May 18, 2024

Nest slight choice over undefeated Kathleen O., Echo Zulu in Kentucky Oaks

Nest wins the Demoiselle Stakes (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)

The 148th running of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs on Friday attracted a field of 14 three-year-old fillies to go 1 1/8 miles, with Ashland (G1) romper Nest installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite and breaking from post 4.

Kathleen O., victorious in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Davona Dale (G2) over the winter, enters the Oaks undefeated for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who last won the Oaks with Dispute in 1993.

Echo Zulu, last year’s champion juvenile filly, kept her own unbeaten record intact with a photo-finish score in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2. Silverbulletday, in 1999 was the last juvenile champion to win the Oaks.

Secret Oath, third against the boys in the Arkansas Derby (G1) after blowout victories in the Honeybee (G3) and Martha Washington S., drew post 1 for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas has won the Oaks four times, most recently in 1990 when Seaside Attraction upset the legendary Go for Wand.

Others lining up in the Kentucky Oaks include Gazelle (G3) winner Nostalgic, Fantasy (G3) heroine Yuugiri, Santa Anita Oaks (G2) upsetter Desert Dawn, and the UAE Oaks (G3) vixen Shahama.

PostHorseJockeyML Odds
1Secret OathLuis Saez6-1
2NostalgicJose Ortiz15-1
3Hidden ConnectionRey Gutierrez20-1
4NestIrad Ortiz Jr.5-2
5Goddess of FireJohn Velazquez15-1
6YuugiriFlorent Geroux30-1
7Echo ZuluJoel Rosario4-1
8Venti ValentineTyler Gaffalione20-1
9Desert DawnUmberto Rispoli20-1
10Kathleen O.Javier Castellano7-2
11Cocktail MomentsCorey Lanerie30-1
12Candy RaidRafael Bejarano30-1
13ShahamaFlavien Prat15-1
14TurnerlooseManny Franco20-1
AEBeguineRicardo Santana Jr.30-1