Tipsheet: 2024 Kentucky Oaks

April 29th, 2024

An overflow field of 16 three-year-old fillies has entered Friday’s $1.5 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Oaks picks

  • #11 Ways and Means
  • #13 Just F Y I
  • #14 Leslie’s Rose
  • #8 Tarifa

Kentucky Oaks Wagers

  • $20 win and place #11 Ways and Means
  • $5 Exacta: key box 11 with 8,13,14
  • 50-cent Superfecta: 11 with 8,13,14 with 5,8,12,13,14 with 3,5,7,8,12,13,14

Kentucky Oaks Contenders

#1 TAPIT JENALLIE (30-1): Stakes winning Tapit filly was third in the Honeybee (G3) and second in the Fantasy (G2) in her last pair of outings. The chestnut filly has been mostly consistent to this stage of development but will need a forward move to have a chance at a placing late from the rail for trainer Eddie Milligan Jr.

#2 GIN GIN (30-1): Brad Cox trainee was a distant third in the Gazelle (G3) at Aqueduct most recently. Hightail homebred has enjoyed some success at Churchill, but she will need to step up to challenge the top guns in the Kentucky Oaks homestretch.

#3 WHERE’S MY RING (15-1): Twirling Candy filly broke her maiden in style when dominating the Gazelle (G3) in her latest assignment. The sophomore has displayed dramatic improvement since adding blinkers three starts back, and she shows a swift half-mile drill on the Churchill surface as well. The Val Brinkerhoff pupil wouldn’t be a total shocker with Jose Lezcano retaining the ride.

#4 REGULATORY RISK (20-1): Omaha Beach filly will have the blinkers removed in this affair for conditioner Chad Brown. The Gazelle (G3) runner-up earned a lifetime best Brisnet Speed rating last time out, but she will have to improve even more on this occasion with Jose Ortiz in the stirrups.

#5 THORPEDO ANNA (5-1): Fantasy (G2) romper is loaded with talent and she also posted a most impressive allowance tally over this track as a juvenile for trainer Kenny McPeek. Kentucky-bred daughter of Fast Anna has tactical speed and a fine turn-of-foot, and she will be a major factor if she can prove capable of firing her best shot at 1 1/8 miles. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the riding assignment. 

#6 LEMON MUFFIN (30-1): Honeybee (G3) upsetter failed to produce her best in the recent Fantasy (G2) and is hard to back off of her latest try. The D. Wayne Lukas charge has looked the part in her local morning moves, but she appears to be a cut below the best. Keith Asmussen will ride.

#7 FIONA’S MAGIC (30-1): Davona Dale (G2) heroine might be the pace of the field while making her second two-turn run for trainer Michael Yates. The daughter of St Patrick’s Day lost by 44 3/4 lengths in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) last time out, but the filly will surely improve off of that if she clears this group early on. Luis Saez taking the reins is a bonus. 

#8 TARIFA (7-2): Godolphin homebred is 3-for-3 in 2024, with measured wins in the Rachel Alexandra (G2) and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in succession. Bernardini filly has the gate presence to get a good position early, and the closing kick to put her foes away late. Flavien Prat will guide the streaking morning-line choice.

#9 EVERLAND (30-1): Bourbonette Oaks upsetter will make her initial try on dirt in this endeavor. The daughter of Arrogate is in good form, but this is a difficult spot to try the surface for the first time. Abel Cedillo will pilot the longshot. 

#10 INTO CHAMPAGNE (30-1): Talented Into Mischief filly was put away in the lane when making her two-turn debut in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) most recently, but she has some top-four appeal for conditioner Ian Wilkes. The Davona Dale (G2) second has speed and will be forwardly placed from the break with Julien Leparoux in the stirrups. 

#11 WAYS AND MEANS (5-1): Top selection turned heads in her brief juvenile campaign, and the Chad Brown pupil was a strong second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) in her 2024 bow. The bay daughter of Practical Joke has trained in swift fashion in advance of her local debut, and I'm expecting the Klaravich Stables homebred to take a big step forward in her second appearance since last summer. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the silks. 

#12 POWER SQUEEZE (12-1): Jorge Delgado pupil has rolled home to wins in four straight races, including a game victory over Ways and Means in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). Union Rags filly has thrived since stretching out in distance in her 2023 finale, and she has also earned strong Brisnet Late Pace ratings in each of her starts this season. The Kentucky-bred could be dangerous if she doesn’t have too much ground to make up late under Daniel Centeno. 

#13 JUST F Y I (9-2): Champion two-year-old filly of 2023 finished a solid runner-up in the deep Ashland (G1) in her three-year-old debut and will be a major contender with expected improvement on Friday. Bill Mott pupil has been posting excellent morning drills since the winter and appears to be rounding up to a major effort second time off the layoff with regular rider Junior Alvarado at the controls. 

#14 LESLIE’S ROSE (4-1): Once-beaten daughter of Into Mischief rolled home a superb Ashland (G1) victress and rates a huge chance with anything resembling her latest performance for trainer Todd Pletcher. The well-bred bay passed the two-turn test with flying colors at Keeneland, and she will be imposing if she avoids a wide voyage throughout with Irad Ortiz Jr. retaining the mount.

#15 OUR PRETTY WOMAN (15-1): Steve Asmussen trainee is short on experience but long on talent as she displayed when second in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) in her latest showing. The $900,000 daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has good early speed and the ability to carry it, and if she draws in off of the also-eligible list, then the dark bay would be a win contender with Joel Rosario riding. 

#16 CANDIED (20-1): Alcibiades (G1) queen made a nice middle move in the Ashland (G1) before tiring late, and she will be interesting at a nice price if she gets in for Todd Pletcher. Third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to close out 2023, the daughter of Candy Ride possesses a fine turn-of-foot, and she lands in a field with some tired legs to run at turning for home. She needs two defections from the main body of the race in order to draw in.