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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

IN SEARCH OF FAST FOOTING, I’LL BE WITH YOU IN APPLE BLOSSOM TIME

We’re letting the weather handicappers point me in the direction I prefer to go. Every map I looked at promised rain in South and North Florida but for a change, meteorologists say it will be dry in Hot Springs on Saturday so off we go.

We’ll attempt to make a tiny score in a Pick 3 at Oaklawn Park starting with the seventh race for older horses going a mile, followed by oft-entertaining Grade 3 Count Fleet sprint and concluding with a wide open optional allowances sprint going three-quarters.

The drama could be over quickly as the play will be to single Dessman (5-2) in the first leg. It’s a master-of-obvious scenario as Martin Garcia reunites to Bob Baffert with the class dropping, fast working allowance runner-up here last year, almost enduring a tough trip going two turns as a 1-2 favorite.

The blinkers are back on today, a 32% profitable angle for this barn, with a horse making it’s second start this year. Since that sprint, he’s worked four times, including a two-turn seven-eighths move at SA before an April 13 half mile blowout on today’s track. Sitting on go with serious intent.

Things open up after that as we’ll spread with five horses in the second leg: fast working Flagstaff (7-2) for Team Sadler/ Rosario; Bobby’s Wicked One (3-1) who rates to benefit from his recent return; talented Hidden Scroll (4-1) for Bill Mott in search of blacktype; Horse for Course Whitmore (5-2), and price shot Share the Upside (10-1) for suddenly resurgent Steve Asmussen.

To finish up, we’ll go four deep in the ninth with Course Horse and trip loving Shanghai Trail (5-2); value-laden Headland (10-1), who loves it here, and an uncoupled pair from Brad Cox, improving Meadow Dance (4-1) and Break Even (3-1), getting class relief and Rosario.

The cost of a 50-Cent P3 is $10. Should we succeed, and even if not, we’re taking a stand with Street Band (15-1) in the Apple Blossom, who would represent value at half of her early line quote.

Larry Jones trained 4-year-old makes her second start this year after chasing a loose Serengeti Empress in speed-favoring slop here in the G2 Azeri March 14. She tired in midstretch as if short of top condition, but that shouldn’t be the case here.

Jones put her on the fence twice since that event, going 59 4/5 then following up with a bullet breeze in 59-flat. Her Grade 1 win at this trip in the Cotillion last year at Parx improved her record at the trip to (8) 4-0-2.

She has tactical speed to put her in this, a good mid-post in a large field, Sophie Doyle rides her like she owns her, going back to March of 2019 and the filly can kick.

If Doyle can work out a trip, her filly is fast and classy enough to run down these talented girls late. How about old school W-P-S and an exacta box with two other price shots, Ollie’s Candy (12-1) and Lady Apple (15-1).

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6 Responses

  1. Riders Up!

    9:44AM Oaklawn Park #10
    $1 Exacta Box – 1 + 6 + 13
    Wager Total: $6

    9:43AM Oaklawn Park #10
    $2 Win/Place/Show – 6
    Wager Total: $6

    9:42AM Oaklawn Park #7
    $0.50 Pick 3 – 5/2 + 4 + 7 + 9 + 10/1 + 4 + 5 + 6
    Wager Total: $10

    If any of this pays out, Toni wins a free Social Distance Shirt John. 100% of the profit from the sale of the shirts by the way will be donated to The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation in support of their response to Covid-19. All contributions are deductible. The link is oldsmokeclothing.com/social-distancing-tee/
    * I am adding an ^ symbol in case URL is rejected from posting. Often a problem when copying URL links: old^smokeclothing.com/social-distancing-tee

    Many years back a good friend I was meeting with parked at his mother’s house in Elmont and walked over to the Belmont Stakes in order to avoid the traffic jam exiting the park. As he walked along Hempstead Turnpike towards the grandstand gate, a guy was hawking t-shirts at the corner on Plainfield Ave on the east side of the track. Here’s his comment recalling his enterance. “So a cute woman with a drink in hand pops her head out of the side screen door of a Winnebago and calls out “Hey Mister, How much you want for the shirts?” Before the man even has time to respond, a second robust woman moves next to her, takes off her top and inquires “Hey Mister, Do I get a discount for these?.

    “Lady” the man replied, “You just won yourself a free shirt.”

    I’ll wager half the cost of the tickets above John, that this one puts a smile on Photos by Toni’s face. 😄

  2. John:
    I couldn’t agree more that Street Band is absolutely the play and you’re right also about her being value at 8-1 or so. Makes one wonder what the ML oddsmaker was thinking but it’s not an easy job. Serengeti Empress is obviously a very nice filly but she could not have had an easier time of it in the Azeri on a speed favoring wet track and the other speed not breaking.

  3. Good analysis, JP.

    I’m going to toss her last and single Break Even in Leg 3.

    Also, I can’t leave out Lexingtonian in Leg 2.

    I hope I don’t lose my shirt in this sequence. LOL

  4. I,
    I’m also forgiving Break Even’s last and, like the man said, you’ve got to single somewhere; these late races very challenging at OP…

  5. TTT

    You can thank Wild Popit for your win. Dessman can’t hold a candle to Everfast, who broke my heart; alas, the best horse does not always win, or maybe I’m just a sore loser and a right-wing conspiracy theorist.

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