What time is The Kentucky Oaks?
The Derby and Oaks anchor 8 hours of live broadcasts from NBC Sports on Sept. 4 and 5. This Friday, Sept. 4, NBCSN will broadcast the Kentucky Oaks and other stakes races from Churchill Downs on a 3 hour series from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Post time for the 146th Kentucky Oaks is 5:45 p.m. ET.
Kentucky Oaks 2020 Favorite: Gamine (1-1)
When exploding onto the scene in March, the brilliantly fast Gamine was known as a superstar in the making by her Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert.
Gamine gets the opportunity to satisfy the prophecy when she takes on eight additional gifted 3-year-old fillies in the $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) this Friday at Churchill Downs.
“She is fast. Really fast.” Said her trainer, the three time Kentucky Oaks winner Bob Baffert.
Departing from post 5 at the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, Gamine is expected to get loads of fight from the consistent Swiss Skydiver, the 8-5 second choice on the morning line, who’s another acknowledged leader of the division.
Kentucky Oaks Odds Contender: Swiss Skydiver (8-5)
Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver is educated by Kenny McPeek and she’ll be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard when she took the Alabama Stakes (G1) on Aug. 15, as they break from the rail.
Gamine and Swiss Skydiver, whose only loss in her last five races was a runner-up finish against the boys at the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) two weeks ago, seem poised to dictate the early pace in a race packed with speed.
“Tyler is a excellent jockey and we will probably let him do his thing,” said McPeek, who’s gone winless in nine previous Oaks attempts. “From the inside, we will let her run to the first turn. It only takes one horse to get off somewhat awkward to change everything.”
Nonetheless, although she’s a daughter of Into Mischief from a Kafwain mare and bred to deal with the nine furlongs, she has yet to answer the question of just how far she can carry this rate.
In her second career race in 1 1/6 miles at Oaklawn Park, one where she was later disqualified for a drug breach, her winning margin was only a neck. The runner-up that afternoon was a fast-closing Speech and both will tangle again at the Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks 2020 Contender: Speech (5-1)
Speech, possessed by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Sol Kumin’s Madaket Partners, has also become the runner-up to Swiss Skydiver, that should have no problem with the space as she’s cutting back to 1 1/8 miles from the 1 1/4 kilometers Alabama.
Speech finished four lengths behind Swiss Skydiver at the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) in 1 1/16 kilometers on June 6. Then, with Gamine nor Swiss Skydiver to contend with, in her last start at the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, Speech notched a statement win by three lengths under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano.
Trainer Michael McCarthy will leg up Castellano until they break from post 4.
“We have speed inside of us and rate out of us hopefully, we can find a nice, clean break and sip in right behind it,” said McCarthy, who competes in the Oaks for the first time although he has been here three times before with winners Princess of Sylmar, Ashado and Rags to Riches as Todd Pletcher’s helper. “At the Kentucky Oaks everyone is most likely going to be on their’A’ game. I have a whole lot of faith in this filly.”