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Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

by Rick Lee | April 18, 2021 at 8:56 a.m.
FILE — Horses and jockeys break from the starting gate at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

LEE'S LOCK Honoring Major in the fifth

BEST BET Ambitiously Placed in the seventh

LONG SHOT Southside Swig in the sixth



••••confident choice

•••plenty to like

••things to like

•educated guess

1 Purse $28,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $16,000

LAUTREC•• was beaten less than 2 lengths in his return from a freshening, and the beaten post-time favorite was claimed by leading trainer Steve Asmussen. MR. PETERKIN has raced competitively at a higher maiden classification. He was claimed by a winning trainer who is having his blinkers removed. WESTERN PHAROAH broke a touch slow in a fifth-place finish only two races back, and he returns to his best distance after a disappointing sprint.


2 Lautrec;Santana;Asmussen;2-1

4 Mr. Peterkin;Morales;McKnight;4-1

1 Western Pharoah;Gonzalez;Barkley;3-1

5 Wherever He Is;Arrieta;Martin;7-2

6 Little Chief;Cabrera;Broberg;5-1

3 Majestic Day;Hamilton;Mason;8-1

2 Purse $29,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $20,000

REDIVIVUS•• led every stride but the last few in a tough-luck defeat as an even-money favorite. He is lightly raced and eligible to keep improving. PAPA STAR has been close to the pace in three second-place finishes at the meeting, and he is switching to the leading rider. ROLL DINERO ROLL may be the speed of the speed, and he is capable for new connections.


5 Redivivus;Quinonez;Witt;5-2

6 Papa Star;Santana;Stuart;3-1

7 Roll Dinero Roll;Cabrera;Garcia;7-2

3 Private Truth;WDe La Cruz;Martin;5-1

8 Stomping Hotrod;Hamilton;Mason;6-1

2 My Little Tip;Morales;Rhea;20-1

9 My Fortunate Son;Tohill;Martin;8-1

4 Hoss J W;Thompson;Dixon;30-1

1 Braska;Harr;Cline;20-1

3 Purse $34,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $16,000

DIXIE MO•• easily defeated entry-level allowance runners closing out 2020 at Remington, and the consistent fast-track runner finished second on a muddy track in his Oaklawn debut. SEEDS OF TIME defeated the top selection on a wet track, and he is back in for $16,000 after an even effort against better. BREEZE RIDER defeated $15,000 rivals by 5-widening lengths at Fair Grounds, and the front-running threat has worked fast for new connections.


2 Dixie Mo;Santana;Asmussen;7-2

1 Seeds of Time;Cohen;Hollendorfer;5-2

5 Breeze Rider;Arrieta;Manley;2-1

6 Sunset Paula Jo;Gonzalez;Von Hemel;5-1

3 Fiery Lady;Eramia;Milligan;9-2

4 Boathouse View;Tohill;Frazee;10-1

4 Purse $42,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

KATZARELLI•• finished a close fourth in his first route race in better than eight months. Subsequent breezes have been swift, and he appears to be sitting on a top effort. FRA MAURO has not raced since November, but the Steve Asmussen trainee holds a class advantage and appears to be working well. PAYNTER PARTY overcame traffic trouble on the backstretch when defeating $30K conditioned claiming rivals, and he keeps hot rider David Cabrera.


2 Katzarelli;Bridgmohan;Amoss;5-1

5 Fra Mauro;Santana;Asmussen;5-2

6 Paynter Party;Cabrera;Villafranco;7-2

7 Wild Union;Vazquez;Miller;3-1

1 My Boy Gus;Torres;Broberg;9-2

4 Aztec Empire;Arrieta;Contreras;6-1

3 Reinsure;WDe La Cruz;Puhl;20-1

5 Purse $32,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, starter allowance

HONORING MAJOR•••• finished fast in a strong second-place finish when racing for trainer Robertino Diodoro for the first time, and a similar effort likely puts him in the winner's circle. EXULTING crossed the wire one position behind the top selection after carving out moderate fractions. KNIGHTS KEY finished second behind a runaway winner in his return from a layoff. He has route speed, and he is a two-time winner at Oaklawn.


4 Honoring Major;Cohen;Diodoro;7-2

7 Exulting;Santana;Maker;5-1

6 Knights Key;Arrieta;Hollendorfer;5-2

5 Meistermind;Vazquez;McKnight;4-1

1 Canadian Game;WDe La Cruz;Martin;6-1

3 Kurilov;Quinonez;Shorter;5-1

2 Bobby Baby;Cabrera;Rosin;10-1

6 Purse $36,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $30,000

SOUTHSIDE SWIG•• set a suicidal pace in a deceptively good fourth-place finish, and kinder rating from new rider David Cabrera can get him home first. MAHOMES showed steady improvement throughout 2020, and he fired fresh last season at Prairie Meadows. He sports good looking recent workouts. F F ROCKET rallied past the top pick in a second-place finish two races back, and he is back sprinting after tiring in a route against better.


