and handicapping process significantly more challenging. Lot of the fans who bet on Kentucky Oaks, also take part in Kentucky Derby betting.

RACE DAY HANDICAPPING FACTORS

In addition to each horse's pedigree and past performances you'll want to consider the class of opposition they've run against, the experience of their jockey at Churchill Downs and the projected pace of the race. Also, it's important to keep an eye on the weather—it can be rainy and stormy in early May in Kentucky and you're not guaranteed sunny skies and a fast track. You'll want to have some horses in reserve that can run well in bad weather and on an 'off' track. This will often take care of itself since horses that really struggle in mud and slop will likely be 'scratched' before the race rather than risk injury.