How to bet the 2024 Oaklawn Handicap

April 19th, 2024

An excellent field of 11 will vie in Saturday’s lucrative $1.25 million Oaklawn H. (G2) at Oaklawn Park. The winner of the exciting event will receive an automatic berth into the Pimlico Special S. (G3) on May 17. 

Oaklawn Handicap Wagers

  • $20 win #1 Highland Falls ($20)
  • $10 exacta box 1-3 ($20)
  • $3 trifecta key 1 with 3,6,10 ($18)

#1 Highland Falls (9-2) is well drawn on the rail and I expect him to conquer his first stakes race for conditioner Brad Cox. The Godolphin homebred ran better than I expected when fourth in the Santa Anita H. (G1) in March, and any improvement off of that showing will make him especially tough against this solid field. 

The chestnut has run well in each of his five career tries to date, and the Curlin four-year-old seems like an ideal fit at the nine-furlong voyage, as well. Florent Geroux has been hot riding for this outfit of late and will be in the irons atop the well-bred colt on Saturday. 

I’m still waiting for #3 Magic Tap (10-1) to deliver a signature race for conditioner Steve Asmussen and I will give him one more chance. Fourth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in September, the gray son of Tapit had no chance with First Mission in the Essex H. (G3) last time out, but he was not far from finishing second in the tilt, and his value is excellent in my opinion. The tactical colt will tuck in behind an honest and contested pace to the top of the lane, prior to being asked for his closing kick beneath Keith Asmussen. 

#10 Skippylongstocking (3-1) is a must-use coming off a smart tally in the Challenger S. (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee has been a high-level performer since his sophomore season and owns the early speed to avoid a wide journey from this post. Jose Ortiz coming in to ride is a major bonus, too. 

Bob Baffert’s #6 Reincarnate (4-1), third in the Santa Anita H. in his most recent performance, has some local experience and is training like a horse ready to roll on Saturday. The Good Magic colt has held well with top competition in his career and has obvious room for improvement while making just his second run since November. Juan Hernandez comes in to guide the four-year-old.