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Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

by Rick Lee | April 30, 2021 at 2:17 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 Happymac in the 11th

BEST BET Man in the Can in the 10th

LONG SHOT Hello Darling in the sixth



••••confident choice

•••plenty to like

••things to like

•educated guess

1 Purse $27,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $7,500

••ALL SHACKED UP has recorded a pair of second-place finishes at the meeting, and he drew a good post for a sprinter with early speed. STRATE REMARK has excellent early speed. The beaten odds-on favorite was claimed by a winning stable and carries less weight with an apprentice rider aboard. HE'S NO BULL finished second at a higher claiming price just two races back, and he has a high percentage trainer-rider team.


8 All Shacked Up;Arrieta;Hartman;9-2

7 Strate Remark;Lopez;Cox;4-1

9 He's No Bull;Vazquez;Diodoro;3-1

4 Impressive Student;Cabrera;Asmussen;5-1

2 Weast Hill;Torres;Stuart;6-1

6 Ceeky;WDe La Cruz;Van Berg;12-1

1 El Venue;Canchari;Morse;12-1

3 Tough Stuff;Jimenez;Villafranco;6-1

5 College Party;Bowen;Litfin;10-1

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

••DOUBLE BOGEY showed improved early speed in a clear second-place finish April 16, and the lightly raced gelding drew a favorable pos. Trainer Ernie Witt saddled two winners Wednesday. PAPA STAR has been forwardly placed in three consecutive second-place finishes, and the two-time beaten post-time favorite is the one to beat. ROLL DINERO ROLL has lost a late lead in consecutive in-the-money finishes, and he is switching to a winning rider.


9 Double Bogey;Canchari;Witt;4-1

1 Papa Star;Cabrera;Stuart;5-2

5 Roll Dinero Roll;Vazquez;Garcia;3-1

6 Twisted Dixie;Harr;Cline;6-1

8 Storm Classic;Quinonez;Cangemi;9-2

4 Holding Pattern;Bowen;Swearingen;10-1

3 Putter;WDe La Cruz;Cates;15-1

7 Gonna Getcha;Camacho;Martin;20-1

2 Straticus;Thompson;Dixon;30-1

3 Purse $29,500, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $20,000

•••TORIN followed a game maiden win over this track with a solid front-running effort at Keeneland. He is dropping in claiming price and figures near the lead throughout. GREATER CAIRO is the speed of the speed, and the recent Diodoro acquisition may prove difficult to catch. SHANGHAI'S DREAM is dropping in class after a dull effort as a post-time favorite, but his previous race was a good third at a higher claiming price.


8 Torin;Arrieta;Ortiz;3-1

2 Greater Cairo;Vazquez;Diodoro;6-1

6 Shanghai's Dream;Cabrera;Asmussen;5-1

3 Niles Channel;Canchari;Rosin;6-1

4 The Big Bluff;Thompson;Anderson;6-1

1 Day Trip;WDe La Cruz;McKnight;8-1

7 Cascade King;Bowen;Milligan;4-1

9 Gainer;Camacho;Riecken;8-1

5 I'm a Special Star;Harr;Cline;20-1

4 Purse $28,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $16,000

••VERY SPICY contested the pace in a competitive fourth-place finish. She is taking a slight drop and shortening up a tad in distance. NATURAL JEWEL has had less than ideal trips in two sixth-place finishes, and she looms a late danger if able to work out a clean trip. MARQUEE COWBOY has been forwardly placed in consecutive route races, and turning back to a sprint distance may be what she needs to run her best race.


