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msudogs
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Race 10 (Apple Blossom)
Time: 6:16 p.m. ET

The No. 11 Serengeti Empress (4-1) and No. 14 CeCe (7-2) are the deserving top selections for this 1 1/16 mile Apple Blossom, even amidst this deep field.

They’re the only two horses coming into Saturday on the back of a triple-digit Beyer figures, though the No. 4 Come Dancing (3-1), who ran a 114 last April, stands to improve for new-trainer, Hall-of-Famer D. Wayne Lukas; I just prefer her shorter distance races.

I’m worried about how close CeCe can get to the early pace from her wide post, and there should be ample speed in this race to challenge the front-running Sergengeti Empress early.

The horses I like to work out a good trip include the No. 1 Ollie’s Candy (12-1), No. 6 Street Band (15-1), No. 12 Go Google Yourself (12-1), and No. 13 Lady Apple (15-1).

I wouldn’t be surprised if any of them steals this Grade 1 race late in the stretch.

Old Post 04-18-20 11:49 PM
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Oaklawn 4/24

Race 4
Time: 3:35 p.m. ET

This 1 1/16 mile dirt route is a bit of a headscratcher to end the early Pick 4 – there are four options that I’ll use, and two which I will tread carefully in leaving off.

I’ll include the uncoupled entry for trainer Tom Amoss in the No. 2 Blunt Force (6-1) and No. 11 Miss Mercken (7-2). Amoss wins 23% of the time at the claimer level, and 20% when running off of a 31-60 day break – applicable to both entries.

Additionally, but applicable only to Miss Mercken, Amoss is 16 for 60 (27%, $2.23 ROI) when moving a horse from turf to dirt.

The No. 8 Dutch Treat (4-1) owns an explosive last-out Beyer figure of 83 – the highest in the field. It’s a clear outlier compared to her other races, but she stays at the same class level here.

The price horse I’ll use is the No. 7 Flatoutandfoxy (20-1) for the Borel brothers – who are high percentage across the board; four for nine after 31-60 days; two for seven with last-out winners; and five for 22 in claimers. They’ll look to come with a late kick to blast past this field.

Old Post 04-24-20 10:04 PM
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Race 5
Time: 4:06 p.m. ET

This is a deep and difficult field of three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles.

Many are picking the No. 8 Gangly (4-1), who should have ample pace to run at, and whose best Beyer figure was earned at this distance; but trainer Ron Moquett wins just 13% of the time both at the claimer level and in routes; he’s better at training for sprint distances.

The No. 1 Fort McHenry (7-2) is quite dangerous – trainer Doug O’Neill has a 24% win rate at this level with a positive ROI ($2.65) and he’ll get both class relief and added ground.

Brad Cox has eye-popping metrics for the No. 4 River Funn (6-1) – winning 34% of the time second off the layoff ($2.42 ROI) and 27% of the time in claimers (but a $1.54 ROI). This horse could be a victim of pace pressure, but also should relax a bit with blinkers removed.

The No. 7 Icecap (8-1) is intriguing with the Ricardo Santana Jr. / Steve Amussen combo – though he figures to get bet down from that morning line.

Old Post 04-24-20 10:04 PM
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Race 6 (Pick 5)
Time: 4:36 p.m. ET

The No. 1 Kalliste Rose (5-1) should be able to secure a good trip from the rail in this 5 1/2 furlong sprint. She drops back down to the $6,250 level after missing the board for the first time in four starts – and she does have three wins in her past five races. This daughter of Bodemeister is fast enough to win if she gets back to that form.

The main contenders are the No. 4 Lippy (7-2) and No. 5 Louise the Laser (3-1).

The former is second off the layoff for trainer Doug O’Neill (17 for 98) and has faced much classier competition in recent races.

The latter has run consistent speed figures but transitions back to dirt after a successful stay on the synthetic at Woodbine.

Old Post 04-24-20 10:08 PM
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Race 7 (Late Pick 4)
Time: 5:06 p.m. ET

I see two primary options in this six-furlong maiden special weight – the No. 4 Golden Notion (4-1) for Brad Cox, and the No. 8 Ragtime Blues (3-1) for Bob Baffert.

Golden Notion finished third after an extended layoff on March 21 – but the second and eighth-place finishers were each next out winners with Beyer figures in the ’80s. Golden Notion is the only horse in this field with a previous Beyer in the 80’s, and also owns the highest last-out figure in this race.

Additionally, Cox is 12 for 45 (27%) second off the layoff, and 17 for 51 (33%) when adding blinkers for the first time.

As for Ragtime Blues, his only career race back in September contained three next-out winners, and Baffert is highly successful with maidens in their second start (23%) and in maiden special weights (26%).

The No. 10 Derby Date (9-2) owns the co-highest last out Beyer, but his trainer Jack Sisterson is 0-for-11 in the past two years when adding blinkers.

Old Post 04-24-20 10:10 PM
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Race 8
Time: 5:38 p.m. ET

This six-furlong sprint looks like a bit of a spread race in the middle of the late multi-race sequences.

