Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus The Article iPad Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas

Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

by Rick Lee | April 28, 2021 at 2:42 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 Dunph in the second

BEST BET She Got It in the third

LONG SHOT Lil Tater in the fourth


MEET 153-456 (33.6%)


••••confident choice

•••plenty to like

••things to like

•educated guess

1 Purse $27,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $12,500

TOIL AND TROUBLE•• was narrowly defeated, while almost 5 lengths clear of third, in a vastly improved effort April 9. HANEY BOYS finished one position in front of the top selection early in the meeting, and the front-runner has held his form. ACE GILFORD made a determined rally in a second-place finish, and the steadily improving gelding keeps veteran rider Luis Quinonez.


1 Toil and TroubleThompsonBarkley3-1

4 Haney BoysMedinaGladd5-2

6 Ace GilfordQuinonezVon Hemel9-2

7 ScyntzMoralesRussell6-1

5 Squared StraightTorresVillafranco7-2

2 That DudeBowenMilligan15-1

3 ConfessVazquezGreen6-1

1a Stone SecretCamachoRengstorf3-1

2 Purse $27,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $7,500

DUNPH•••• has finished in the money in two of three races at the meeting while competing at a significantly higher class level, and he races for high-percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro for the first time. GRAY HOPE is dropping to the lowest claiming price of his career for leading trainer Steve Asmussen, and he drew a favorable two-turn post position. FULL OF RUN has not raced since December, but the late runner has the class and talent to win at this low level.


2 DunphCohenDiodoro9-5

1 Gray HopeCabreraAsmussen8-1

8 Full of RunCamachoMason7-2

4 Chicory BlueVazquezDiodoro9-2

6 Witch DoctorTorresMorse7-2

9 Kid's MischiefBowenMcKnight8-1

7 SkycraftArrietaHusak30-1

3 Pop LifeLopezGarcia15-1

5 Lucky Be a LadyWDe La CruzFires20-1

3 Purse $27,000, 51/2 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $12,500

SHES GOT IT•••• has finished second in a pair of $50K maiden claiming races. She has early speed and looks difficult to beat in a bottom-level maiden-claimer. SUPER STEAMY finished well behind the top selection in her last race. She did finish a close second in her previous race, which was at a higher claiming price. AMBITIOUSLY PLACED has finished second in a sprint and route race at the meeting. The recent beaten post-time favorite switches to a hot rider.


5 Shes Got ItCabreraCatalano5-2

8 Super SteamyCohenMaker3-1

4 Ambitiously PlacedTorresHartman7-2

2 PlayfulmisssamuraiBowenMoysey15-1

7 Crescendo BlingQuinonezDurham5-1

6 I Pick PhoebeArrietaGreen6-1

1 Wicked ChocolateFletcherLoy20-1

3 B RewardingLopezRhea20-1

9 Carrillo StreetMoralesWilliams20-1

4 Purse $28,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up who have never won three races, claiming $12,500

LIL TATER•• defeated state-bred conditioned-claimers by 6-widening lengths, and she put good races in succession last season at Oaklawn. FRENCHIE FROU FROU finished a nonthreatening third in a $30K conditioned-claimer, but she is dropping in class and has won two races at the meeting on a wet track. ABRAMAX finished second only two races back at this condition, and a return to her Kentucky form of last season will make her tough to beat.


2 Lil TaterWDe La CruzStuart6-1

1a Frenchie Frou FrouArrietaBroberg5-2

7 AbramaxBowenHartman9-2

8 Lucky Every DayCohenDiodoro5-1

4 Joy in the JourneyCabreraMatthews7-2

3 Beauty DayHarrDonaldson6-1

6 Red LingerieQuinonezMartin15-1

1 French CharmTorresBroberg5-2

5 Tiger BaitVazquezVance12-1

5 Purse $35,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $30,000

SHE'SSKYSTHELIMIT•• raced close to the pace in an encouraging sixth-place debut. She is dropping in price and switching to a leading rider. CANDY RUNNER was forwardly placed before steadily retreating in her debut. She was claimed by a red-hot stable, and her recent workouts are improved. I'M BOSSY contested the pace in a competitive fourth-place finish. The lightly raced and improving filly is a logical contender for winning connections.


8 She'sskysthelimitArrietaVon Hemel9-2

1 Candy RunnerTorresSadler6-1

7 I'm BossyVazquezVillafranco7-2

2 Blame the Red CatBowenMilligan6-1

3 Making ProgressWDe La CruzMcKnight3-1

9 Light ShiftCabreraMoquett6-1

5 Nisi PriusQuinonezWitt6-1

6 Bobbin TailMoralesSmith20-1

4 Stormy MattieCanchariMedina20-1

6 Purse $27,500, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, Arkansas-bred, claiming $12,500

PAY DIRT•• lost a late lead in a competitive effort against slightly better, and he receives a positive rider change. He may be near the good form he showed last summer at Prairie Meadows. SMELLIN CANDY has finished in the money in consecutive races at the level, but the morning-line favorite has not won a race since 2019. GOOSE ALMIGHTY broke his maiden sprinting on March 5, and he returns to his preferred distance after racing close to a fast pace in a route.


9 Pay DirtCabreraMartin7-2

10 Smellin CandyArrietaGreen5-2

4 Goose AlmightyWDe La CruzMartin8-1

1 RockthepulpitCamachoRengstorf9-2

8 African WarriorBowenPrather8-1

7 ThornishVazquezMoquett9-2

2 DemigodCohenMcBride12-1

5 Rusty CageQuinonezWitt8-1

3 It's Bellamy TimeThompsonRhea20-1

6 Fire Two Point OWalesWestermann15-1

7 Purse $93,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, maiden special weight

BERRY GOOD••• raced four-wide in a strong and clear second-place debut, and she has a license to show more with an improved break from the gate. SIANARA has shown good early speed in a pair of competitive races at the meeting. The two-time beaten favorite is dangerous, especially if the track is wet. MUSIC APP has contested the pace in two competitive races at the meeting, and she may relax better from her outside draw.


3 Berry GoodCanchariRobertson5-2

4 SianaraCabreraAsmussen2-1

7 Music AppQuinonezVon Hemel3-1

6 Northern DiamondWDe La CruzMartin8-1

5 Satin RoseTorresSharp8-1

1 More RomanceVazquezMoquett6-1

2 Miner's QueenArrietaAsmussen10-1

8 Purse $106,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, allowance

BYE BYE J••• is a two-time restricted stakes winner at Oaklawn who was beaten 2 lengths in the Downthedustyroad. She figures to find the winner's circle at this lower level. MATAPAN finished second in front of the top mare in the Downthedstyroad, and she returns to Oaklawn after two races at Delta Downs. PRINCESS LILLI BUG has not raced since September, but she recorded a fast maiden victory at Indiana. She appears to be working well for a winning team.


6 Bye Bye JCabreraAsmussen5-2

1 MatapanThompsonGonzalez4-1

11 Princess Lilli BugArrietaContreras10-1

7 Hillary GVazquezVance3-1

9 Proud VictoriaTorresMoquett10-1

4 Hissy MissyCanchariHornsby10-1

2 Kaboom BabyQuinonezWitt5-1

3 Too PrettyBowenPeitz15-1

5 Willow MoonHamiltonMason15-1

8 OochieHarrDeatherage15-1

10 SattersfieldHebertWilliams30-1

9 Purse $27,500, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, Arkansas-bred, claiming $10,000

TAILORBESWIFT•• finished second behind a lone-speed winner just 13 days ago. She has good speed and the fastest Beyer figure in the field. JANET'S ROCKET set the pace and held on gamely in a maiden victory. The lightly raced filly is properly spotted to be a repeat threat. FAST SOPHIA failed to rate comfortably in a fourth-place finish against similar, and she should work out a stalking trip in a field with plenty of early speed.


8 TailorbeswiftArrietaContreras2-1

5 Janet's RocketWDe La CruzCates4-1

3 Fast SophiaBowenPrather6-1

9 Aunt SunshineTorresDeville6-1

1 Gold N SexyHebertChleborad15-1

10 Line of FaithQuinonezCangemi9-2

7 Warm BeautyMoralesRhea10-1

6 Lil' FancyCabreraMartin12-1

11 Lady PriestHarrDeatherage30-1

2 Five RiversLopezHornsby12-1

4 Dena's Bold MoveHamiltonAshauer20-1


SHES GOT IT looks difficult to beat in the third, and I'll pair her in a double with FRENCHIE FROU FROU and LIL TATER in the fourth. It's not often I suggest a cold exacta, but the eighth race looks like the type by putting BYE BYE J over MATAPAN.


Sponsor Content