Oaklawn Park presses on with its Spring Meet with another eleven races on Saturday night which features both the Bachelor Stakes (22:45) and the Carousel Stakes (23:16).
Our man Ian Rozzier gives us the lowdown on all the runners and riders at Oaklawn…
The race for the leading jockey at the current meet is wide open with only seven winners separating Ricardo Santana Jr (49), Martin Garcia (46), Joseph Talamo (45) & David Cohen (42).
Santana Jr has 10 rides as he looks to extend his lead with Town Champ (20:39) looking his best chance of a winner.
Ricardo Santana Jr booked rides: Implicator (18:35), North Side (19:37), Candy Carlos (20:08), Town Champ (20:39), Awesome Saturday (21:10), Tapsolute (21:42), Bye Bye J (22:14), Echo Town (22:45), Mia Mischief (23:16) & Copper King (23:47)
With 50 winners from 210 runners Robertino Diodoro leads Steven Asmussen by nine in the Trainer’s Championship.
He has seven declared on the card including What A Fox in the feature Carousel Stakes (23:16).
Robertino Diodoro runners: Esposito (19:06), Street To Indy (20:08), Silver Ride & Big Bella Brown (20:39), Nomizar (22:14), Sir Rick (22:45) & What A Fox (23:16)
18:35 – Implicator and Jimmie T finished second and third over this course and distance last month. The former is expected to confirm his superiority from a superior draw. CHICKEN HAWK has been staying on over 6 furlongs and looks ready for this step up in trip back down in grade.
19:06 – This race revolves around River Echo who is the class horse in the race but is having his first start since December. Jerry Hollendorfer’s gelding won three times last year and should outclass his rivals if anywhere near fully fit.
High Risk Strategy was an impressive winner here last month and may be the one to capitalise if River Echo fails to fire.
19:37 – Plenty here with chances but Connection looks the one to side with. The son of Twirling Candy cost his connections $260,000 and has shown enough to be winning a $30k maiden especially with the drop back in trip set to suit.
I Lived It was far from disgraced on his debut in a better race and subsequently worked well in the mornings.
20:08 – Hunka Burning Love has produced some good Beyer Speed Figures in defeat recently but is hard to win with so a chance is taken with Morse Code.
Molly Pearson’s gelding has been running well on turf this year but won on dirt at Turf Paradise last December and should relish this trip.
20:39 – This looks like a good opportunity for Town Champ to add to his 3 wins at this meet. He produced a career best when winning 2 weeks ago and is difficult to oppose. Silver Ride won on the meet’s opening night and although he hasn’t built on it could be the one give Town Champ most to think about.
21:10 – There’s plenty of early pace here so it could be worth taking a chance on Tringale who should be able to get a nice position behind the pacesetters before pouncing down the stretch. Old boy Wilbo loves it round here and whilst he may not be the force is another who should have the race run to suit him.
21:42 – Tapsolute hasn’t won since October 2018 but has plenty going for him here. Firstly, he is having his third run of the meeting having improved for each of his first two. Secondly, he’s reunited with the meet’s leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr who was the last man to win on him. Determinant is another to consider back up in trip.
22:14 – Robertino Diodoro is the meet’s leading trainer and looks to have another excellent chance with Nomizar. She was an impressive winner here last month and whilst this is a deeper race she looks to be the one they all have to beat.
Ready to Runaway produced her career best Beyer Speed Figure when finishing 2nd last time out but hasn’t been given the best of draws.
22:45 – This is the first of two stakes races on the card and all eyes will be on Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings. He’s bidding to get his career back on track after a disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
However, preference is for Long Weekend who has won both of his starts since returning from a break and looks ready for this step up in grade.
23:16 – The feature race of the card has produced a high-class field including three-time Grade 1 winner Bellafina. Simon Callaghan’s superstar is having her first run of the year so is worth opposing with fellow Grade 1 winner Mia Mischief. Who looked as good as ever when cruising to a two length victory here last month.
23:47 – Copper King is a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and multiple Grade 1 winner Dullahan. Whilst he’s always going to live in the shadows of his siblings achievements ought to be winning this.
Anything Todd Pletcher runs always merits respect so Unrighteous is another to consider in the lucky last.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.