10 Southside Swig;Cabrera;Ortiz;8-1

1 Mahomes;Gonzalez;Chleborad;10-1

3 F F Rocket;WDe La Cruz;Martin;4-1

2 Jackman;Torres;Broberg;8-1

12 Shanghai's Dream;Santana;Asmussen;3-1

5 Niles Channel;Arrieta;Litfin;5-1

11 Chicken Truck;Wales;Westermann;12-1

7 All Eyes West;Thompson;Barkley;12-1

4 Rise Up Redhawk;Eramia;Von Hemel;6-1

8 Love My Ride;Canchari;Chleborad;15-1

9 Hooked a Goodwin;Bowen;Puhl;20-1

6 Jingle;Morales;Lauer;12-1

7 Purse $29,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $20,000

AMBITIOUSLY PLACED••• was clearly best when beaten only a nose in a troubled trip March 28, and she has been consistently good in sprint races. INCLUDEANATTITUDE finished debut preparations with a bullet gate workout, and she picks up a red-hot rider in David Cabrera. QUEENS GIFT is dropping to the lowest price of her three-race career, and she is back sprinting and keeps the leading rider.


1 Ambitiously Placed;Tohill;Hartman;2-1

4 Includeanattitude;Cabrera;Litfin;12-1

5 Queens Gift;Santana;Moquett;9-5

7 Just Life;Arrieta;Puhich;5-1

2 O K Baby;WDe La Cruz;Puhl;6-1

3 W W Valid;Morales;Becker;5-1

6 Stormy Mattie;Gonzalez;Soto;8-1

8 Purse $106,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, allowance

ZANSHOES•• was beaten only 1 length against open rivals in a second consecutive strong sprint effort, and early trouble compromised her when finishing behind a couple of these in a previous route. TOO PRETTY is moving up an allowance condition after a game two-turn win, and three subsequent breezes have been upbeat. HISSY MISSY has finished with energy in three in-the-money finishes at the meeting, and a well-timed rally by new trainer Quincy Hamilton may get the job done.


1 Zanshoes;Harr;Cline;6-1

6 Too Pretty;Thompson;Peitz;3-1

5 Hissy Missy;Hamilton;Hornsby;7-2

7 Flatoutandfoxy;Borel;Borel;6-1

3 Superstar Bea;Arrieta;Robertson;5-1

9 Florida Bird;WDe La Cruz;Martin;8-1

8 Bettyann;Eramia;Smith;12-1

11 Dutch Treat;Cabrera;Morse;8-1

10 Starrgarita;Torres;Prather;12-1

4 Tiddly;Quinonez;Witt;15-1

2 Sattersfield;Fletcher;Williams;30-1

9 Purse $27,500, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $12,500

FLOWER HOUSE•• was caught five wide through the turn in a second-place finish sprinting 7 furlongs at Houston. She is the leading money earner and drew an advantageous post. WILD ESCAPE scored a determined two-turn maiden victory, and she got a confidence lift when the runner-up came back to post a sharp maiden win. COMPETITIVE FIRE has rallied from far back in consecutive runner-up finishes at this maiden classification. She may need a faster pace than what is expected out of this group.


1 Flower House;Santana;Asmussen;9-2

5 Wild Escape;Vazquez;Chleborad;6-1

6 Competitive Fire;Arrieta;Holthus;5-2

8 Jewel Azul;Cabrera;Broberg;7-2

9 Ike Likes;Gonzalez;Barkley;6-1

3 Mocha Kiss;Harr;Stuart;15-1

4 Unburnt;Cohen;Swearingen;12-1

2 Longntall;Torres;Ortiz;8-1

11 Shoot Me Straight;Thompson;Barkley;15-1

7 I'm Excee;Canchari;Jacquot;20-1

10 Amelia's Bonnet;Lopez;Gonzalez;20-1

Exotic possibilities

The fourth race starts a Pick-3, and the race seems to come down between Katzarelli and Fra Mauro. The fifth may have a single in Honoring Major, or others may want to use three. The sixth is wide open and spreading out in hopes of a big number is recommended. The seventh race starts another Pick-3, and I like Ambitiously Placed and Includeanattitude. I recommend my top three in the eighth race, and my top three in the ninth.


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