A pair of stakes races headline the 11-race card at Oaklawn Park this Saturday: the Bachelor Stakes, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, and the Carousel Stakes, for older fillies and mares.
Nine 3-year-olds will go three-quarters of a mile, or six furlongs. Bob Baffert, one of the top trainers in the country, has the likely heavy favorite, in the 7, Eight Rings. He won the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita Park last year, and was one of the favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He was a disappointing sixth in that race, and hasn’t been seen since. Considering he hasn’t raced since November, and most of his rivals have competed recently, he’s going to be at a disadvantage. I’ll take a stand against him.
TOP PICK: 9, Long Weekend. A pure sprinter, he’s been very impressive in his two starts this year. He won the Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn a few weeks ago by almost five lengths, and was a dominant winner in a small race at Sam Houston Race Park in February. He’s breaking from the far outside post, so it won’t be easy for him to clear to the front, but he looks fast enough to be able to do it.
SECOND CHOICE: 3, Echo Town: He enjoyed a great trip in his last race, stalking the pace and drawing off to an easy win. There’s lots of speed signed on here, and if the race falls apart on the front end, he’ll be right there to pick up the pieces and win.
Eight classy fillies and mares are set to go in the tenth race on Saturday at Oaklawn. The distance is three-quarters of a mile.
TOP PICK: 8, Mia Mischief: One of the classiest female sprinters in the country, she finished second in this race last year, and won three stakes races during the rest of the year. She’s raced once this year, against easier competition, and despite some traffic, she drew off to an easy win. Oaklawn’s one of her favorite tracks; she’s never been worse than second in five races here. That race a few weeks ago sets her up perfectly for this spot.
SECOND CHOICE: 2, Midnight Fantasy: A Midwestern-based filly, she’s coming off a mild upset win the Spring Fever Stakes in her last start. She ran a gigantic race a few starts back, winning a stakes for Louisiana-bred horses back in December. She’s one of the fastest horses in the field, so she should be able to go out to the lead and hang around there for a while.
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