Horse Racing Tips: Your Best Bets for Friday night’s Kentucky Oaks meeting

Up to 14 fillies face off in the most lucrative American race for three-year-old fillies tonight.

Kentucky derby, Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs, 2023


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

For the first time since 2015 Paddy Power has the rights to take bets on the ‘Run for the Roses’ and its safe to say it’s been a very exciting week for the international trading team.

While Saturday is the main event with a great undercard building up to the Kentucky Derby, the  Kentucky Oaks is no less a race and one I’m looking forward to it. I have a few fancies on the undercard and one I like in the big race.

17:43 Churchill Downs – West Will Power

Last year’s surprise Derby winner Rich Strike lines up in this Grade 2 race and was considered a fluke winning at 80/1 this weekend last year. He hasn’t won since, so there is some merit in that he did fluke a win in one of the biggest races on the planet. I like West Will Power here at prices bigger than evens. His speed rating are excellent and when the jockey and trainer team up over the past 12 months they have an incredible 37 per cent strike rate.

18:26 Churchill Downs – Shantisara

This Grade 3 is between the two Chad Brown runners (McKulick & Shantisara) with my strong preference for Shantisara. She has been excellent in 2023, arguably unlucky not to win the Filly’s Pegasus Turf Race in January but backed it up by trouncing her opponents at Tampa in March. Flavian Prat takes the ride and as one of the best jocks Stateside, we are in safe hands.

21:04 Churchill Downs – Society

This is such a classy race and will form an important form line for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff next November. Secret Oat is a little short in the betting and the value is in taking her on. The horse with credentials to do so is Society, she ran over an inadequate 7f last time out and that will do her the rld of good now back to her ideal trip of a mile and 1/16th.

Jose Ortiz takes the ride for the first time which may unlock something more from her.




Black type race Kentucky Derby at Paddy Power



22:51 Churchill Downs – Affirmative Lady

The first thing that strikes me about the Oaks is that there is going to be a lot of pace up front and potentially the race is set up for a horse with closing speed. But that puts a lot on luck in running especially with a full-field of horses that will be trying to hug the rail.

I have landed on Affirmative Lady, she was a good winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks but in a poor speed rating. The wider draw won’t have to0 negative an impact on her run style and will be able to save ground for a good rattle at the end.

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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