Three of the most critical Kentucky Derby prep races happen this Saturday, April 3. Aqueduct runs the Grade 2 Wood Memorial, Keeneland runs the Grade 2 Bluegrass, and Santa Anita runs the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Saturday, April 3rd. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Horse Racing Odds & Picks for April 3rd Races
Top Stakes Races for the Week
- When: Saturday, April 3
- Grade 1 Carter Handicap – 7 furlongs dirt – $300,000
Six horses are confirmed for the Grade 1 Carter, the warmup race to the Wood Memorial. Wendell Fong, Super Stonehenge, Chateau, Mind Control, Shoplifted, and Mischievous Alex should run. Of the six, Mischievous Alex, Chateau, and Mind Control figure to vie for favoritism.
- Grade 2 Wood Memorial – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $750,000
The Wood Memorial is a make or break race for plenty of horses. Weyburn and Crowded Trade, the top two finishers in the Gotham Stakes, are out to prove they belong. Grade 3 winner Risk Taking wants to pad his Derby resume while Godolphin owned Prevalence must win the Wood to ensure a Kentucky Derby spot. Todd Pletcher sends last out maiden winner Dynamic One to the Wood. On March 27, Pletcher won the Florida Derby with Known Agenda. Will history repeat?
- Grade 1 Madison Stakes – 7 furlongs dirt – $300,000
2020 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint third place finisher Bell’s The One returns to the races in the Grade 1 Madison. She’ll go off the chalk. Mike McCarthy trained Sanenus could go off second choice. The Scat Daddy sired runner broke her maiden in the Grade 3 La Canada Stakes in her last.
- Grade 1 Ashland Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $400,000
All eyes will be on Grade 2 Demoiselle winner Malathaat. The Todd Pletcher trained runner could go off at even money to win the Ashland. The field for the Ashland is deep, though. So before dumping on Malathaat, take a peak at Honorifique, Simply Ravishing, Army Wife, Moon Swag, and Alwayz Late.
- Grade 2 Bluegrass Stakes – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $800,000
Undefeated Essential Quality leads the Blue Grass Stakes field. Robertino Diodoro trained Keepmeinmind and Chad Brown trained Highly Motivated look like the BC Juvenile winner’s top competition. El Camino Real Derby winner Rombauer may also enter.
Santa Anita Park
- Grade 3 Santa Anita Oaks – 1 1/16 miles dirt – $400,000
Connections for just four horses have said they will enter the starting gate for the Grade 3 Santa Anita Oaks on Saturday. All four horses have a shot. Soothsay broke her maiden like a future champion, Javanica finished second in the El Camino Real Derby behind Blue Grass contender Rombauer, Beautiful Gift won the Santa Ysabel in her last while Moraz finished second.
- Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby – 1 1/8 miles dirt – $750,000
Bob Baffert trained Medina Spirit has his final prep in the SA Derby. Spirit, no doubt, should go off the chalk, but the Porotonico sired runner is no lock to win the race. Roman Centurion will enter. So will eight other horses, including last out maiden winners Defunded, Rock Your World, and Ottothelegend.