6 Very Spicy;Harr;Fires;3-1

11 Natural Jewel;Wales;Jackson;4-1

10 Marquee Cowboy;Morales;Rhea;15-1

2 Allofourdreams;Quinonez;Cangemi;9-2

7 Epworth;Arrieta;Morse;6-1

4 Marilyn's Magic;Camacho;Martin;5-1

1 Angel Arkie;Jimenez;Martin;12-1

8 Skadi;Canchari;Durham;15-1

12 Cyber Affair;WDe La Cruz;Martin;20-1

9 Moro Magic;Cabrera;Hartman;12-1

3 Alittlebitofsmarty;Fletcher;Deatherage;30-1

5 Calico Dreamer;Lopez;Rhea;30-1

5 Purse $27,000, 1 mile, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $12,500

••DAVIDIC LINE is taking a significant drop in class after a useful fifth-place sprint finish, and most of his best races have been around two turns. OUTLIER has earned competitive Beyer figures, and he is stretching out for the first time for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox. LAUTREC scored a clear two-turn maiden victory for leading connections, who have him spotted to return in a conditioned claiming route.


6 Davidic Line;Arrieta;Morse;7-2

5 Outlier;Garcia;Cox;5-2

1a Lautrec;Cabrera;Asmussen;8-1

11 Major Kong;WDe La Cruz;Petalino;6-1

4 Conquistador Show;Thompson;Anderson;6-1

9 Big Biz;Vazquez;Villafranco;9-2

8 Bode's Light;Torres;Garcia;8-1

1 Astrologer;Bowen;Asmussen;8-1

3 Shake It;Quinonez;Jackson;30-1

10 Stash the Cash;Lopez;McBride;20-1

7 Hard to Park;Harr;Cline;30-1

2 Funandfunny;Jimenez;Loy;30-1

6 Purse $36,000, 1 mile, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

••HELLO DARLING is a restricted stake winning mare who has a consistent late run, and she drew into a field that figures to produce a fast early pace. DESCENTE has crossed the wire first in five of her last seven races, and she is another who will appreciate a contested pace. LAURIEANN easily defeated the top selection two races back, but she was a dull fifth as a post-time favorite in a subsequent race.


8 Hello Darling;WDe La Cruz;Martin;6-1

10 Descente;Garcia;Hollendorfer;3-1

4 Laurieann;Cabrera;Martin;5-1

1 Kasserine Pass;Vazquez;Green;10-1

7 Perfect Ice Storm;Torres;Sadler;4-1

2 Breeze Rider;Morales;Manley;8-1

5 Fleeta Belle;Canchari;Vance;12-1

11 Indian Bella;Arrieta;Vance;8-1

9 Monkey Mind;Bowen;Hartman;12-1

3 Boathouse View;Lopez;Frazee;20-1

6 Lady McKenzie;Jimenez;Garcia;20-1

7 Purse $31,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

••SKAMANIA raced close to an honest pace and slowly drew clear in a similar spot April 17, and the six-time winner typically holds her form well. RAGATAGTAG finished with energy when second behind the top selection, and she has a consistently competitive record at Oaklawn. ETERNAL ENDEAVOR ships from Santa Anita after three consecutive in-the-money finishes. She is racing for top trainer Robertino Diodoro for the first time.


6 Skamania;Torres;Moysey;7-2

9 Ragatagtag;Canchari;Chleborad;9-2

5 Eternal Endeavor;Vazquez;Diodoro;5-2

10 Triple Scout;Lopez;Cox;12-1

7 Fabulous Girl;Thompson;Dixon;6-1

3 Big Tiny;Cabrera;Broberg;8-1

1 Between the Hedges;Bowen;Asmussen;4-1

2 Undecidedcertainty;Harr;Cline;12-1

8 Mary Alice;Quinonez;Milligan;20-1

4 Stylin Uptown;Jimenez;Esquivel;20-1

8 Purse $105,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

••D' RAPPER was beaten a nose, while 7 lengths clear of third, in a strong runner-up finish at this level. The in-form veteran is seeking his 19th win. GALLANT PLUNGER continues up the class ladder after consecutive 2-length wins for the lead stable. TRASHTALKINYANKEE was a wet track winner earlier in the meeting, and he earned a competitive Beyer figure in a second-place finish April 17. Expect a late run.


