The Kentucky Oaks is one of the best betting races of the year. The race has been run at Churchill Downs every year since 1875 and will be run on Friday, May 3, 2024. It features the best three-year-old fillies in the country racing for a purse of $1,250,000 and the iconic blanket of lilies: Lilies for the Fillies.

Tens of thousands of spectators visit the track for the Oaks and millions more watch the race from off the track. Just as with the Kentucky Derby, people bet millions of dollars on the Kentucky Oaks every year. With such large pools and a competitive field of up to 14 3-year-old thoroughbred horses, it is a great opportunity to make money.

Kentucky Oaks Betting Sites

You no longer need to go to the racetrack or to an off-track betting parlor to bet the Kentucky Oaks. Millions of people enjoy the convenience of betting the Kentucky Oaks, the Kentucky Derby, and the Triple Crown from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.

These are the best sites for Kentucky Oaks betting:

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Las Vegas Kentucky Oaks Odds

Kentucky Oaks odds can change as race day at Churchill Downs gets closer. These changes can be based on what they do in prep races as well as how observers think they are doing based on their gallops and works. They can even fluctuate based on how other horses are doing, since good news about another horse might mean the horse you like gets ignored by bettors, and sportsbooks start offering a higher price.

These are the odds on Kentucky Oaks favorites as of April 18, 2024:

BovadaBetOnline ReviewBetUS Review
Wet PaintTBA+330TBA
Affirmative LadyTBA+1200TBA
Defining PurposeTBA+1200TBA
Pretty MischievousTBA+1200TBA

Kentucky Oaks Betting Odds Explained

When betting the Kentucky Oaks, you may see the odds presented in any one of three common formats. Refer to this handy guide, and you’ll know exactly what odds a sportsbook is offering you.

  • American (+350): This format, like in American-style sports betting money lines, reflects how much money you will win on top of your stake if you bet $100 on the horse. So, if you bet $1 on a horse at +350 odds, you will win $3.50 plus get back your stake, for a total of $4.50.
  • Fractional (7-2 or 7/2): This format mirrors what you will see in programs or on tote boards at an American racetrack. It reflects, in fractional form, how much you will win on top of your stake if your bet comes in. If you wager $1 on a horse at 7-2 odds, you will win $3.50 and also get back the $1 you wagered, for a total of $4.50.
  • Decimal (4.50): This format, popular in Europe, represents what you get back if your horse wins per dollar that you bet, including your stake. So, if you bet $1 on a horse at 4.50 odds, you get back $4.50. That sum includes your initial bet plus the $3.50 profit from your horse winning.

kentucky oaks betting

Best Sites for Kentucky Oaks Betting

With so many online sportsbooks to choose from, selecting the best site to play the Kentucky Oaks can be difficult. However, our betting experts have done the research. They have evaluated the best online sportsbooks and made their recommendations based on who has the best odds, features, and bonuses.

These are the best sportsbooks for betting the Kentucky Oaks. These sportsbooks all have trusted payouts and excellent Kentucky Oaks markets, and it is a good idea to sign up for more than one to make it as easy as possible to compare odds and make the most profitable moves when betting the Kentucky Oaks. They will also be excellent options for Kentucky Derby betting, Breeders’ Cup betting, as well as horse race betting and sports betting throughout the year.

Why We Choose These Sites

Though there is always an element of chance in betting, you do not want to take a chance with where you place your bets. You want a sportsbook that you can trust to be easy to use, give you the best Kentucky Oaks betting odds, and offer the best bonuses.

Our experts have evaluated many online sportsbooks and identified trustworthy betting sites that give you the best Vegas odds while also being easy to use and offering great benefits to their players. You can sign up for these sportsbooks and be confident that they will make your Kentucky Oaks betting experience as fun and profitable as possible!

Best Apps for Kentucky Oaks Betting

For horse racing bettors who typically access the internet or their sportsbooks via their mobile devices, it is important to consider which sportsbooks have the best mobile betting apps. This normally requires have special design for the new smaller screen and swiping.

You can check out our full guide to finding the best mobile betting apps. Some of them require a download, while others do not. Whatever you are looking for, our guide will help you make the best choice for your horse racing mobile app.

Kentucky Oaks Betting Tips

When handicapping and deciding how to bet on the Kentucky Oaks, keep these things in mind:

Distance Ability

The Kentucky Oaks is a one and one eighth mile race. Most horses who run in the Oaks have not gone that distance before, but when handicapping the race there are a few ways to judge how they may handle the distance.

