Early Kentucky Oaks Picks: Just F Y I Will Keep Pace

Just F Y I, the 2023 champion two-year-old filly, is tipped to win the Kentucky Oaks despite health issues earlier this season. Thorpedo Anna and Ways and Means are tipped for place and show.

TwinSpires - Contributor at Covers.com
Apr 30, 2024 • 13:11 ET • 4 min read
Just F Y I working at Churchill Downs on April 28.
Photo By - Renee Torbit / TwinSpires

Friday’s 150th running of the $1.5 million Kentucky Oaks will feature a deep and contentious field of 14 three-year-old fillies competing over one and one-eighth miles at Churchill Downs. Along with win, place, and show Kentucky Oaks picks, we’ll share our thoughts about betting on a $100 budget in our free betting picks.

Win, Place, Show Picks for the Kentucky Oaks

One of the simplest horse-racing bets you can make is a win, place, or show bet. Below, we have picks for which horse will win, which horse will place (second place or higher), and which horse will show (third place or higher).

  • Win: Just F Y I (9-2)
  • Place: Thorpedo Anna (5-1)
  • Show: Ways and Means (5-1)

Win Pick: Just F Y I (9-2)

Perfect in three juvenile starts, Just F Y I was named champion two-year-old filly following her win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita last fall. Still, she missed a planned start in early March due to a minor fever. She opened 2024 in the April 5 Ashland at Keeneland, arguably the most difficult Kentucky Oaks prep race. Just F Y I didn’t experience the best trip, but rallied admirably for second, guaranteeing herself a spot in the Kentucky Oaks.

The well-built daughter of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify continues to train forwardly for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, recording a pair of sharp local works under the Twin Spires. We expect to see her move forward significantly in the second start back this season. 

The bay filly drew an outside post in the Kentucky Oaks, but Just F Y I possesses the tactical ability to make her trip up close to the pace and avoid losing much ground on the first turn. We like her chances.

Place Pick: Thorpedo Anna (5-1)

Along with showing an affinity for Churchill Downs, Thorpedo Anna will enter the Kentucky Oaks off a strong comeback effort at Oaklawn Park, winning the Fantasy (G2) by four easy lengths. She showed fine speed, proving much the best despite losing ground traveling wide from an outside post. Thorpedo Anna figures to be up close from the start this Friday.

The dark bay filly won her first two career starts at Churchill Downs last fall by a combined 17 1/2 lengths. Thorpedo Anna appears to be training superbly in preparation for Kenny McPeek. And she’s well-positioned in post 5, with most of her main rivals drawn to the outside.

Show Pick: Ways and Means (5-1)

A brilliant debut winner at Saratoga last summer, Ways and Means made only one more start before heading to the sidelines for nearly seven months, returning with a troubled second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on March 30. She’s capable of better in the Kentucky Oaks.

Ways and Means got caught inside and didn’t appear comfortable during the stretch drive last time. We expect to see her keep improving with a strong showing in the Kentucky Oaks.

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Kentucky Oaks odds

Here are the morning line odds for every horse running in the Kentucky Oaks in 2024.

Post Position Horse Odds
1 Tapit Jenallie 30-1
2 Gin Gin 30-1
3 Where's My Ring 15-1
4 Regulatory Risk 20-1
5 Thorpedo Anna 5-1
6 Lemon Muffin 30-1
7 Fiona's Magic 30-1
8 Tarifa 7-2
9 Everland 30-1
10 Into Champagne 30-1
11 Ways and Means 5-1
12 Power Squeeze 12-1
13 Just F Y I 9-2
14 Leslie's Rose 4-1
15 Our Pretty Woman 15-1
16 Candied 20-1

Odds courtesy of TwinSpires.

Exacta and trifecta Kentucky Oaks picks and plays

Just F Y I is listed as the 9-2 third choice on the morning line, which means she will pay $11 to win for every $2 wager, and we will make a solid win bet to guarantee a profit if she wins. We will box her in Exactas with Thorpedo Anna, part-wheel Just F Y I on top in Exactas with Tarifa (No. 8), Ways and Means (No. 11), Power Squeeze (No. 12), and Leslie’s Rose (No. 14), and play a $1 trifecta part-wheel. Along with playing Exactas and Trifectas, keying Just F Y I in the win position, we will box her with Thorpedo Anna in the exacta.

  • $40 Win: 13 ($40)
  • $10 Exacta Box: 5-13 ($20)
  • $5 Exacta Part-Wheel: 13 with 8,11,12,14 ($20)
  • $1 Trifecta Part-Wheel: 13 with 5,8,11,12,14 with 5,8,11,12,14 ($20)

Picks made by James Scully at TwinSpires.

More Kentucky Derby picks and predictions

Our experts are making Kentucky Derby picks and building bets all week.

Horse racing bets explained

If you're not familiar with horse racing, bets can seem daunting. Don't worry, we've got you covered. If you'd like to learn more, read our guide on how to bet on the Kentucky Derby and our expert pari-mutuel betting guide.

What is an Exacta box?

In an Exacta, you choose two horses that you think will finish first and second in any order. For example, if you choose Horse A and Horse B, they can come in the order of A-B or B-A for you to win the bet.

What is an Exacta Part-Wheel?

An Exacta Part-Wheel bet involves picking one horse to win and several others to place second. For example, if you believe Horse A will win, you could place an Exacta Part-Wheel bet on Horse A to win and Horses B, C, and D to place second. If Horse A wins and any one of Horses B, C, or D finishes second, you win your bet. This allows more flexibility than a straight Exacta, where you pick just one horse for each of the first two spots.

What is a Trifecta?

A Trifecta is a type of horse racing bet where the bettor must pick the horses that finish first, second, and third in the exact order. It's a harder wager to win than Exacta, but it usually results in a larger payout due to its difficulty. The horses must finish in the exact sequence you predicted for you to win the Trifecta bet.

What is a Trifecta Part-Wheel?

A Trifecta Part-Wheel bet is a variation of the Trifecta bet. Bettors pick one or more horses to finish in a specific position — first, second, or third — and then pick multiple horses to finish in the remaining positions. For example, you could pick Horse A to finish first and Horses B, C, and D to finish in any order in second and third place. This bet gives bettors more flexibility and increases the chances of winning compared to a traditional Trifecta bet.

Kentucky Derby betting

After you've made your Kentucky Oaks picks, dive into our in-depth coverage of the 150th Kentucky Derby. We've got the latest Kentucky Derby Odds, and we look at every single horse running in the Kentucky Derby. The Post Positions for the Kentucky Derby were drawn on Saturday, April 27.

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