Apple Blossom (Oaklawn Park) Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Swiss Skydiver (6/5)

Apple Blossom Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
R Santana Jr S Asmussen
R Albarado K McPeek
I Ortiz Jr F Gutierrez
K Tohill C Hartman
F Arrieta B Cox
F Geroux B Cox

Best Bets for the Apple Blossom

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$20 Trifecta part wheel – Swiss Skydiver over Monomoy Girl over Letruska and Getridofwhatailesu = $40

Top Pick:

Swiss Skydiver (6/5)

A showdown of epic proportions is set for Oaklawn Park on Saturday as two of the finest race mares of recent years, Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver will do battle in the $1 million Apple Blossom.

Each a champion last year, it will be the second meeting for Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver, when they headline the field of six in the Grade 1 race. In their only previous meeting, it was the older mare, Monomoy Girl who scored a convincing victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Swiss Skydiver, who was then 3, broke poorly in the race and came out of the race less than completely healthy.

It was the second Breeders’ Cup Distaff win for Monomoy Girl, who is now 6. The two-time Eclipse Award winner will enter the Apple Blossom starting gate on a six-race winning streak. Trained by Brad Cox, the daughter of Tapizar won her only start of the season in convincing fashion.

Swiss Skydiver also won her only start this year. The winner of last year’s Preakness Stakes shipped out to California last month, and easily accounted for the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. A daughter of Daredevil, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2020 will be looking for her seventh graded stakes victory in just over 12 months on Saturday.

Letruska is by far the most accomplished of the rest. The 5-year-old daughter of Super Saver began her career in Mexico, where she was undefeated in six starts. Since coming to America, she has proven herself a tough graded stakes performer. Most recently, she was beaten just a head by Shedaresthedevil in the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

How to Watch the Apple Blossom

Apple Blossom Information
What Apple Blossom (Grade 1)
Where Oaklawn Park
When Saturday, April 17 — 6:09 pm Central time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

Monomoy Girl

All she does is win. In fact, if not for a controversial disqualification in the Grace 1 Cotillion back in 2018, she would be an amazing 15-of-16 lifetime. The only time another horse actually hit the wire ahead of her was way back as a 2-year-old. Now 6, she will need to prove that she is as good as ever because her main challenger here is tough as nails. The good news is that from all appearances she has lost nothing and is set for another big year. Drawn to the outside, she will have the tactical advantage of watching her main rival, and also how the pace unfolds, from the outside. Monomoy Girl is the deserving favorite and has looked great in the mornings, but I believe this will be her toughest challenge in quite some time. I respect the experienced champ, but I am going to side with the younger mare in this one.

Swiss Skydiver

Unfortunately, her only bad race in a long time was in her first meeting with Monomoy Girl in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. She stumbled badly at the start, though, and came back roughed up. Otherwise, I am sure she would have given the winner a much better race. Now 4, she really looks to be even bigger and better than the version that won five graded stakes, including a huge win over the male champion Authentic in the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. That victory convinced me what this daughter of Daredevil has inside, and she will need it on Saturday to hand Monomoy Girl a defeat. I look for her to be ahead of the favorite early and I love her prep for this in the Beholder Mile. Swiss Skydiver should be ready to run her best, and I am going to give her the slight edge over her outstanding rival.


After an excellent start to her career down in Mexico City, this Fausto Gutierrez-trained mare has proven to be the real deal against strong competition in America. After a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Beldame last fall, she has rattled off three very strong performances this winter. Most recently, she just missed to the Kentucky Oaks winner in the local prep for the Apple Blossom. She has good early speed, so she is always involved early, but the problem for her here is that both of the big two also have good tactical speed. I think that pressure will eventually be her undoing, and a third or fourth-place finish is the most likely result for a very classy mare.


From the barn of Brad Cox, she is clearly “Plan B” behind her champion stablemate. Having said that, the lightly raced 5-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper is better than ever and actually looks like a threat to get into the trifecta. Her two recent races, both at Oaklawn, and after a 10-month layoff, are both quite promising. She’ll sit behind the three favorites early, but if any of them falter in the stretch, this is the one most likely to come running in the stretch.

Chance to Shine

This daughter of Morning Line has won several stakes races with her laterally, but they all came at smaller tracks and against a different type of horse than what she will find in Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver. Her two recent efforts at Oaklawn Park are both decent, but well short of what she will need to come up with to contend here. Like the one below her, she will hope to pass a few tiring horses at best.

Another Broad

Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner, Steve Asmussen, this late running daughter of Include will be looking for a piece of the million-dollar pie on Saturday. A big long shot on Saturday, her best chance is if the favorites soften each other up with a fast pace early. She has not found the winner’s circle in a long time but often rallies into a minor share of graded stakes. This is her toughest test yet, so anything other than a minor share would be a big surprise.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]