How to bet the 2024 Apple Blossom Handicap

April 11th, 2024

An accomplished cast of nine fillies and mares will go postward in Saturday’s lucrative $1.25 million Apple Blossom H. (G1) at Oaklawn Park. The pair of Grade 1 winners in the field have contrasting running styles, but I expect the race to come down to the pair inside the final furlong, nonetheless. 

Apple Blossom Wagers

  • $20 exacta 4 with 3 ($20)
  • $1 superfecta 3,4 with 3,4 with 9 with all ($14)
  • $1 superfecta 3,4 with 9 with 3,4 with all ($14)
  • 50-cent superfecta 3,4 with 3,4 with all with 9 ($7)

The affair lacks a true front-runner, but I fully expect classy California import #4 Adare Manor to be a part of the early pace for conditioner Bob Baffert. By Uncle Mo, the five-year-old has been a high-level performer throughout her career and she exits a game runner-up showing in the Beholder Mile S. (G1) last time out. 

Adare Manor dons a 5-3-1-0 mark at the 1 1/16-mile distance, and she has led in wire-to-wire fashion in four of her last seven races, as well. She is versatile enough to rally from off of the pace if she needs to, and the dark bay is the obvious one to beat in my view with Juan Hernandez coming in to retain the ride. 

Godolphin homebred #3 Wet Paint, conversely, is a one-run closer who will need help from the horses in front of her to set her up for success in the lane. The dark bay daughter of Blame is a sterling 3-for-3 on the Oaklawn strip, as well as the distance, and she appears to be training in solid fashion in advance of her four-year-old debut for Brad Cox. Last seen finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), the daughter of Blame will have her work cut out for her if the top pick fires her best shot. But I envision the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) queen having a big 2024 with improvement off of her strong sophomore stanza. 

Wet Paint will take back and save ground under Flavien Prat on the back side, and if any of the other ladies in the race make Adare Manor work hard leading up to the stretch, then the filly can surely win the race. 

Cherie DeVaux’s #9 Shotgun Hottie will be my key horse for the lower rungs of the vertical exotics. The Gun Runner five-year-old has been a bit disappointing from two races in 2024, but I expect her to take a big step forward while making her third run off the shelf on this occasion. She has some class to her and figures to receive a nice trip while in the clear throughout under Paco Lopez.