2019 Kentucky Oaks Betting Odds, Preview: Is Bellafina an Untouchable Favorite?

Credit:

Jamie Rhodes, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Florent Geroux

May 03, 2019, 12:00 PM EDT
  • The 2019 Kentucky Oaks takes place on Friday, May 3 just after 6 p.m. ET from Churchill Downs.
  • No. 4 Bellafina (2-1) is the betting favorite in the morning-line odds, but Adam Staple breaks down whether she is overrated and provides other horses with value.

The Kentucky Oaks is like the co-main event of Kentucky Derby Weekend. The Oaks is a Grade I stakes race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred fillies held annually at Churchill Downs.

This race tends to feature one or two top-class fillies at fairly low odds and then a few horses in a second tier that can offer a lot of value. Still, it’s hard to look past the favorites because they have been performing at a high level over the past few months.

The key thing for bettors to take into consideration is where these fillies prepped for this race. That handicapping angle applies to the boys in the Kentucky Derby as well, but it is even more important for the fillies.

Kentucky Oaks 2019 Betting Odds, Field

  • No. 1 Out for a Spin (15-1)
  • No. 2 Chocolate Kisses (20-1)
  • No. 3 Lady Apple (20-1)
  • No. 4 Bellafina (2-1)
  • No. 5 Flor de La Mar (20-1)
  • No. 6 Positive Spirit (30-1)
  • No. 7 Jaywalk (8-1)
  • No. 8 Motion Emotion (15-1)
  • No. 9 Liora (20-1)
  • No. 10 Champagne Anyone (6-1)
  • No. 11 Jeltrin (15-1)
  • No. 12 Street Band (15-1)
  • No. 13 Serengeti Empress (8-1)
  • No. 14 Restless Rider (6-1)

This year’s big favorite will be No. 4 Bellafina (2-1), who has been nothing short of fantastic in her recent races on the West Coast. She won the Grade II Las Virgenes and the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks.

Clearly she has shown to be the best filly out West, but in her one try shipping East she was soundly beaten, as the 2-1 favorite, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

Also, Bellafina hasn’t really defeated the cream of the crop in any of her races. The only filly who also made this trip for the Oaks is No. 5 Flor de La Mar (20-1), who ran a distant second to Bellafina last time out.

Two of Bellafina’s last three races featured five horses and the other only had four entrants. In the Oaks she will face 13 other horses. The last time Bellafina faced a large field she lost as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs.

Bellafina’s running style suggests she’d prefer to stay on, or at least near, the lead and dictate the pace. She’s not going to be able to pull that off in this race since No. 1 Out for a Spin (15-1), No. 3 Lady Apple (20-1), No. 6 Positive Spirit (30-1), No. 7 Jaywalk (8-1), No. 8 Motion Emotion (15-1), No. 9 Liora (20-1) and No. 13 Serengeti Express (8-1) all will want a piece of what will likely be a hotly-contested pace.

With that many fillies fighting for the lead or wanting to stay close, it’s going to be hard for Bellafina to get this race on her terms. It will take a monumental effort from her to pull this race out and I believe it will be a lost cause for her by the time they hit backstretch.

If she does manage to win this race it will be a massive accomplishment and she will establish herself as the filly to watch for the foreseeable future. But she can do all that without my money.

With so many horses vying for the early lead, I’ll be looking for someone who can sit comfortably behind a heated pace and make a move as everyone falls by the wayside.

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