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Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

by Rick Lee | February 12, 2021 at 2:19 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 Secret Mistress in the seventh

BEST BET Nifty in the second

LONG SHOT Handy in the fourth


MEET 25-90 (27.8%)

* * * * confident choice

* * * plenty to like

* * things to like

* educated guess

1 Purse $22,500, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $10,000

BIG BIZ appears to be the speed of the speed, and he is taking a significant drop for winning connections. MAJOR KONG has recorded a third- and second-place finish at this condition, and he is the most consistent runner in the field. SPIN RATE broke last of 12 in a deceptive sprint tune-up, and the class dropper is wearing blinkers for the first time.


1 Big Biz;Vazquez;Villafranco;2-1

5 Major Kong;Cabrera;Garcia;5-2

3 Spin Rate;Torres;Moquett;15-1

6 Georgia Deputy;Loveberry;Petalino;7-2

8 River Finn;Morales;Haran;9-2

7 Highlight Reel;Felix;Donaldson;15-1

4 Foxy Ace;De La Cruz;Smith;12-1

2 Stash the Cash;Camacho;McBride;10-1

2 Purse $50,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $62,500

*NIFTY is a powerful late-running sprinter who is dropping into a claiming race after a solid stake effort, and the pace figures fast enough to set up his late run. STRIKE THAT won races at Keeneland and Saratoga in 2020, and he was a two-time winner last season at Oaklawn. SOUL STREIT has won three consecutive races for trainer Tom Amoss, and he is a major threat if able to beat Town Champ to the lead.


3 Nifty;Tohill;Hartman;5-2

5 Strike That;Cohen;Diodoro;5-1

4 Soul Streit;Bridgmohan;Amoss;2-1

6 Town Champ;Felix;Compton;7-2

2 Madison's Luna;Garcia;Bauer;12-1

1 Impressed;Vazquez;Mason;9-2

3 Purse $22,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $10,000

CASH LIGHT has shown good speed in three of her four published works, and she picks up a top rider in David Cabrera. RED ROCKET GIRL closed her debut preparations with an encouraging 5-furlong gate drill, and she is a half-sister to a pair of runners who have earned over $200K. CYBER SNEAKER is adding blinkers and taking a big drop after a one-paced career debut.


5 Cash Light;Cabrera;Martin;5-2

3 Red Rocket Girl;Camacho;Martin;3-1

10 Cyber Sneaker;Hamilton;Mason;4-1

8 Morning Valentine;Morales;Soto;7-2

4 Five Rivers;Loveberry;Hornsby;20-1

9 Olmagirl;De La Cruz;Compton;6-1

1 Heart to Break;Tohill;Martin;6-1

7 Ima Sure Bet;Wales;Hewitt;20-1

2 Marquee Cowboy;Harr;Rhea;20-1

6 Cloudywithachance;Felix;Medina;30-1

4 Purse $32,000, 1 1/8 miles, 4-year-olds and up who have never won two races, claiming $30,000

HANDY raced competitively at a higher level in Kentucky, and he is taking a drop in class after a dull effort on a muddy track. VASARIANO contested the pace in a third-place finish at Churchill Downs, and trainer Steve Asmussen has been spotting horses where they can win. QUARTERBACK DAK has been consistently competitive on the main track, and he appears to be working smartly for new trainer Al Cates.


1 Handy;Arrieta;Vance;6-1

8 Vasariano;Santana;Asmussen;4-1

3 Quarterback Dak;Court;Cates;3-1

6 First Rate;Garcia;Maker;9-2

7 Jacks Fire Balls;Mojica;Van Berg;4-1

5 Turn the Switch;Rosario;Hess;9-2

4 Perfect Sense;Bridgmohan;Amoss;10-1

2 Draw the Line;De La Cruz;Haran;12-1

5 Purse $82,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden special weight

*FORSAKEN trained well before a third-place debut at Fair Grounds, and he is strictly the one to beat with a drop into state-bred racing. TWISTED DIXIE broke poorly in a second-place debut last winter at Oaklawn, and he appears to be training well in blinkers for his 2021 unveiling. INTO ORBIT earned a competitive Beyer figure in a second-place finish at Lone Star, and he is another sporting sharp workouts up to his seasonal debut.


