Churchill Downs Picks: Kentucky Oaks Day Pick 6 on May 6

The storied Kentucky Oaks runs on Friday! Both the race and the undercard promise to offer strong betting value. Turfwriter J.N. Campbell has your free picks, plus analysis of the key races!
The storied Kentucky Oaks runs on Friday! Both the race and the undercard promise to offer strong betting value. Turfwriter J.N. Campbell has your free picks, plus analysis of the key races!

Churchill Downs Picks - Oaks Friday, May 6, 2022

  • Race 1: 6-4-8-3
  • Race 2: 12-11-4-10
  • Race 3: 6-1/1A-3-8
  • Race 4: 3-7-8-10
  • Race 5: 6-8-4-1
  • Race 6: 6-2-1-4
  • Race 7: 5-6-1-7
  • Race 8: 7-5-8-3
  • Race 9: 1-8-3-6
  • Race 10: 6-3-8-10
  • Race 11: 4-1-14-10
  • Race 12: 2-6-9-4
  • Race 13: 8-3-9-12
  • **Most Likely: Nest #4 (Race 11)**
  • **Best Value: Beechnut Trophy #7 (Race 8)**

The historic track in Louisville is poised to host the 148th Ed. of the Kentucky Derby this Saturday! The handicapping is underway, and on Friday we have just as significant a race in many ways ... the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks! This contest for 3-yr-old fillies is going to be contentious with a well-matched field ... plus, we have a another 12 races on this card too! The Derby City Pick 6 this year is going to be brimming ... only .20!

Our turfwriter and picker J.N. Campbell will be with you every step, as we head towards the Derby on Saturday. With so many highlights like the new Matt Winn Turf Course, it is going to be a wonderful time under the Twin Spires. Be sure to watch the weather ... rain could affect both surfaces.

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

THE OAKS: Derby City All-Stakes PICK 6, PLUS A BONUS WAGER …

LEG 1: (Race 6: Dirt, 1 1/16th, La Troienne Stakes (G1), $750k, F&M 4+)

The opening leg of this excellent Oaks card brings together a group of older females, some of whom we are sure to see down the road in the BC Distaff (G1) at Keeneland. I think it is safe to say that the headliner in this year’s race will pit Brad Cox’s Shedaresthedevil #2 versus Steve Asmussen’s Pauline’s Pearl #6. You have probably heard of the former, since she was the victor in the Oaks 2-years-ago, and then proceeded to win a number of “key” races of the “graded” variety as a 4th year. The defending champ, she was the favorite in her only start at Oaklawn in the Azeri S. (G2) in ‘22. Ending up 3rd, she was just behind “Pearl.” That Stonestreet homebred by Tapit came down to 3/1, and she ran-on nicely against the talent of Ce Ce. The plan is to support both of these classy ladies, especially since Asmussen’s filly is clearly elevating at the right time. She won a great springboard race back in late January in the Ladies Classic (G3) in H-Town. I would expect for her to be cranked up for this rematch even though her trainer’s workout routines rarely reveal much. I think with more tough races coming, we need to save our cash for crucial decisions later in the card.

Selections: 2/6 (2-Deep)


LEG 2: (Race 7: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Alysheba Stakes (G2), $500k, 4+)

Named for the Scharbauer’s prize colt that won both the Derby and the Preakness back in the 80s, it is time for the Older Dirt Male Division to have their moment. The distance test isn’t a “Classic” one, but it still will pose a problem for those that are not prepared. A glance through the form, and I am pretty excited to see how Bill Mott’s Olympiad #5 stacks up against the likes of Max Player #1Weyburn #2Happy Saver #7, and Title Ready #8. Among these runners, you have former BC participants, Derby Trail and TC entries, and Saudi Cup/Dubai Cup alums. Yet, there is something special about a budding star like Mott’s. He is special, and even though this is a deeper pool, I think he can get the job done. Last out, in the New Orleans Classic (G2), he exhibited such late power down the lane against Proxy and Promise Keeper. That was a stretch out for this son of Speightstown, and he made it look effortless. With regular rider Junior Alvarado aboard, he looks poised to take this Grade 2 at Churchill. I think he is going to get some pace to run into over what could be a muddy track, and I am not worried about the surface conditions. For me, this is a straight “Single,” and we can move right along …

Selections: 5 (Single)


LEG 3: (Race 8: Turf, 1 1/16th, Edgewood Stakes (G2), $500k, 3F)