I was able to cut the field in half, but I’m using each of the No. 2 Hidden Ruler (5-1), No. 3 Truck Salesman (6-1), No. 5 Impressed (6-1), No. 9 Julius (5-1) and No. 10 Morning Show (7-2) in multi-race wagering.

And I found it difficult to leave off the No. 1 New Colossus (4-1) for Karl Broberg, who wins 25% of sprint races – but I had to cut somewhere in this difficult group.

Old Post 04-24-20 10:10 PM
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Oaklawn 5/01

Race 7
Time: 5:06 p.m. ET

The last four races of the day feature three stakes races, one of them being graded. This is the first non-graded stakes event of the day.

I ended up on No. 3 K J’s Nobility (5/2) who is coming in on a two-race win streak for the Borel brothers. Since moving over to trainer Cecil Borel’s barn, K J’s Nobility hasn’t missed the board, with four wins, two seconds and two third-place finishes dating back to last April. He’s a horse for the course with six wins in 14 starts at Oaklawn.

The biggest question will be can he get the distance. He is stretching out to a mile and 1/6th after only running in 6 furlong sprints this year.

No. 11 Man in the Can (6-1) is coming in off a win against similar company last time out. That was his first start off a short layoff for trainer Ron Moquett. Joel Rosario will be back in the irons and always seems to time his rides perfectly with closers.

Moquett and Rosario are 40% when teaming up in the last 60 days. Similar to K J’s Nobility the biggest question for Man in the Can will be the distance.

Old Post 05-01-20 10:27 PM
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Race 8
Time: 5:38 p.m. ET

This is another non-graded stakes race with a competitive field. After going over this race a few times, I kept coming back to No. 10 Antoinette (8-1) for trainer Bill Mott. This will be her second start off the layoff after running in the G2 Fair Gounds Oaks last time out, where she finished third. She had to wait for room at the 5/16ths pole and again at the 1/4 pole. If jockey John Velazquez can work out a better trip for her in here, I really like her at the price. She’s my top pick.

No. 3 Gingham (3-1) for trainer Bob Baffert is another one of interest. Baffert’s home away from home is Oaklawn and he is 31% when his horses are shipping in.

Gingham is coming in off a layoff after finishing second in a G2 event at Santa Anita in early February; Baffert is 30% off the layoff. Gingham has only missed the board once in seven career starts and that was against G1 company over an off track.

He’s getting the blinkers back on here and Baffert is 35% when putting the blinkers back on. Jockey Martin Garcia and Baffert has teamed up five times in the last 60 days and are a perfect 5-for-5. You have to include him here.

The last horse I gave consideration to was No. 7 Strong Flag (9-2) for trainer Steve Asmussen. He’s been competitive in all four career starts, only missing the board once. Asmussen is 20% in route races and 26% when he was beaten as the favorite last time out. Strong Flag only missed by a length in his last start and should appreciate the extra distance here. He’s another one that I’m including.

Old Post 05-01-20 10:28 PM
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Race 9
Time: 6:09 p.m. ET

The feature of the day is the G3 Fantasy Stakes. This is an extremely deep field of 14 horses, including six graded-stakes winners and another two who are graded stakes placed.

No. 2 Venetian Harbor (2-1) for trainer Richard Baltas has been eye popping in her two dirt starts. Last time out, in the G2 Les Vergnes, she won by 9 1/4 lengths and was in hand late. In her maiden breaking score she won by 10 lengths in hand. Jockey Flavien Prat is shipping in from California to ride this filly who seems to be on the Kentucky Oaks trail. She’s my top pick.

No. 5 Harvey’s Lil Goil (12-1) stands a big chance at a great price in here. This daughter of American Pharoah has also won both of her starts on the dirt in impressive fashion. She broke her maiden in December by six lengths and then came back in early February in a non-graded stakes race to win by 7 1/2 lengths. Her speed figures have steadily improved over her three career starts. Harvey’s Lil Goil has been training well leading up to this spot and one that I’m going to include at the price.

No. 10 British Idiom (5-2) has had a great start to her career for trainer Brad Cox. She broke her maiden at first asking and then went on to notch back-to-back G1 victories, the second being the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. In her only start this year she finished a disappointing second behind Finite.

The transition from ages 2 to 3 is always a big question mark for horses and it is still a question for this filly. I’m including her, but if she doesn’t win today, I’m not sure that I will be a believer anymore.

The last horse I included was No. 7 Shedaresthedevil (12-1), who is also coming out of the Cox barn. While she doesn’t have the class that her stable-mate has, she has proven herself as a 3-year-old, winning last time out in the G3 Honeybee right here at Oaklawn.

Shedaresthedevil will need to continue to improve as she faces tougher competition in here, but she’s one who likes to sit a stalking trip and as mentioned before jockey Joel Rosario always seems to time his rides perfectly. At the price, she’s one I couldn’t leave off.

Old Post 05-01-20 10:28 PM
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