Two stakes races at Oaklawn Park, including the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, and 3 graded races at Keeneland happen on Saturday, April 23. The Apple Blossom is often a fantastic race. Check out more information on this year’s signature event for 4 year old fillies and mares at Oaklawn along with info for the other four terrific graded races happening on Friday and Saturday.
Also, check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Friday, Apr. 22nd to Saturday, Apr. 23rd. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks April 18th Edition
Keeneland Racecourse – Friday, April 22
- Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 4 year old fillies & mares
Third place Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner Malathaat returns to the track in the Doubledogdare. No doubt, the Todd Pletcher trained runner will go off the chalk. Malathaat’s top competitor could end up Crazy Beautiful from the Kenny McPeek barn. Super Quick, Aubrey’s Time, and My Bets should also enter the starting gate.
Keeneland Racecourse – Saturday, April 23
- Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes – 1 ½ miles turf – 4 year olds & up
So far, 5 horses will run in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes. Muniz Memorial winner Two Emmy’s from the Hugh H. Robertson barn could end up going off the chalk. The 6-year-old gelding is in better form than its competitors.
But although Two Emmy’s is in the best form, both of George Arnold’s runners could get it done. Cellist and Bahama Breeze can surprise. Another Mystery and Cullum’s Road should also run.
- Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 4 year olds & up
Grade 3 Challenger Stakes winner Scalding and Grade 2 New Orleans Classic second-place finisher Proxy should go off first and second choice to win the Grade 3 Ben Ali on Saturday. Scalding hails from the Claude McGaughey barn while Proxy runs for Godolphin and trainer Michael Stidham.
Mighty Heart returns to the races for the first time since a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday last year. Title Ready, Harvard, and Dynamic One should also break from the starting gate.
Oaklawn Park – Saturday, April 23
- Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap – 1 1/8 miles dirt – 4 year olds & up
Stidham may decide to start Proxy in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap instead of the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes. If Proxy starts in the Oaklawn Handicap, he’ll go off third or fourth choice at best.
Brad Cox trained Caddo River could go off close to even money to win the Oaklawn. Caddo River, a top Kentucky Derby prospect last year, won an allowance in March to get ready for this. No doubt, Cox will have Caddo ready for a prime effort.
Super Stock, trained by Steve Asmussen, Caddo River stablemate Plainsman and Robertino Diodoro trained Thomas Shelby will all attract action. Rater R Superstar has won 2-of-3. Like in the Grade 3 Essex, the 9-year-old gelding could offer overlay odds.
- Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap – 1 1/6 miles dirt – 4 year fillies & mares
Letruska and Ce Ce highlight this weekend’s top graded race. Ce Ce was fantastic in her last, rolling by Shedaresthedevil to take the Grade 2 Azeri.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Champion will go off second-choice to Grade 2 Royal Delta winner Letruska. Others attempting the Apple Blossom include Maracuja, Clairiere, and She’s All Wolfe.
Maracuja and Clairiere are interesting. Both come from terrific barns, had decent three-year-old campaigns, and won an allowance race in their last. If either has improved, who knows? One or both could challenge the top pair.