The Matt Winn Turf Course is our location for this amazing race, and it is time for the 3-yr-old fillies to strut their stuff on the new lawn. I have backed some short-priced entries so far, but we can never count out “longs” that offer major payouts at the windows. You will notice from the M/Ls that trainer Chad Brown is well-represented, just like ants are at a picnic. He has McKulick #3Dolce Zel #5, and Spicer #8 … the Brown Family singers … applause … I am sure that we will not be facing any scratches, and that they are all in good order. The #5, owned by Dubb and Madaket, for the most part, is probably going to be the shortest price on the board. That is warranted, especially when you consider that she won the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa, and was 2nd in the Transy (G3) at Keeneland. Her devastating leg kick, late in races, is her bread-n-butter. Irad Ortiz is tough to go against, for sure. “Singling” her would be a gutsy call though, especially when you consider that traffic troubles could waylay her launch. Let’s use her, but I also like her stablemate, Spicer #8. Backing her in the FLA Oaks (G3), I thought she also ran well. Jose Ortiz gets aboard her once again, and the pair will be looking to turn the tables on her fellow pupil. Using this pair is prudent, but I also like the look of Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred, Beechnut Trophy #7. We used to see the old red and white of their stable all over racetracks about 10 years ago. Trained by Saffie Joseph, most bettors will not like the look of her last race … the Sanibel Island S. $100k … but I beg to differ. She was caught in a tough spot, and she exhibited “make-up” ability towards the wire. Her new jock, Tyler Gaffalione, continues to shine after a sparkling Keeneland Meet. Using a trio of runners should help us move to the back half of the ticket. Let’s keep it rolling …

Selection: 5/7/8 (3-Deep)


LEG 4: (Race 9: Dirt, 7F, Eight Belles Stakes (G2), $500k, 3F)

A tradition on the Oaks card is this race for fillies that are looking to sprint on the MT at Churchill. The pace will reverberate once the gates open, and those that are forwardly-placed could have a major advantage. It is one of those longer sprints though, so stamina does play a major factor. When it comes to a top selection, I am going to lean on Brad Cox’s Godolphin homebred called Matareya #8. If you missed her performance at Keeneland in the G3 Beaumont S., then you might want to cue it up. Cox sent her into hostile territory, but the bettors were behind her, and with Flavian Prat aboard, they visited the winner’s circle in fine style. I like her coming into this spot because she already built a solid resume, but I also like it that Todd Pletcher’s Sweet as Pie #1 is getting called up for her “graded” debut. With Luis Saez in the irons in a tough ALLW Co. sprint at Keeneland in April. I was behind her 100% at odds of 7/1, and she brought a nice payout in the end. The 4 to 5-path move she made down the stretch equates to positive ability moving forward, and when this trainer-jockey get together, they can break a few windows. Let’s go 2-deep because guess what looms … 

Selections: 1/8 (2-Deep)


LEG 5: (Race 10: Turf, 5½F, Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes (G2), $500k, 3+)

I don’t know about you, but there was a time when I felt ultra-confident when it came to betting turf sprints. It is like having one more of the cookies that are left on the tray … as the commercial told us … you cannot just have one! Coming into this G2 grass sprint on the new Matt Winn, I am going to be supporting a number of runners. I am not willing to break the bank and hit the “All” button, but with a bevy of chances, we want to make sure we are covered. Kentucky … grass sprinting … this all means that Wesley Ward is the one to catch. He comes in with Lael Stables’ Arrest Me Red #10. The 4-yr-old colt came to the Ward Barn in early December ‘20, and since then, he only has 4 races to his credit. Mind you, 3 of those were wins, as he advanced up the class ladder at all 3 NYRA courses. His tune-up for this spot was the Silks Run $100k at Gulfstream Park. In the end, the “test” resulted in a 3rd Place, which was rather disconcerting, even with Irad Ortiz in the irons. Ward “trains up,” and makes all the right moves in spots like these. Just in case his entry is not ready to roll, I also like the look of Phil D’Amato’s Gregorian Chant #1, Brad Cox’s Caravel #3, Saffie Jospeh’s Chasing Artie #4, John Sadler’s Bran #6, Rusty Arnold’s Gear Jockey #8, and finally, Al Stall’s Pyron #9. Of these, I might be inclined to support Sadler’s #6. He drafts the very capable Vincent Cheminaud, who rode exceedingly-well on the Haggin at Keeneland. What a price this one will be too! Remember, this is as “salty” a race as equine-possible, and it should make for a superb wagering opportunity. The surface conditions on the Colonel’s course will be significant, so be sure to check before wagering. What a race! Now, on to the Oaks!