14 Forsaken;Cohen;DeVaux;8-1

4 Twisted Dixie;Harr;Cline;3-1

10 Into Orbit;Thompson;Barkley;6-1

3 James's Moonshine;Tohill;Hartman;5-1

9 Dinner At Crumpies;Hamilton;Hornsby;8-1

7 Broadway Jerry;Santana;Prather;10-1

13 Cinco Catalina;Santana;Sadler;9-2

11 J's Little Man;Cabrera;Martin;4-1

1 Ducktail;De La Cruz;Stuart;10-1

12 Stomping Hotrod;Gonzalez;Mason;6-1

5 I Stan for Love;Court;Martin;30-1

2 Traffic Control;De La Cruz;Cangemi;15-1

8 Strategic Affair;Eramia;Milligan;12-1

6 Kat's Hitman;Wales;Hewitt;30-1

6 Purse $27,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $16,000

*RARE FORM was a clear one-turn mile winner at this level at Churchill, and he is a graded stake-placed runner racing for high-percentage connections. ROCKSHAW has won three of his four races at Oaklawn. He has worked fast at the meeting, and he was scratched earlier in the meeting for this race. I BELONG TO BECKY was caught inside the final yards in a narrow defeat at Del Mar, and he figures near the lead from gate to finish line.


3 Rare Form;Cohen;Diodoro;3-1

7 Rockshaw;Gonzalez;Contreras;8-1

9 I Belong to Becky;Arrieta;D'Amato;6-1

2 Basic Chance;De La Cruz;Martin;9-2

6 Pat Daddy;Cabrera;Barkley;4-1

1 Bitumen;Santana;Asmussen;9-2

4 Harper;Loveberry;Moysey;10-1

8 Gigging;Tohill;Hartman;8-1

5 Coach dams;De La Cruz;Compton;12-1

7 Purse $30,000, 6 furlongs, fillies, 3-year-olds, maiden claiming $30,000

SECRET MISTRESS was beaten only a neck in her debut at Gulfstream while crossing the wire 7 lengths clear of the third-place finisher. She is also treated with Lasix for the first time. NAVY LADY is dropping a notch after setting the pace and tiring in her 2021 debut. She likely needed the race and should improve. SIMONA'S CHOICE splashed her way to a second-place finish in her career debut at Remington, and she drew outside of her speed rivals.


3 Secret Mistress;Rosario;Moquett;5-2

4 Navy Lady;Morales;Hollendorfer;7-2

9 Simona's Choice;Eramia;Milligan;9-2

10 Fortuna Adiuvat;Cabrera;Lukas;6-1

6 Diva Rosa;De La Cruz;Fires;6-1

1 Wildwood Flash;Arrieta;Becker;8-1

11 Len's Gold;Court;Swearingen;30-1

8 X Marks the Spot;Gonzalez;Barkley;8-1

2 Tango Cinco;Mojica;Smith;12-1

5 Carillo Street;Fletcher;Williams;30-1

7 Smoking Bossa Nova;De La Cruz;Williams;30-1

8 Purse $85,000, 1 mile, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming

KIM K followed a clear allowance win at Churchill with a strong third-place finish in the She's All In at Remington. Subsequent breezes have been strong and frequent. PIECE OF MY HEART won consecutive races over this track last season, including the Gardenia. She raced well in a subsequent graded stake at Delaware. DREAMALILDREAMOFU defeated second-level allowance runners at Fair Grounds by 9-widening lengths. She has route speed and winning connections.


5 Kim K;Santana;Asmussen;5-2

7 Piece of My Heart;Arrieta;Robertson;5-1

3 Dreamalildreamofu;Rosario;Cox;3-1

2 Mizzen Beau;Cabrera;Casse;2-1

4 Beach Flower;Cohen;Robertson;8-1

6 Goodbye Earl;Thompson;Vance;12-1

1 Ghaaleb the Great;Gonzalez;Becker;10-1

9 Purse $27,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, starter allowance

*FROST OR FRIPPERY was a clear winner at this same level on opening day while overcoming a poor post. Moreover, he has won six of nine career races at Oaklawn. BODE'S MAKER finished a close second behind the top selection, but the steadily improving gelding seems to prefer minor placings to winning. DARREN'S FORTUNE has won his last two races at Mountaineer by a combined margin of 39 lengths, and he has won a race at Churchill.


1 Frost Or Frippery;Rosario;Cox;8-5

7 Bode's Maker;Cohen;McKnight;9-2

10 Darren's Fortune;Felix;Van Berg;6-1

4 Gambler's Fallacy;Arrieta;DiVito;6-1

5 Dont Tell Nobody;Loveberry;Villafranco;6-1

9 Red Again;Garcia;Shorter;10-1

2 Canadian Game;De La Cruz;Martin;8-1

8 Ruler of the Nile;Santana;Sharp;10-1

6 Ucanthankmelater;Cabrera;Matthews;15-1

3 Uphold;De La Cruz;Haran;30-1

Exotic possibilities

Handy should be a good price in the fourth, and I'll play doubles to Twisted Dixie, Into Orbit and Forsaken in the fifth. The seventh starts a Pick-3, and Secret Mistress is a single. In the eighth, I recommend using my top three selections, and the final race has another single in Frost Or Frippery.


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