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Rick Lee's Oaklawn selections and analysis

by Rick Lee | March 5, 2021 at 2:35 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 Vault in the eighth

BEST BET Riptide Rock in the sixth

LONG SHOT Viva Violence in the fourth


MEET 43-147 (29.3%)

* * * * confident choice

* * * plenty to like

* * things to like

* educated guess

1 Purse $39,000, 1 mile, fillies, 3-year-olds, starter optional claiming

* * MELTING SNOW proved stubborn on the lead in a sprint victory. She was claimed by a sharp stable, and she is bred to carry her speed this far. IT'SFIFTYSHADETIME was getting to the top selection late in a second-place sprint finish, and she is another with a two-turn pedigree. WEST SIDE GIRL broke her maiden by 6-widening lengths in a decisive maiden victory, and she is an improving filly who may get a favorable pace setup.


4 Melting Snow;Vazquez;Amoss;3-1

7 It'sfiftyshadetime;Bridgmohan;Amoss;7-2

2 West Side Girl;Arrieta;Hollendorfer;2-1

1 Artie's Rose;Santana;Maker;9-2

5 Golden Grant;Cabrera;Ortiz;6-1

3 Moonshine Dancing;Gonzalez;Barkley;15-1

6 More Is More;Torres;Villafranco;8-1

2 Purse $23,000, 1 mile, 3-year-olds and up, maiden claiming $10,000

* *LAUTREC failed to fire in a one-race experiment in blinkers, but the hood comes off and the beaten favorite at Turfway is dangerous with a return to his Churchill form. REINSURE was beaten only a neck, while 3 lengths clear of third, in his first race at Oaklawn. MAJESTIC DAY has not raced since June, but he raced competitively off the bench last winter at Oaklawn, and his recent workouts are encouraging.


8 Lautrec;Cabrera;Handal;12-1

7 Reinsure;Torres;Prather;7-2

1 Majestic Day;Hamilton;Mason;5-2

11 Dance an Irish Jig;De La Cruz;Frederick;9-2

2 Gainer;Santana;Moquett;15-1

9 Beau Book;Manrrique;Zito;6-1

10 Moral Standard;Morales;Ortiz;30-1

5 Hooked a Goodwin;Bowen;Deville;5-1

4 Faction;Court;Vance;20-1

6 Filly Ray Cyrus;Rocco;Puhich;20-1

3 Got It All;Camacho;Holthus;30-1

12 Shine Jack's Dream;Fletcher;Loy;20-1

3 Purse $23,500, 5 1/2 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races, claiming $10,000

* * FLATOYA is taking a significant drop in class for high percentage trainer Robertino Diodoro, and she appears the controlling speed. MS FALSETTO has finished with energy in a pair of solid races at the meeting, and she is adding blinkers for new and winning trainer Karl Broberg. DULCIMER DAME broke her maiden this winter at Fair Grounds, and she has better speed than she has shown in two recent races on turf.


2 Flatoya;Cohen;Diodoro;5-2

5 Ms Falsetto;Cabrera;Broberg;4-1

3 Dulcimer Dame;Santana;Wiggins;5-1

1 Some Would Say;Loveberry;Rosin;3-1

7 Justatapin;Camacho;Hewitt;15-1

9 Dixieland Dream;Gonzalez;Barkley;8-1

8 Whoville;Morales;Puhl;6-1

6 Western Attire;Harr;Cline;20-1

4 Lady Priest;Court;Deatherage;30-1

4 Purse $63,000, fillies, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

* * VIVA VIOLENCE is an unraced filly by an excellent first-out sire, and she has good workouts dating back to July for winning connections. GRAN MANNA was forwardly placed in a fourth-place debut last summer at Ellis, and she figures stronger and faster as a 3-year-old. FOUNDER'S DAY has a series of encouraging works leading up to her debut, and she represents the powerful stable of trainer Brad Cox.


4 Viva Violence;FDe La Cruz;Cox;8-1

6 Gran Manna;Santana;Asmussen;4-1

7 Founder's Day;Talamo;Cox;2-1

5 Baby Cloud;Cabrera;Ortiz;6-1

3 Right Trappe;Arrieta;Hobby;3-1

1 Emerald Princess;Evans;Robertson;5-1

2 Polyester Bride;Canchari;Robertson;10-1

5 Purse $22,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $7,500

* * CALIFORNIA SWING is dropping to the lowest price of his career, and the eight-time winner should be rallying behind a contentious pace. YOU SPLIT TENS is taking a double-class drop following a useful front-running third-place finish. DRIVEN TO COMPETE tired inside the final furlong in his return from a long layoff, and he has a license to show marked improvement.