Look at their prep race form. Have they gotten better as the races have gotten longer, or have they earned most of their points in shorter races and disappointed in longer races? Kentucky Oaks’ best bets tend to be horses who have improved as distances have gotten longer.

Pedigree can also provide clues for betting the Kentucky Oaks. If a horse’s sire frequently produces horses who do well at nine furlongs and their dam has produced foals with that kind of stamina, you can have more confidence about betting that horse in the Kentucky Oaks.

Prep Races

Some sequences of prep races produce more Kentucky Oaks winners than others.

In recent years, the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) and the Ashland Stakes (G1) have been excellent sources of Kentucky Derby winners. The Fair Grounds Oaks has produced winners including Untapable, Believe You Can, and the great Rachel Alexandra. The latest Ashland winners to win the Oaks as well include Monomoy Girl and Lovely Maria. However, the Oaklawn spur of the Oaks trail is becoming more important, with 2022 winner Secret Oath coming from their races.

Even horses who do not win these races can go on to win the Oaks. In 2019, Serengeti Empress only ran seventh in the Fair Grounds Oaks but went on to win the Kentucky Oaks.

Running Style

Most Kentucky Oaks winners have tactical speed. Though they do not necessarily need to lead the race from beginning to end, most winners are able to get a good stalking spot within a couple of lengths of the lead, and are able to keep the pacesetter in their sights.

This rule is not hard and fast. When betting the Kentucky Oaks, don’t be afraid to consider a horse coming from farther back if the field contains multiple horses who cannot win without setting the pace. But, unless such a torrid pace battle seems likely, give stronger consideration to horses who can set or stalk the pace.

Trainers and Jockeys

Some trainers perennially do very well in the Kentucky Oaks, and it is worth finding out who those are and giving some extra consideration to who they are bringing to Louisville on Oaks Day.

Brad Cox has won two recent editions of the Kentucky Oaks, with Monomoy Girl (2018) and Shedaresthedevil (2020). Cox trains the likely 2024 Kentucky Oaks favorite, Wet Paint, as well as the second choice in the Kentucky Oaks futures, Botanical. Four-time Kentucky Oaks winner Todd Pletcher trains Gambling Girl, one of the longer shots pointing to the Oaks.

Some jockeys also have a particularly strong history with the Kentucky Oaks. Florent Geroux has won two recent editions of the race, teaming with Brad Cox on both Monomoy Girl and Shedaresthedevil. Other jockeys who have won recent editions of the Oaks include Luis Saez, John Velazquez, and Jose Ortiz.

Kentucky Oaks Contenders

The likely post time favorite in the 2024 Kentucky Oaks is Wet Paint, who won the Martha Washington, Honeybee (G3), and Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn. This leader of the Kentucky Oaks standings has stayed strong as the distances have gotten longer, and shown she can shine on both a wet or dry track. She is also trained by Brad Cox, an excellent big-race trainer who has won the Kentucky Oaks twice already.

Wet Paint would not be a surprise in the Kentucky Oaks, though in a race with a full field of fourteen runners likely, you should look beyond the favorites in order to maximize your wagers.

Kentucky Oaks Best Bets

Affirmative Lady may slip under the radar because she is coming up from Gulfstream, which has more of a reputation of a Kentucky Derby prep circuit than a Kentucky Oaks prep series. But, she impressed in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), her second straight win. Often-cautious trainer Graham Motion ran her in Oaks preps like the Demoiselle (G2) and the Busher while she was still a maiden, and she picked up points before finally breaking her maiden in the start before the Gulfstream Park Oaks. The daughter of Arrogate also has the pedigree to stretch out.

Southlawn is rounding into the right form off of a win in a traditionally live final Kentucky Oaks prep. She wasn’t up to the standard of the best in her class at age two, but as a three-year-old filly it is a different story. She scored in an allowance prep in New Orleans before winning by open lengths again, against well proven runners like Pretty Mischievous, The Alys Look, and Hoosier Philly. This Norm Casse trainee is coming into the Kentucky Oaks in her sharpest form ever.

Be very skeptical of Botanical, however. She is taking big money in Kentucky Oaks futures, unsurprising for a Brad Cox horse. She did tally an emphatic score in the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway, but that was over Tapeta. She has found her footing over Tapeta – but, the Kentucky Oaks is on dirt and she has never tried dirt before, only Tapeta and turf. If she were a long shot it night be a different story, but she’ll be an underlay at a short price.

Kentucky Oaks Betting Resources

In addition to these betting tips focuses specifically on betting the Kentucky Oaks, read these helpful articles to learn more about how to bet on horse racing: