Friday’s Best Bets and Quick Picks: Kentucky Oaks undercard

May 2nd, 2024

Handicapper J. Keeler Johnson shares best bets and quick picks for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) undercard on Friday, May 3 at Churchill Downs, including a 20-1 longshot.

Today’s special offers from TwinSpires include:

  • Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back: Receive refunds on win bets (up to $10) if your horse finishes second or third in any eligible race at Churchill Downs from April 27 through May 4.
  • 10x Points on Harness Racing: Receive 10x reward points on all harness racing wagers (excluding show bets) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Best Bets and Quick Picks

Churchill Downs: Race 3: $80,000 Allowance Optional Claiming (one mile, 11:30 a.m. ET)

#3 Arthur’s Ride (3-1) has faced stakes-caliber rivals throughout his career. During the summer of 2022 at Saratoga, he finished second in a pair of seven-furlong maiden special weights won by future Travers (G1) runner-up Disarm and multiple graded stakes winner Instant Coffee. Then in a February 2023 maiden special weight racing one mile at Gulfstream Park, Arthur’s Ride won by 1 1/2 lengths over future Pennsylvania Derby (G1) runner-up Dreamlike.

Arthur’s Ride recently returned from a 13-month layoff to wire a one-mile $25,000 allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park by 7 1/2 lengths, earning a career-best 95 Brisnet Speed rating. The son of Tapit looks like a future graded stakes horse for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, but first, he’ll tackle this $80,000 allowance optional claimer at Churchill, where his 3-1 morning line odds are quite enticing.

Let’s place a large win bet on Arthur’s Ride. Bettors who opt-in to the Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back promo can receive up to $10 back on a win bet if Arthur’s Ride finishes second or third.


  • #3 Arthur’s Ride (3-1)
  • #5 Injunction (5-1)
  • #7 Cyclone Mischief (10-1)


  • $40 to win on #3 Arthur’s Ride

Churchill Downs: Race 6: Unbridled Sidney (G3, 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, 1:26 p.m. ET)

#2 Ova Charged (7-2) is a winning machine with 12 victories from 15 starts. She’s spent much of her career competing with success on dirt, but she’s arguably even better on turf. In three starts sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on grass, she’s wired the 2022 Page Cortez S. against Louisiana-breds by seven lengths, trounced non-state-restricted rivals by 5 1/4 lengths in the 2024 Mardi Gras S., and obliterated the 2024 Page Cortez by 12 1/2 lengths.

The latter two victories yielded strong Brisnet Speed ratings of 102 and 104. It’s possible Ova Charged is brilliant enough to compete against males in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) later this year, so winning the Unbridled Sidney against fellow fillies and mares should be manageable. At 7-2, Ova Charged is well worth betting to win. Again, we can take advantage of the Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back promotion and receive a full or partial refund (depending on your bet size) if Ova Charged finishes second or third.


  • #2 Ova Charged (7-2)
  • #5 Elm Drive (5-1)
  • #8 Ag Bullet (5-1)


  • $60 to win on #2 Ova Charged

Churchill Downs: Race 10: Edgewood (G2, 1 1/16 miles on turf, 4:51 p.m. ET)

#1 Pink Polkadots (20-1) completely misfired when trying Tapeta in the Bourbonette Oaks last time out, fading from a pace-pressing position to finish last of 10. But she’d previously gone 2-for-2 on turf at Fair Grounds, winning a maiden special weight and a $100,000 allowance optional claimer.

Those victories were eye-catching. In both races, Pink Polkadots led by a minimum of two lengths at every call and by five lengths with a furlong remaining. In her maiden victory, she beat a pair of next-out winners by 3 1/2 lengths; in her allowance score, she beat next-out allowance winner and fellow Edgewood entrant #11 Way to Be Marie (15-1) by 3 1/4 lengths.

There isn’t a crazy amount of speed in the Edgewood field, so Pink Polkadots has every chance to shake loose on an easy lead from the rail draw and take this field a surprisingly long way on the front end. Capitalizing on the Kentucky Derby Week $10 Money Back promo, we’ll place a win bet on Pink Polkadots, then play her for first and second place in an exacta with undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner #9 Hard to Justify (2-1)


  • #1 Pink Polkadota (20-1)
  • #9 Hard to Justify (2-1)
  • #4 Buchu (4-1)


  • $15 to win on #1 Pink Polkadots
  • $10 Exacta: 9 with 1
  • $5 Exacta: 1 with 9
    Total: $30

Good luck!