Expert picks: How to bet Friday's Apple Blossom, Maker's 46 Mile

April 12, 2018 03:06pm

The final Saturday of 2018 Kentucky Derby prep races is almost upon us. Before Derby fever takes over in the Arkansas Derby and Lexington Stakes, there are a few graded races to take care of on Friday the 13th. Here, we'll plan to build up a bankroll for the weekend.

Keeneland Race 9: Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile (5:30 p.m. ET)

The 2018 renewal of the Maker’s 46 Mile features a wide-open field of ten. #6 Heart to Heart is the 2-1 morning line favorite, but others may keep him company up front, including #9 Om (6-1). Friday's rider, Flavien Prat, aggressively rode the latter to a front-running victory in the Grade 3 Thunder Road at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 10. 

#5 Frostmourne (10-1) might sit the garden spot trip behind the aforementioned speed horses under Irad Ortiz, Jr. and is my value top choice. The talented 4-year-old colt is 3-for-3 at one mile. 

#8 Next Shares (5-1) fired exacta shots in his last five starts. Look for him to roll late under sharp turf rider Corey Nakatani. 

#2 Ballagh Rocks (9-2) and #10 Hogy (8-1) round out my contenders. The former was a close-up third in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last fall, and the latter exits a sharp score in the G3 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream. 

Maker’s 46 Mile Wagers:

#5 to win
Exacta Box 5-8
Trifecta 5-8/2-6-9-10/5-8
Trifecta 2-6-9-10/5-8/5-8 

Oaklawn Park Race 7: Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes (5:34 p.m. ET)

Three of the eight Fantasy Stakes entrants exit the Grade 3 Honeybee (#1 Sassy Sienna, #4 Cosmic Burst, #6 Amy’s Challenge). Of that group, I prefer Amy’s Challenge. She stretched out, went too fast early, and held the place last time. If she can distribute her energy better, she can go all the way under Mile Smith. 

#2 Harbor Lights (6-1) makes her stakes debut for Steve Asmussen, and I am picking her on top. She returned better than ever in her 3-year-old bow at this course/distance on March 15. She figures to stalk the pace under Ricardo Santana, Jr.

#8 Wonder Gadot is the 2-1 morning line favorite for Mark Casse. She won a pair of graded routes in 2017, but settled for minor awards in her three stakes starts at Fair Grounds this year. An outside stalking trip is expected. 

Fantasy Stakes Wagers: 

#2 to win
Exacta 2/6-8
Exacta 6-8/2
Trifecta 2-6/1-2-4-6-8/1-2-4-6-8

Oaklawn Park Race 9: Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap (6:39 p.m. ET)

The Apple Blossom looks like a walk in the park for strong favorite #5 Unique BElla (2-5). The classy Southern California shipper is faster than these on her best day and will probably wire the field under Mike Smith. She is 7-for-9 lifetime, 2-for-2 at a mile and a sixteenth, and has six bullets in her holster for assignment. 

#2 Unbridled Mo (5-1) exits an even fourth in her G3 Royal Delta return, and that one-turn mile was too sharp for her. She is 6-for-6 at a mile and a sixteenth, and she can parlay a ground saving stalking trip into a runner-up finish.

Apple Blossom Wagers:

Exacta 5-2


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