There is some competitive racing action taking place at Oaklawn Park this weekend, with three big stakes races taking place on Saturday. Prices will be available with all the leading horse racing sportsbooks this weekend, but which horses could stand the best chance of claiming success in the respective races?

Apple Blossom Handicap (Grade 1)

The Apple Blossom is a Grade 1 in every sense of the word this weekend. There are two previous winners of the race involved, as fillies and mares race over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. A purse of $1 million is up for grabs, and it looks to be a fascinating battle between the top three in the betting.

Ce Ce won this race back in 2020, and will be looking to become only the second six-year-old to win this race in 16 years. She was in fine form on her return, as she finished ahead of Pauline’s Pearl and Shedaresthedevil in the G2 Azeri. However, she isn’t getting any younger. Clairiere is a very talented filly in her own right, and will be looking to add another Grade 1 to her roll of honor. However, this is much tougher than the G1 Cotillion that she won.

I will be siding with the multiple graded winner from last season, Lestruska. Despite a disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, she returned in excellent form at Gulfstream with a victory in the G3 Royal Delta. Her pace is the quickest in this race, and I struggle to see past her.

Pick: Letruska

Oaklawn Stakes

Shortly after the Apple Blossom, the attention will turn towards the Oaklawn Stakes over 1 1/8 miles. This is a stakes race for horses aged three, and is run over 1 1/8 miles.

The favorite is likely to be Stellar Tap, but he is a favorite well worth taking on. He has won once from six career starts, and has disappointed on both previous efforts at this track. The Skipper Too is a good price to improve on his effort over 1 1/16 miles at the track, while Home Brew has already won around Oaklawn over a mile at the end of last year.

However, I like the chances of Clancy’s Pistol this weekend. He has won two from four this year, with both victories coming at this track over 1 1/16 miles. His latest victory here saw him hit a speed figure of 88. I think he is a very solid contender over this trip, as I would suggest he wants a longer distance after finishing fifth over a mile earlier in the month.

Pick: Clancy’s Pistol

Oaklawn Handicap (Grade 2)

The most interesting betting race of the day at Oaklawn Park on Saturday comes in the form of the Oaklawn Handicap. Cases can be made for a number of the entries, which will run over a distance of 1 1/8 miles with a $1 million purse on the line.

Four-year-olds have a very good record in this race, having won four of the previous five. A case could certainly be made for Super Stock, who won the Arkansas Derby 12 months ago. However, that seems a long time ago now, and he has been disappointing on all starts since then.

Plainsman has beaten a number of re-appearing rivals, including Thomas Shelby and Rated R Superstar, and should be primed to run very well. Fearless is likely to start favorite after his win over this course and distance in the G3 Ghostzapper, and has a respectable record after finishing second in both the G2 Gulfstream Park Mile and G3 Fred W. Hooper. However, no six-year-old has won this race since 1993.

I like the chances of the returning Idol this weekend, who is undeniably a quality horse. He landed the G1 Santa Anita Handicap last year, beating Express Train and Maxfield. He was slightly disappointing on his following start when finishing sixth in the G1 Awesome Again. However, this is not nearly as competitive and could be a solid value play at around 6/1.

Pick: Idol