On Saturday, the place to be is Oaklawn Park. The Arkansas horse racing track has an awesome card highlighted by a couple of stakes races. Race 8 is the $350K Count Fleet Stakes. Then in Race 10, the best fillies, and mares in North America battle in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap. Check out analysis and picks for both those races as well as Race 7, a $61,000 allowance! Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Oaklawn Park for Saturday, April 18. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.
Oaklawn Park Horse Racing Picks
- When: Saturday, April 18 at 1:35 pm ET
- Where: Hot Springs, AR
- Weather: Partly Sunny
- Temperature: High 57 – Low 40
Oaklawn Park Picks for Saturday, April 18
Race 7 – 4:42 pm ET – 1 Mile Dirt – $61,000 Allowance
Steve Asmussen puts the saddle on 15/1 morning line Horse Racing Odds Tikhvin Flew in the seventh at Oaklawn on Saturday. It’s rare to find an Asmussen trained overlay. But Bob Baffert has one in here, which is why so many will disregard this one’s chances. Flew races first time since September. The work tab is nice, and Steve scratched this one from a race a couple of weeks ago to run here. Giving the Street Sense sired colt a shot.
The Baffert horse, Dessman, should go off the favorite. The 4-year-old Union Rags colt has a win and 3 second place finishes. One of the second place finishes was in last year’s Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. Although Dessman can win, maybe, he just prefers to finish second. Tough to back a horse to win that has trouble closing the deal in 3 straight.
Wild Popit will try to steal this. The last out maiden winner breaks from post-position 1 where jockey Stewart Elliott has few options except to gun for the lead. If the rest of these allow Wild Popit to relax on the front end, who knows? Consider using on top and bottom of your exotics.
- Win: Tikhvin Flew
- Place: Dessman
- Show: Wild Popit
Race 8 – 5:14 pm ET – 6 Furlongs Dirt – $350,000 Count Fleet Stakes
If Hidden Scroll has his mind right, the Bill Mott trained, and Juddmonte Farms owned Hard Spun colt should run away with this. Nobody else in the race has the early speed that Hidden Scroll possesses. Any equine that tries to run with Scroll could get buried here.
Flagstaff comes into this on a high-note. The John Sadler trainee won the Grade 2 San Carlos in its last. Jockey Joel Rosario will put Flagstaff either right off Hidden Scroll or a length off if others want to run with the top choice. Expect this 6-year-old gelding to fight hard in the lane.
Gregory Foley puts the saddle on 15/1 on the morning line Horse Racing Odds Hog Creek Hustle. The 4-year-old won the Grade 1 Woody Stephens. Hustle has finished second and third in enough graded races that we must take him seriously to get into the trifecta on Saturday.
- Win: Hidden Scroll
- Place: Flagstaff
- Show: Hog Creek Hustle
Race 10 – 6:16 pm ET – 1 1/16 Miles Dirt – $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap
There is a ton of speed signed on for the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, which is why 10/1 on the morning line Point of Honor gets our nod for the top spot. The George Weaver trained daughter of Curlin failed as a 60 cents on the dollar favorite in a $40K handicap in her last. That was a prep for this, though. Point of Honor likes to run much further than 7 furlongs. She’ll show up big time and has a real chance of pulling off the upset.
Street Band is another overlay in this that could blow up exotic tickets. The Istan sired runner was in a good position in the Grade 2 Azeri after the second-call but faded to fourth by 8 lengths. That was Band’s first race off a layoff, though. Trainer Larry Jones Jr. should have her much tighter for this event.
Mike McCarthy trains the likely favorite Ce Ce. The Elusive Quality filly has 3 wins and a second from 5 races. Ce Ce also goes into the Apple Blossom off a win in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. But Ce Ce must break from post-position 14. It will be tough to not lose ground around the first turn, fight with the other speed, and then hold off quality pressers and closers like Street Band and Point of Honor.
- Win: Point of Honor
- Place: Street Band
- Show: Ce Ce