Punters Prepare for a Thrilling Renewal of the Kentucky Oaks

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies champion Caledonia Road was the early favorite for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) but has not yet made her three-year-old debut. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)

The betting is getting interesting on the approach to this year’s Kentucky Oaks, as traders around the world pick favorites and price up books. The numbers will be whittled down from the antepost list to the final field in the coming weeks before we go to post on May 4.

Some of the biggest players in the game are in attendance for this grade one contest held annually at Churchill Downs as the main players battle it out for their share of a $1m prize pot – $600,000 of that going to the winner.

Who will capture this year’s lilies for the fillies? It looks a wide-open contest at this stage. Here’s a closer look at some of the market leaders in the horse racing betting as they bid to wrestle the title from last year’s victor Abel Tasman for trainer Bob Baffert.

Monomoy Girl and Geroux Have an Understanding

Oddsmakers are keen to support Monomoy Girl and have her scratched up as the most likely winner of the race according to the numbers. Running out of the Brad Cox stable this talented three-year-old arrives in fantastic form, boasting a win in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds earlier this year.

Run over a mile on dirt, she went off favorite and easily lived up to the hype when leading a decent field home, with Classy Act finishing as best of the rest. Jockey Florent Geroux was in the saddle that day and the pair seem to have struck up an understanding, claiming the prize money at Fair Ground and Churchill Downs (twice). Followers will be keen to see them work their magic on Central Avenue again.

Bookies Won’t Make the Same Mistake on Caledonia Road

Caledonia Road rates as the best of the rest and it’s no surprise to see traders lend their support to the two-year-old bay. She too has been catching the eye of late, including when winning at Del Mar late last year in a Juvenile Fillies run over this trip. That was also a grade one event and she won with a bit in hand.

No stranger to causing an upset, the Ralph Nicks-trained hopeful went off a chunky 20/1 on that occasion but hadn’t read the script, leaving a couple of others at big odds behind including runner-up Alluring Star (9/1) and Blonde Bomber (33/1). Bookmakers aren’t about to make the same mistake with Caledonia Road here.

Midnight Disguise Capable of Outrunning Her Price

One at a bigger price but with a real chance at landing the trophy is Midnight Disguise for Linda Rice. A striking three-year-old, she has proven her success more than once already but the best of her glories to date have all come at Aqueduct.

A champion of the Busher Stakes back in March of this year she will need to improve if there’s to be a grade one added to her CV. On paper, she rates as one of the form runners of the field and the confidence that comes from that will see her go closer than her odds suggest.

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