In thoroughbred racing this weekend it’s all about Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby preps. On Friday, Keeneland opens their two-week meet with the Grade 1 Ashland. Then on Saturday, Keeneland runs the Grade 2 Bluegrass Stakes. Aqueduct has the Grade 2 Wood Memorial while the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby takes place at the Great Race Place. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Friday, Apr. 8th to Saturday, Apr. 9th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks April 4th Edition
Keeneland Racecourse | Friday, April 8
- Grade 1 – Ashland Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year old fillies
Doug O’Neil trained Awake At Midnyte figures to go off the chalk. The Nyquist sired runner finished third in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra in her last. Other runners that should attract action include Happy Soul, trained by Wesley Ward, Todd Pletcher trained Nest, and Interstatedaydream from the Brad Cox barn.
Aqueduct Racetrack | Saturday, April 9
- Grade 3 Gazelle Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 3 year old fillies
Todd Pletcher trained and Davona Dale second place finisher Classy Edition may go off the chalk to win the Gazelle. Busher Invitational winner Venti Valentine and second place Busher Invitational finisher Shotgun Hottie will attract action. So will another Pletcher runner, Greatitude, and Bill Mott runner Nostalgic.
- Grade 2 Wood Memorial – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 3 year olds
In this year’s Wood Memorial, Aqueduct’s top Derby prep, three horses should attract the most action. Steve Asmussen trained and Grade 3 Gotham winner Morello, third place Holy Bull finisher from the Pletcher barn Mo Donegal, and Grade 3 Withers winner and Chad Brown trained Early Voting.
Keeneland Racecourse | Saturday, April 9
- Grade 2 – Bluegrass Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 3 year olds
The second and third place finishers in the Grade 2 Risen Star will garner the most betting money. Zandon, from the Chad Brown barn, finished third while Kenny McPeek trained Smile Happy finished second. Ethereal Road, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, finished second in the Rebel Stakes in his last. The Quality Road sired runner could offer overlay odds to win this. Other runners include Volcanic and Golden Glider, both trained by Mark Casse, Emmanuel from the Todd Pletcher barn, and Mike Maker trained Grantham.
Santa Anita Park | Saturday, April 9
- Grade 2 – Santa Anita Oaks – 1 1/16 miles on dirt – 3 year old fillies
Bob Baffert transferred Adare Manor to Tim Yakteen’s barn so the filly, with a Santa Anita Oaks win, can run in the Kentucky Oaks. Adare Manor will go off the chalk to beat Micro Share, Ain’t Easy, Under the Stars, Desert Dawn and Unsolved Mystery.
- Grade 1 – Santa Anita Derby – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 3 year olds
Messier, sired by Empire Maker, beat likely Santa Anita Derby winner Forbidden Kingdom in the lone head-to-head. Forbidden Kingdom, an American Pharoah sired runner from the Richard Mandella barn, will go off odds on to exact revenge. So far during his three-year-old campaign Forbidden Kingdom has dominated. Forbidden Kingdom and Messier should battle in the lane for the win.