2020 Apple Blossom (Oaklawn Park) - Predictions & Betting Odds

The Apple Blossom (G1) Race Information

What: The Apple Blossom (G1)
Where: Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas
When: Saturday, April 18 — 5:16 Central
How to watch: Fox Sports 1 America

Post Positions and Betting Odds for Apple Blossom

1Ollie’s Candy12/1
3Awe Emma30/1
4Come Dancing6/1
5Point of Honor12/1
6Street Band8/1
7Queen Nekia30/1
10Cookie Dough15/1
11Serengeti Empress5/2
12Go Google Yourself10/1
13Lady Apple10/1
14Ce Ce5/1

Race Analysis

Serengeti Empress

The 2019 Kentucky Oaks winner is the most accomplished horse in the field and is a deserving favorite on Saturday. She’ll look to carry her speed from an outside post to take the large field wire to wire under rider Joe Talamo. The pair teamed up recently to romp home an easy winner over the same distance and track in winning the Azeri (G2) last month in the slop.

This field is quite a bit deeper, though, and she has other speed on either side of her in the starting gate to contend with.

It’s no easy spot, but the Tom Amoss trained filly has the class and speed to get the job done.

Ce Ce

The daughter of Elusive Quality could be the rising star in the older female dirt division.

After a promising start to her career last year, she has won twice in very impressive fashion out in California to begin 2020, including the Grade 1 Beholder mile last out.

This will be a major test to see how good she is, as she tries 1 1/16 miles for the first time, looks for her first career victory away from Santa Anita, and breaks from the far outside post of 14.

The odds seem stacked against her, but she clearly has serious talent.

Come Dancing

One of the best mares in the nation last year, she won four graded stakes in New York last year. The Apple Blossom will mark her seasonal debut, as she has not raced since a disappointing sixth place finish in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Now trained by D. Wayne Lukas, you have to wonder if she is as good racing outside of New York. The 8 1/2 furlongs of the Apple Blossom might also be just a little longer than her best. She moves up if the track comes up sloppy on Saturday.

Street Band

The winner of three graded stakes last year, she has yet to be able to get by Serengeti Empress in her last three tries. With speed in the race this time, though, she’ll look to make a strong late run if the favorite is softened up early. It’s a recipe that worked to perfection last fall when she came from well back to storm to victory in the Grade 1 Cotillion at odds of 7-1. She’s a threat to do it again, under rider Sophie Doyle on Saturday.

Go Google Yourself

Although this one has yet to beat a field of this quality, she is very consistent and clearly comes in on career-best form for trainer Paul McGee. She drew a tough post, outside the speed in the 12-hole, but if she can find a good stalking trip, she deserves consideration.

Lady Apple

Upset both Serengeti Empress and Street Band two starts back in the Houston Ladies Classic when she worked out an ideal stalking trip. Throw out the last one where she struggled home on a sloppy track she does not care for, and you can expect a better effort at attractive odds. The problem is that post position of 13 likely does her preferred running style no favors.

Point of Honor

Her only race in the last eight months, a second-place finish in an allowance race at Tampa Bay, does not point her out as a real threat in here, but keep in mind, that was only a prep and tightener for this one. She will appreciate the added ground she gets in the Apple Blossom, and if the pace is fast as expected, it should set up her late run very nicely.

Ollie’s Candy

Another mare who has the ability to rally and is proven at the distance, she’ll need to prove that she can get the job done away from Southern California. Ce Ce beat her easy last time, but this race might set up better for her. Joel Rosario is a good rider to have in the saddle, as she will need to navigate a good trip from behind while breaking from the rail in the big field.

Cookie Dough

She is a formidable stakes filly in South Florida, where she does most of her running for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. This loaded field looks like a little more than is within her scope, though. Her early speed does make her the most likely one to make life uncomfortable for Serengeti Empress in the early stages.


An upset winner of the Monmouth Oaks last summer, this daughter of Gemologist has not been able to find the winner’s circle since but has been placed in some difficult spots. This one is as well, but she did run a sharp second last month, and at odds of 20-1 or higher, she could be an attractive price play to fill out the exotics.

The rest: Coldwater, Awe Emma, Queen Nekia, Saracosa are all big longshots that I cannot recommend.

Top picks and suggested wagers Serengeti Empress is both the favorite and the best horse in the race, but the Apple Blossom is still a good betting race.

She certainly has the ability to take the lead early and go all the way in here, but she is also vulnerable if the pace is fast and pressured.

Street Band, Point of Honor, and Ollie’s Candy all should have good odds coming in off of losses, and each has the ability to come running late.

My Plays ($66 in total)

$5 Exacta Box – Serengeti Empress, Street Band and Point of Honor = $30

$3 Exacta Box – Serengeti Empress, Street Band, Point of Honor and Ollie’s Candy = $36 ​

If you’re playing only to win, try to beat the favorite with my top two odds horses: Street Band and Point of Honor.

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