The best distaff-division race of the spring is coming up Saturday, April 23 at Oaklawn: the $1 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1)! The race, which covers a mile and a sixteenth over the dirt course at Oaklawn, perennially draws the top older mares and is always an exciting betting horse race. Its winners include all-time greats like Zenyatta, Azeri, and Bayakoa.
The 2022 edition features two previous winners of the Apple Blossom: Letruska and Ce Ce. Letruska won the race in 2021, and remained the distaff division leader through the entire season. Ce Ce, who won the race in 2020, was the champion female sprinter of 2021 but has stretched back out for a route race campaign this sprint.
Will one of these familiar faces win the race, or will they make way for a new star? Keep reading to find out.
Where to Bet the Apple Blossom Handicap
Though it is important to pick the winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap, it is important in the long term to choose the right place to bet horse races online. Selecting the right sportsbook to bet the Apple Blossom and every race in the future sets you up for horse racing profits not only this weekend, but in the long term.
There are many options for where to play the race, but our expert betting site reviews will help you find the best place. All of our recommended sportsbooks give you trustworthy money management, real Vegas odds, and a smooth user experience.
Each site offers different benefits like sign-up bonuses, deposit bonuses, and horse racing rebates. The offerings are profitable to different kinds of bettors, so it is worth your money and your time to check out your options and choose the one that is most profitable for you. Then, sign up with confidence that you are making the best choice!
Apple Blossom Handicap Horses and Odds
This is the official field for the 2022 Apple Blossom Handicap including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
- Maracuja (Rob Atras/Ricardo Santana, Jr.) – 6/1
- Letruska (Fausto Gutierrez/Jose Ortiz) – 7/5
- Clairiere (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) – 5/2
- Miss Imperial (Jerry Hollendorfer/Tiago Pereira) – 12/1
- Ce Ce (Michael McCarthy/Victor Espinoza) – 2/1
Keep in mind that the morning line is just the track’s estimate of what the odds will look like at post time. You cannot lock these in at the track. This is why it is best to bet the Apple Blossom at an online sportsbook. They offer fixed-odds betting, meaning you lock in the best odds at the moment you bet. Then, you can watch the race confident in what you will get when your horse wins!
Free Apple Blossom Handicap Picks
Now that you have your account set up and know how to check the odds, you have one more thing to do: pick a winner in the 2022 Apple Blossom!
Apple Blossom Handicap Favorites
The last two Apple Blossom winners are likely to be the favorites in this year’s edition: Letruska and Ce Ce.
Letruska is not only the best horse in the field, but she also has a real pace advantage. Though longshot Miss Imperial is also a frontrunning type, she does not have the same early speed as Letruska. Letruska has also proven that she can dig in late and hold off top-quality horses as they try to catch her. She should be able to take this race every step of the way.
Ce Ce won this race in 2020, but did not face a field as tough as this year’s even though that field was bigger. She was in good form when beating a weaker field in the Azeri last time out. And, she has the tactical speed to stay close to the pace. But, in the stretch run, catching Letruska will be a difficult task, and she will also have to hold off at least one horse who is a more dedicated route horse than she.
Longer Shots in the Apple Blossom Handicap
In a field of five, no one will be a tote board-incinerating longshot. But, getting a horse other than the top two into the exacta is a good way to make the race pay.
Fortunately, Clairiere is just that kind of a horse. Even though she is a closer, Oaklawn plays fairly to closers. Clairiere is also a real two-turn horse, as well as a horse who does not have to wait until the last minute to make a good, winning move. Though she will have to take a significant step forward to catch Letruska, especially as the latter has a pace advantage, Clairiere should be able to run on well for second.
Maracuja, the other Grade 1 winner in the field, will probably find this race too short against top horses. She got her top-level win at a mile and a quarter; as a horse with little early speed and no devastating kick, her best chance is to go longer than this and just outlast horses whose stamina fails. Miss Imperial tests her class in this field. Her best tool is her speed, but she has never shown enough early pace to think she will beat Letruska on the lead.
Apple Blossom Handicap Free Picks
In a race with such a select field, your best bet is to focus on the best horses and make narrowly focused bets that make the most of individual opinions. In light of that, these are your free expert picks for the 2022 Apple Blossom Handicap:
- $20 to win – #2 Letruska
- $1 exacta – #2 Letruska over #3 Clairiere
- $0.50 trifecta – #2 Letruska over #3 Clairiere over #5 Ce Ce