There will still be a leading horse race contested on the first Saturday in May.
Instead of Run for the Roses, the Arkansas Derby will consider the spotlight of the holy weekend on May 2, pushed back from the original race date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So at the Arkansas Derby venue on Saturday afternoon, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs will run Oaklawn Stakes worth $ 200,000 for a 3-year-old child in preparation for the main.
While no Kentucky Derby qualification points will be at stake this weekend, the race has attracted 13 entrants, including the highly respected Thousand Words (5-2) from Bob Baffert’s warehouse.
The posting time for the 1 1/8-mile race is 6:48 and Race 11 is on the card. Oaklawn betting can be seen on Fox Sports Saturday on Races on FS1 from 1:30 – 7 pm. EDT or on TVG Trackside Live from 4 – 8 pm. EDT.
Next see the entry for the Oaklawn Stake (post positions, horses, trainers, jockeys, ML opportunities in parentheses):
1 – Basin (Asmussen, Geroux, 7-2). Hot at the start of the meeting, coach Steve Asmussen has been very calm. Liam’s Map son came out of third place in the Rebels which earned him 10 Derby points. He needed points and looked for sharp efforts in preparation for the local Derby. He had to improve in the second race of layoffs and pull the rails with Florent Geroux up. A great place.
2 – Coach Bahe (Bauer, Sanjur, 20-1). Take Indy Engineer not to fire on the Rebels, completing the fifth shot with long odds. He never ran on the fast dirt track so there were still a few questions about his abilities. He made a big jump in class last time and had to enjoy class relief. Can be a factor under exotic.
3 – Mr. Big News (Calhoun, Saez, 30-1). Similar to Coach, he came out of a ho-hum attempt at Risen Star and a ship from NOLA to straighten it. His speed figure has moved forward and he will enjoy a considerable distance so that he might be able to finish it too late to pick up a piece.
4 – Thousand Words (Baffert, Talamo, 5-2). With Santa Anita closed, Baffert needed to make the winner Robert B. Lewis race. A flat effort at San Felipe gave handicappers a respite at prices that might be short. Which must be defeated and the right time to tell the attitude of the contrarian.
5 – Sir Rick (Diodoro, Cohen, 15-1). Winner of Mine Derby Bird on Sunland Park ship to face steeper competition. Son of Paynter has made two major efforts in 2020 and will likely be at the front end here. Interesting.
6 – Shoplifting (Asmussen, Santana, Jr., 10-1). Asmussen placed the first racer on the Ricardo Santana Jr. above the boy in the red robe to Mischief. Not tracked since finishing fourth in February at Southwest, the donkey has 13 Derby points and a big show in the Arkansas Derby could make him jump into a big dance. Looking for a big rebound.
7 – Jack’s Flap (Sisterson, Beschizza, 20-1). Oxbow’s Longshot son runs for the second time this year for the esteemed Calumet Farm. Do two rounds for the first time, which is not a good bet. Difficult pass.
8 – Taishan (Baltas, Rosario, 8-1). California-based coach, Richard Baltas, won a great racer at Joel Rosario and won a solid victory in deciding the choice on the home track that produced high-speed fig. Twirling Candy’s child might peak at the right time. Dangerous.
9 – Digital (Calhoun, Hernandez, 8-1). Fair Grounds Shippers will try their nails in Oaklawn after layoffs. Bored at Risen Star and the breed shows he would rather run fast. His last attempt gave me enough pause to throw.
10 – Something Natural (Cox, De La Cruz, 20-1). Child Violence has a rough start on Turfway in the latter and always seems to give an honest effort. The steps in class from some solid work to see if he has what it takes to move forward on the path. On the fence.
11 – Background Puhich, Rocco, Jr., 12-1). Khozan’s gill, who was racing lightly, was badly beaten in an optional claimant who entered the race. His figure has increased every race so he can surprise, but it will likely be in the middle of the group when he crosses the line.
12 – Farmington Road (Pletcher, Garcia, 6-1). The son of Road Road trained by Todd Pletcher arrived late (and very wide) at Risen Star. If the steps are hot, he is your winner who comes from the clouds. A must be used in exotics and the outside gate should not be a factor because of its running style.
13 – Gold Street (Asmussen, Baze, 20-1). The winner of Smarty Jones on the Oaklawn strip returned to a miserable performance in the Southwest. He must lead earlier than the far post to get the starting position. If you draw a line through the last one, it’s logical, but it’s hard to pull the trigger.
Post Time Outlook: 1 – Farmington Road, 2 – Taishan, 3 – Thousand Words; 4 – Mr. Rick
Gene Kershner, a grass writer based in Buffalo, is a member of the National Field Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweeted @EquiSpace.
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