5 D' Rapper;Vazquez;Villafranco;3-1

9 Gallant Plunger;Cabrera;Asmussen;7-2

6 Trashtalkinyankee;Garcia;Van Berg;8-1

1 Chipofftheoldblock;Torres;Lauer;5-1

2 Plane Talk;Canchari;Robertson;10-1

4 Gordy Florida;WDe La Cruz;Smith;8-1

7 Ship It Red;Bowen;Lund;10-1

10 Principe Guilherme;Camacho;Diodoro;15-1

8 Deflater;Harr;Cline;12-1

12 Gray Attempt;Arrieta;Hartman;12-1

3 Champagneonme;Quinonez;Garcia;15-1

11 Well Connected;Jimenez;Garcia;15-1

9 Purse $108,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

•••EMPIRE OF GOLD lost a late lead when fourth in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Sprint. He is making his second start of the season after a competitive third-place finish in the Grade III Count Fleet. SHASHASHAKEMEUP has finished powerfully in winning both of his races at Oaklawn, and there is plenty of speed signed on in the race. SHARE THE UPSIDE has an impressive record while winning consistently on any surface.


2 Empire of Gold;Cabrera;Eoff;2-1

1 Shashashakemeup;Garcia;Miller;5-2

4 Share the Upside;Torres;Asmussen;5-1

5 Royal Daaher;Vazquez;DiVito;9-2

6 Engage;Arrieta;Asmussen;3-1

3 Mr. Jagermeister;Bowen;Lund;8-1

10 The Arkansas Breeders' Championship. Purse $200,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred

•••MAN IN THE CAN won this stake in 2020, and the 4-year-old colt had a strong sprint tune-up. He is a better runner this season. TEMPT FATE has been a decisive sprint winner in all three of his races this season, including a stake victory over the top selection. He will try to lead past every pole. BANDIT POINT has a consistent and strong late kick, and he could pull an upset with the right pace setup.


11 Man in the Can;Cabrera;Moquett;9-2

8 Tempt Fate;Torres;Deville;5-2

10 Bandit Point;Harr;Cline;8-1

1 Glacken's Ghost;Canchari;Robertson;6-1

4 The Mary Rose;Garcia;Cox;7-2

5 Promising Shoes;Jimenez;Tracy;30-1

9 Prospector Fever;Arrieta;Broberg;10-1

12 Cinnamon Victory;Camacho;Medina;12-1

6 Implicator;Thompson;Moquett;12-1

3 Destiny Way;Bowen;Deville;30-1

2 C H Jay;Quinonez;Loy;20-1

13 Iza Daddy;Vazquez;Diodoro;15-1

7 Navy Seal;Borel;Swearingen;15-1

11 Purse $93,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

••••HAPPYMAC pressed a rapid early pace in a deceptively strong second-place return to the races. He figures fit and will appreciate an abbreviated sprint distance. STAR SAILOR has finished in the money in both of his previous sprint races on the main track, and the John Sadler trainee possesses a powerful late run. COAL TOWN ROAD should be fit after a pair of 6-furlong gate works, and trainer Mac Robertson knows how to win with a first-time starter.


13 Happymac;Cabrera;Asmussen;9-5

12 Star Sailor;Torres;Sadler;3-1

5 Coal Town Road;Canchari;Robertson;6-1

11 Wicked Mad;Arrieta;Asmussen;7-2

2 Do Right;Garcia;Maker;8-1

7 Maxim Moment;Vazquez;Diodoro;9-2

4 Hard Cash;Borel;Hollendorfer;15-1

3 Justin Speight;Cabrera;Brennan;8-1

10 Khozan's Success;Quinonez;Becker;10-1

8 Tiz Life;Jimenez;Hobby;8-1

6 Hpnotiq Rhythm;Bowen;Lund;12-1

1 Church Service;Harr;Cline;30-1

9 Talktoeachother;WDe La Cruz;Swearingen;30-1

Exotic possibilities

Hello Darling should get a perfect setup in the sixth race, therefore, I'll put her on top in a trifecta wager. I'll use my next seven horses in the middle and selections two through four at the bottom. The eighth race begins a Pick-4, and I like my top three selections. The ninth race should come down to my top two picks. The 10th race is likely to come down to Tempt Fate and Man in the Can. I believe Happymac is a solid single in the 11th.


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