The top three betting choices in the 143rd Kentucky Oaks come into Friday’s $1 million race at Churchill Downs as dominant contenders.
Paradise Woods, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Flavien Pratt was installed Tuesday as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in a full field of 14 for the 1 1/8 -mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
Paradise Woods, who drew the No. 4 post for the Kentucky Oaks, won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks by 11 3/4 lengths in her most recent start, which was also her stakes debut.
Miss Sky Warrior (9-2) will break from post position 10. She has won her past five starts, four of those in graded stakes. Miss Sky Warrior is the only filly in the field to have won at the Oaks distance of 9 furlongs, that coming in her most recent start in the Grade 2 Gazelle, which she won by 13 lengths.
Co-third choice Farrell (5-1) has won her past four starts, including three Grade 2 wins: the Fair Grounds Oaks and Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds and the Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill. She will break from post position seven.
In addition to Paradise Woods, two other Grade 1 winners are in the Kentucky Oaks field: Abel Tasman (5-1) and Sailor’s Valentine (30-1). Sailor’s Valentine, trained by Eddie Kenneally and ridden by Corey Lanerie out of post position eight, won the Grade 1 Central Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in her most recent start on April 8.
Should any Oaks contenders drop out, Summer Luck was entered as an also-eligible.
When: 6:12 p.m. Friday (Race 11)
Where: Churchill Downs
TV: NBC Sports Network
Purse: $1 million (Grade 1)
Distance: 1 1/8 miles (dirt)
For: 3-year-old fillies
Ever So Clever
Joe Rocco Jr.
Brian Hernandez Jr.
Miss Sky Warrior
Daddys Lil Darling