For the Oaks, Nest drew the No. 4 post among 14 fillies and is the 5-2 favorite for Friday’s $1.25 million, 1 1/8th-mile race. Nest is one of three Todd Pletcher-trained horses in the field, along with Goddess of Fire (No. 5 post) and Shahama (No. 13), both 15-1 shots.
Nest is coming off a dominant 8 1/4-length victory over Cocktail Moments in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, her third in a row and second this year.
“I’m happy with the draws for Nest and Goddess of Fire,” said Pletcher, who is seeking his second consecutive Oaks win and fourth overall.
“We were hoping to be somewhere in the middle,” Pletcher said. “With Shahama, it’s OK. She isn’t real sharp away from the gate, so she may have a better chance out there than if she was stuck down inside.”
Unbeaten Kathleen O. is the 7-2 second choice from the No. 10 post, with Echo Zulu the 4-1 third choice from the No. 7 post. Kathleen O. topped the Oaks standings with 150 points and is 4-0 after last month’s victory in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. Echo Zulu is 5-0 and edged Hidden Connection by a nose to win the Fair Grounds Oaks in March.
The Kentucky Oaks field with jockey and odds from the rail out:
1. Secret Oath (Luis Saez), 6-1; 2. Nostalgic (Jose Ortiz), 15-1; 3. Hidden Connection (Rey Gutierrez), 20-1; 4. Nest (Irad Ortiz Jr.) 5-2; 5. Goddess of Fire (John Velazquez), 15-1; 6. Yuugiri (Florent Geroux), 30-1; 7. Echo Zulu (Joel Rosario), 4-1; 8. Venti Valentine (Tyler Gaffalione), 20-1; 9. Desert Dawn (Umberto Rispoli), 20-1; 10. Kathleen O. (Javier Castellano), 7-2; 11. Cocktail Moments (Corey Lanerie), 30-1; 12. Candy Raid (Rafael Bejarano), 30-1; 13. Shahama (Flavien Prat), 15-1; 14. Turnerloose (Manny Franco), 20-1. Also eligible: Beguine (Ricardo Santana Jr.), 30-1.
Beguine, a 30-1 long shot, is also eligible. Post time on Friday is 5:51 p.m. EDT.