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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL., March 12, 2021 — The focus moves to the center of country and farther west as Oaklawn Park, back on a regular schedule, finally gets to run the G2 Rebel Stakes this Saturday. But wait, there’s more—seasonal debut the of a champion.

Aqueduct is in action with the Correction Stakes but Gulfstream Park was forced to reschedule the G3 Hurricane Birdie until next weekend after the race failed to fill. However, there are two interesting maiden allowances for three-year-olds, one on each surface, one with an HRI Horse to Watch.

The true headliner is the return of 2020 three-year-old filly champion Swiss Skydiver. Appropriately, given her history, she will be shipping 3,000 miles from her winter base to Santa Anita for the Grade 1 Beholder Stakes. Recall that this throwback filly won the Santa Anita Oaks last season.

However, this is a Grade 1 return, no soft spot obviously, and the one-mile trip and rail draw signals that she will be forced to keep pace with veteran California speed throughout, no easy task under the best of circumstances.

While ‘Skydiver’ fired a bullet five furlongs in an albeit unintended 58-flat last weekend at Gulfstream Park, she shows only five works since her troubled BC Distaff trip. Hence, the buy-word is caution, even for her biggest boosters–the Daredevil chestnut attracted our 2020 Horse of the Year vote.



WORTHY FAVORITE:  3-Amuse (8-5)

VALUE BET:  2-Sadie Lady (6-1) to win at 4-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 2.3.5.   Exacta Box: 2.3.6.   Trifecta KEY: 2 // 3.5.6.  Trifecta Wheel 3.5.6  //  2  // 3.5.6



WORTHY FAVORITE:   7-Bears Watching (5-2)

VALUE BET:   3-Jerry’s Turn (20-1) to win at 12-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box:  3-7.   Trifecta Wheel:  7  //  //  Trifecta Wheel  //  7  //


WORTHY FAVORITE:   8-Fly Like an Eagle (5-2)

VALUE BET:  6-Please The Pharoah (12-1) to win at 8-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box: 2.6.8.   Exacta Box: 4.6.8.   Exacta Box:  5.6.8.



WORTHY FAVORITE:  7-Jolie Olimpica (3-1)

VALUE BET:  Jolie Olimpica to win at 8-5 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta:  7 // 2.3.  Exacta Key Box:  7 // 2.3.   Trifecta Wheel:  7 // 2.3 //


WORTHY FAVORITE:  1-Swiss Skydiver (8-5)

VALUE BET:  4-Saneus (4-1) to win at 5-2 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box:  1.4.6.  Exacta Box: 4.6. Exacta Key Box:  4 // 1.6.  


G2 AZERI STAKES        Race 5

WORTHY FAVORITE:   5-Shedaresthedevil (2-1)

VALUE BET:  3-Letruska (3-1) to win at 2-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box 3.4.5.  Trifecta KEY 3 // 4.5 // 4.5.  Trifecta Wheel 4.5 // 3 // 4.5


WORTHY FAVORITE:  6-Whitmore (8-5)

VALUE BET:  2-Flagstaff (9-2) to win at 3-1 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Box  2.6.7.    Exacta KEY Box 2 // 6.7.

G2 REBEL STAKES      Race 11

WORTHY FAVORITE:  1-Caddo River (9-5)

VALUE BET:  7-Concert Tour (2-1) to win at 3-2 or greater

EXOTICA:  Exacta Wheel 1.7 //   Trifecta Wheel 1.7 // 1.7 // 2.6.

Trifecta Wheel 1.7 // // 

As always, bets are proportional using all applicable minimums — except $2 win. 

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3 Responses

  1. Saturday March 13, 2021.

    Oaklawn Park

    5th race- Multiple graded stakes winner Letruska (3) Undefeated at the distance and 1/2 with a third at OP. 3 with the 1,2. Note: Shedaresthedevil, 3/5 lifetime wins are at Churchill, Best figure is at Churchill, Will be the favorite off a layoff. This may be a prep for a grade 1.

    7th- Harper’s First Ride. Throw out his last and you have 79 day’s that any of his 3 races before that are good enough to crush this field. Graded stakes winner 4/6 at the distance. Diodoro hitting 30% and Diodoro/Cohan 24% strike rate at OP. Night Ops (7) Good works for Brad Cox, second off layoff 5/10 at distance on 6 lifetime wins. Sitting on ready. Use those 2 on top and add the 4,5 underneath

    11th- THE REBEL. Looks chalky except for one horse who is fast enough to get a piece and maybe upset the field. Big Lake (2) getting the acid test for Asmussen (24%) and Santana (22%) jockey/trainer. Last 2 races had far outside posts now moves to the 2 hole. Outside to inside, saving ground on a good line. Low weight pulls 5 pounds from ML favorite. (12-1) looks juicy. Key the 2 with the usual suspects to get the exotic cash. 2 with the 1,6,7.

    8th race at GP-1 1/2 miles on turf.

    After only 2 races in 2020 and 2 good ones off a 286 day layoff. coming off a nice pair in 3rd race back ready, willing and able. Draws inside for Klesaris. 2 with the 4,5,7

    Good luck to all and as always “Let’s go get those bad guys” Vin.

  2. Vino,

    Didn’t know what to do with Harper’s First Ride. There’s not much to separate Diodoro from Gonzalez, although barn changes are always interesting. Thanks for playing the home version of our little game!

  3. Sunday morning recap after another exciting day of racing. Baffert Baffert Baffert, we begin with Rebel Stakes and the eye catching performance by Concert Tour. Nothing new here, Baffert ships East and wins another graded stakes race. Except, this was suppose to be a lot tougher win for Concert Tour. You had the quick and fast Caddo River breaking from post 1 so you assumed he’d get the early lead. Not so fast my friend. Clearly jockey Rosario was given clear instruction to break for the lead. He did and once he cleared the first turn, the race was virtually over. I mean OVER.

    Concert Tour handled his first time around two turns in only his third career start perfectly. Just for spite, Baffert’s other lightly raced shipper Hozier finished second. Where does Concert Tour stack up in the Baffert barn? I’d say he is now hitting second behind Life is Good. Indeed life is good these days in the Baffert barn.

    Let’s turn our attention to race favorite Caddo River. He appeared to be a bit rank going into the first turn. And he never really settled into stride. It looked like he did not like being rated. Jockey Geroux had his hands full trying to control him. When asked, he was empty. I suspect you’ll see Caddo River on the lead in his next start.

    Keepmeinmind in his first start as a three-year-old made a brief run on the turn but flattened out in the stretch. He looked like a horse who needed a race. I except him to be ready and primed to fir a winning shot in his next start.

    Swiss Skydiver return was a perfect 10 at Santa Anita. Ultra professional effort which will set her up for her next start in her march to Eclipse Award.

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