Oaklawn Park is nestled in the warm “college town” of Hot Springs…no, it’s not Little Rock…Hot Springs is a horse racing college town…
This famous house of thoroughbred culture is hosting an extended festival! The betting options are some of the best in the country! The Meet isn’t over yet! Today we have a map loaded with 12 runs, which includes the Grade 1 Apple Blossom! So enjoy…
At Horseracing.net/us we’ve got the sport covered, including all the action! It’s a good time for some of the best North American racing. Stay tuned! If you’re looking for picks elsewhere in the country this Saturday, 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!!!
CHOOSE ALL STAKES @Oaklawn on Apple Blossom Day
(Race 5: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Apple Blossom H. (G1), $1m, F&M 4+)
One of the highlights of the Oaklawn Meet is this race for older women…the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. Of course, most of the betting attention will be directed to Fausto Gutierrez’s excellent mare, Letruska #2. Rightly so… At 7/5, she’s a deserving favourite, especially considering the St George stable owned router is the reigning Older Female Eclipse Award champion. After such a famous 21 season, she returned to the Royal Delta (G3) runway at Gulfstream Park. With Jose Ortiz on board, she shone in competition. In my opinion, the only way to beat her is to go hoof to hoof with her, right from the start. This is what Florent Geroux did in Azeri (G2) last year with Shedaresthedevil, and it may still be a project. His main rival there is a runner who is the reigning Azeri champion (G2)… Mike McCarthy This This #5 is also the holder of the Eclipse trophy… Female Sprinter. The SoCal-based conditioner sent her to Hot Springs with the hope that she would enjoy the distance test, and she did… Winning Pauline’s Pearl and Shedaresthedevil. Now the game is set… who will win. I don’t see anyone else drawn here who can match either of these talented women. The game is all about calling an icy exacta and reaping the rewards… It will be a race for the ages, and one that could set us up for a rematch in the BC Distaff (G1) at Keeneland in November.
Wagering recommendation: $2 Exacta, 2 w 5
(Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/8ths, Oaklawn S., $150,000, 3)
If you’re looking for a tricky puzzle on this Saturday map, look no further than this 1 1/8th route. With so many options, it won’t be easy to find one among these 7.3 year olds. My inclination is to support Bill Mott Happy Rocket Boy #7. The colt of famed stallion Runhappy ran out for Frank Fletcher & Co. a week ago in Oaklawn in an OC100kn1x event. Maybe he didn’t like the muddy track… maybe that was how Ricardo Santana brought him back… Whatever the reason, I think he can make a comeback here and run well . He’s too well-mannered and adding Mott’s “Blinkers” sounds like a plan. Another entry that should enjoy a better trip this time around is Brad Cox’s Homebrew #4. Owned by Gary and Mary West, the colt had a blast in the $250,000 Smarty Jones S. on New Years Day. After a break, which was probably the best thing Cox could do, it looks like he might be ready to fire. This son of Street Sense has shown strong power on the engine, and if Jose Ortiz can harness that early on then he could be looking for a nice win. Another 3 year old I want to include is Steve Asmussen’s Stellar Faucet #2. Bred well by Tapit, the colt missed Ron Moquett’s Ruggs in his last race at Oaklawn on April 1. It wasn’t a bad effort, especially when you watch the replay… the Central Avenue traffic rival on the day of the Arkansas Derby. With Joel Rosario as the driver, he should be able to turn things around in this terrain, if others aren’t careful. What a fun race!
Bet Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 2/4/7
(Race 11: Dirt, 1 1/8ths, Oaklawn H. (G2), $1m, 4+)
While the Oaklawn S. is for 3-year-olds, the Handicap is a good old-fashioned slugfest for older riders. You are going to find many names in this race that bring back memories, and hopefully a prize will come my way…the reward could be huge! Of course, the attention will be divided between Brad Cox Plainsman #6and Todd Pletcher Fearless #8. The first was so powerful in the lane of the Razorback H. (G3) in February, and it truly lived up to its slim chances. Joel Rosario has the call again, and we’ll see if he can put this 7-year-old in position when it matters most. Pletcher’s entry is likely fortunate to be away from Gulfstream Park, and for that matter, rival Speaker’s Corner. He finally got a distance in the Ghostzapper (G3) that he could manage, and it was a score of 6 lengths for Luis Saez. Now Jose Ortiz is taking over, and there’s no doubt that this one is dangerous. As for the other entries, you could argue in favor of Robertino Diodoro Thomas Shelby#2. This seasoned son of Curlin just doesn’t have the right pace set-up, and if he could control the fractions from the start, then he could pull off a surprise. I’m sure Dallas Stewart is Last Samurai #3and Danny Caldwell claimed Rated R Superstar #5 will need a look too. They tend to arrive when you least expect them. As for Steve Asmussen, he is present with the former Arky Derby Champ, Great Stock #7, a horse that faced tough opponents at the New Orleans Classic (G2) in late March. This one loves the Oaklawn track, and he might be one to watch with new jockey Isaac Castillo in irons. What a field! This may be the toughest race to handicap of the whole weekend. Here’s what I found… a Superfecta extravaganza!
Wagering recommendation: $2 Superfecta Wheel, 2/8 w 2/8 w 3/5/6/7 w 3/5/6/7
Enjoy another fabulous Saturday trackside! Good luck with another race at Oaklawn Park! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter… Horseracing_USA!!!