3 great races at Oaklawn today, none of which impact my Enlightened Trails but 1 at least, the Rebel, does prove significant toward the real Derby trail. The Razorback, on paper, seems to be the most exciting of the three. Here’s how I see them:
We’ll start with the Azeri, which is for fillies/mares 4YO+. This Grade 2 event is worth $350k and is 8.5 furlongs. Here’s my top 3, publishing before odds have been announced:
Theogony had mainly raced in Canada and now races in both the Heartland and Southern tracks. Won a 100k stakes race last summer, largely disappointing since then. Owns prior win first off layoff. 4 works at OP, all 4 very fast, best works of this field. I am impressed by her turn time of 23.8, best of these.
Call Pat won the Bayakoa (G3) here last out a month ago. Has consistently placed in most races over the last year, last several also Graded. Adjusted for run style, this deep closer may well prove to be the hidden speed of the field. Nice pattern of Brisnet speed figures in the 90s for the last 3 races.
High Dollar Woman won the Indiana Oaks last summer (G2). diminishing returns in last 2. Lone pure speed of the field. Goes back from sprint to route. Suggested odds: Call Pat 4-1; Sarah Sis 6-1; Streamline 5-2; Theogony 2-1; Meshell 24-1 Overlays: Theogony
Overlay: Idolo Porteno. Makes his US debut after 10 races in Argentina, winner of several Grade 1 events, adds Lasix again and takes a significant weight drop.
Now to the Grade 1 Rebel Stakes for top 3YOs, going 8.5 furlongs, for a 900k purse and some actual Derby points. Top 3 are these:
Cherry Wine had graduated from maiden 2 races in November, then duplicated her strong win with another in a 75k optional claimer on 1/9 in Gulfstream. Posted lifetime best of 85, 89, 90 last 3. Excellent turn time of 23.4, .8 seconds gain from last race.
Using info from sportinglife.com which stays on top of betting lines and racecards, my top 3 are these:
Don Cossack is a narrow and deserving favorite; likes good/soft going, has prior shipping win and also win from gaining in class. The Cooper/Elliott combo has a good competitive % of wins. You can’t argue with a 26-15-4-2 record!
Essentially I’m leaning on jockey/trainer combos above most other stats, and for that I also like Djakadam, the early 2nd choice in the morning-line. This horse stretches out a bit, and has a prior win doing so, also has a 25-furlong win. Best jockey/trainer win combo in Walsh and Mullins.