Selections: 1/3/4/6/8/9/10 (7-Deep)


LEG 6: (Race 11: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Kentucky Oaks (G1), $1.25 million, 3F)

The Kentucky Derby version for 3-yr-old fillies has arrived … and I am tickled pink! This time around, the Oaks begins and ends with Todd Pletcher’s Nest #4. Plain and simple, folks … I know that is a bold handicapping sentence to pen, especially considering how accomplished this field looks on paper. We have DW Lukas’ Secret Oath #1, Steve Asmussen’s Echo Zulu #7, and Shug McGaughey’s Kathleen O. #10, just to name a few. These foes are quite strong when it comes to moves mid-flight, and down-the-lane … as Peter Aiello, “Announcer Pete,” says, “Who da ya like here?” My sense is that Lukas’ fine filly had the starch taken out of her in the Arky Derby … Shug’s “Kathleen” is not as strong as some might think … and Asmussen’s filly … she isn’t going to miraculously tap into the power she displayed as a 2-yr-old. To put it another way … Pletcher’s excellent filly by Curlin is peaking at just the right time. Ridden by expert handler, Irad Ortiz, she has the elevating speed figs., and late kick that support her going even longer. The Ashland S. (G1) at Keeneland was a clinic, and her diagnosis can be measured in lengths … about 8 and a quarter, to be precise. I am not predicting a romp, but Eclipse Thoroughbreds/Repole Stable have made all the right moves. This is the moment for this filly. Like her stablemate, Malathaat (who is a half to Curlin), she possesses an inner strength that is just getting warmed up. A big bet is coming on Friday, and I am not worried one bit about the weather. As far as the horizontal wagers go … she is a clear “Single.” Time to go to the window!

Selections: 4 (Single)


TICKET: 2-6 / 5 / 5-7-8 / 1-8 / 1-3-4-6-8-9-10 /4

.20 DCP6 COST: $16.80



There are several variations of this wager, but the Pick 3 makes the most sense considering all the angles. I look at this as an affordable bet, that also has some major opportunities, if you have strong opinions. I’m starting with Pletcher’s Nest #4, because I am confident that she gets the Oaks score … what a beginning …

After Irad Ortiz gets home, we will then shift gears to Derby Day. In the Grade 1 Turf Classic, the precursor to the running of the Kentucky Derby (G1). This is a 1 1/8th distance test on the Matt Winn Turf that normally cards a strong field. Last year’s race was a Dead Heat … 1st in the race’s history. I am going to hit the “All” button (10-Deep), and hope that a longer shot rallies down the lane. The conditions will be somewhere between “Good” and “Yielding,” with significant “give.” Should be fun, to put it mildly …

As we head into the 148th KYD, I am going to be betting Brad Cox’s Cyberknife #16. Tomorrow, you will find out why, but for the purposes of this wager, I will just say that he ticks all the boxes … great connections … strong jockey-trainer relationship … and a “signature” win in the G1 Arkansas Derby … what’s not to like? Cox’s program is working better-than-ever! Here is the wager …

Selections: OAKS (4) – TURF CLASSIC (1-10, All) – DERBY (16)

TICKET: $1.00 KYO/TC/KYD P3 COST: $10.00


Enjoy all the OAKS action from Louisville, Kentucky! The tradition at Churchill Downs continues . . . And be sure to follow us on Twitter … @Horseracing_USA !!

Kentucky Oaks 2022

Kentucky Oaks 2022 Racecard

PP 4


  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds
PP 10

Kathleen O.

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Castellano /
  • Trainer: C. McGaughey III /
Morning Line Odds
PP 7

Echo Zulu

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Rosario /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
PP 1

Secret Oath

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: L. Saez /
  • Trainer: D. Lukas /
Morning Line Odds
PP 13


  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Prat /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds
PP 2


  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Ortiz /
  • Trainer: W. Mott /
Morning Line Odds
PP 5

Goddess of Fire

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
Morning Line Odds
PP 14


  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: M. Franco /
  • Trainer: B. Cox /
Morning Line Odds
PP 3

Hidden Connection

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: R. Guttierez /
  • Trainer: W. Calhoun /
Morning Line Odds
PP 8

Venti Valentine

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: T. Gaffalione /
  • Trainer: J. Abreu /
Morning Line Odds
Show All Runners
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