Kentucky Oaks 2021: Post Positions, Field and Race Preview

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 29, 2021

Kentucky Derby entrant Like The King works out at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The 2021 Kentucky Oaks is primed to be a showdown between several of racing's top three-year-old fillies.

Four horses are listed with morning-line odds of 5-1 or lower, starting with pre-race favorite Malathaat at 5-2. Clairiere, Travel Column and Search Results all come into Friday's race with strong track records as well, making it hard to choose a winner from the 13-horse field.

The field was originally 14 horses, but Ava's Grace was scratched earlier in the week.


Kentucky Oaks Post Positions and Field

Kentucky Derby @KentuckyDerby

Post Positions for Friday's Kentucky Oaks. https://t.co/7GFIx02IGB



Morning-line favorite Malathaat has four victories, but she has only competed in one race as a three-year-old.

Malathaat took first at the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April in a six-horse field that also included Oaks entries Pass the Champagne and Will's Secret. The high level of competition from that Grade I race should ease any concerns about Malathaat's lack of time on the track in 2021.

When it comes to Churchill Downs experience, Clairiere and Travel Column have a slight edge over Malathaat and Search Results.

Clairiere took first and second in two races at the track to conclude 2020. She also has a first-place mark from the Rachel Alexandra Stakes in February and a second-place finish from March's Fair Grounds Oaks. Travel Column has two victories on the track and reversed results with Clairiere at the Rachel Alexandra Stakes and Fair Grounds Oaks.

The two fillies should meet up early in Friday's race since they are slotted into posts No. 3 and No. 6 around a few long shots.

Search Results owns a trio of wins, but her lack of Churchill Downs experience and tough starting draw are going against her. The Chad Brown-trained filly drew post 12, which is two spots to the right of Malathaat. There is a chance Search Results links up with the pre-race favorite while working inside, but getting there will be more of a challenge than others face.

If there is an edge between the four favorites, it could belong to Travel Column because of the jockey-trainer combination of Florent Geroux and Brad H. Cox, who linked up to win the 2018 and 2020 Kentucky Oaks with Monomoy Girl and Shedaresthedevil.

Pauline's Pearl may have the best chance to upset the favored horses as a 20-1 long shot. She has three top-two finishes in 2021 and could benefit from her starting position on the rail.


Statistics obtained from KentuckyDerby.com.