5 California Swing;Cohen;Diodoro;5-2

1a You Split Tens;Vazquez;Mason;6-1

7 Driven to Compete;Gonzalez;Contreras;10-1

3 Rocko's Wheel;Santana;Asmussen;5-1

4 Chicory Blue;Harr;Broberg;9-2

6 Witch Doctor;Arrieta;Morse;7-2

9 Always a Catch;Loveberry;Martin;10-1

10 Kid's Mischief;Morales;McKnight;15-1

8 Never Even Called;Cabrera;Garcia;20-1

1 Hinton;Vazquez;Mason;6-1

2 Determinant;Eramia;Holthus;30-1

6 Purse $88,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds, allowance optional claiming

* * * RIPTIDE ROCK lost a late lead in a narrow defeat when making his first start around two turns, and he is slightly raced and figures difficult to catch. KINETIC SKY wore blinkers for the first time and responded with a 3-length maiden win at Fair Grounds. The Brad Cox trainee has steadily climbing Beyer figures. COUSIN LARRY crossed the wire 4 lengths behind the top selection, but he may not have cared for the muddy footing.


2 Riptide Rock;Arrieta;Hollendorfer;9-5

5 Kinetic Sky;Garcia;Cox;2-1

3 Cousin Larry;Torres;Jones;9-2

1 Notary;Cabrera;Lukas;5-1

6 Big Union;Talamo;Cox;9-2

4 Back Ring Luck;Court;Cates;10-1

7 Purse $40,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $35,000

* * TRUE CASTLE won a pair of allowance races at Lone Star before closing 2020 with a strong second-place allowance finish at Remington, and he has won two of five races at Oaklawn. CHERISHED scored two wire to wire victories last season at Oaklawn, and he used his speed to advantage winning three of four races at Remington. PERUVIAN APPEAL is a good finisher in a field with plenty of speed, and he has high-powered connections.


6 True Castle;Vazquez;Diodoro;9-2

9 Cherished;Cohen;Diodoro;5-2

10 Peruvian Appeal;Santana;Cox;7-2

7 Full of Grace;Talamo;Robertson;6-1

4 A.P. Princess;Arrieta;Contreras;10-1

5 A Thousand Reasons;Morales;Ortiz;6-1

8 Final Form;WDe La Cruz;Martin;10-1

1 Ghaaleb the Great;Rocco;Becker;8-1

3 Wicked Flashback;Bridgmohan;Barkley;15-1

2 Sandy Sangria;Quinonez;Rosin;20-1

8 Purse $90,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, allowance optional claiming.

* * * * VAULT refused to break as a post-time favorite in the Pippin, but she recorded a strong subsequent gate workout. The stake winning mare is spotted to win. PIECE OF MY HEART was an upset winner of the Gardenia last season at Oaklawn, and she is a front-running threat if fit following a lengthy layoff. MUCHO AMOR rallied to third in a sprint stake at Delta, and she does have proven route ability.


6 Vault;Talamo;Cox;5-2

4 Piece of My Heart;Santana;Robertson;5-1

8 Mucho Amor;Rocco;Puhich;3-1

7 Luna Fortis;Gonzalez;Contreras;3-1

1 Goodbye Earl;Thompson;Vance;8-1

3 Beach Flower;Arrieta;Robertson;10-1

5 Jennemily;Cabrera;Hiles;8-1

2 Blessed Again;Torres;Prather;12-1

9 Purse $31,500, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $30,000

* * IMA BLING CAT was forwardly placed in a fourth-place finish at Remington, and new trainer Karl Broberg has him training smartly with blinkers on. He also competes in restricted company for the first time. JAMES'S MOONSHINE is a three-time second-place finisher who does have a Beyer figures advantage, but he appears better suited to route distances. RIANTE SKY broke last when finishing sixth in a fast-paced maiden race, and he had a good subsequent breeze Feb. 24.


8 Ima Bling Cat;Mojica;Broberg;4-1

12 James's Moonshine;Tohill;Hartman;6-1

1 Riante Sky;Eramia;Milligan;20-1

7 Papa Star;Cabrera;Stuart;3-1

4 Explosive Humour;Court;Martin;5-1

6 Goose Almighty;WDe La Cruz;Martin;5-1

3 Rolling Fork;Vazquez;Ortiz;8-1

2 Serbian Sailor;Hamilton;Ashauer;10-1

5 Warning Label;Harr;Cline;20-1

13 One Way Street;Tohill;Martin;10-1

10 Data Storm;Loveberry;Martin;15-1

9 No Cussing;Thompson;Dixon;20-1

11 Dixie's Hero;Roman;Deatherage;30-1

Exotic possibilities

I like Flatoya and Ms Falsetto in the third race so I'll pair them with Viva Violence in a double. The seventh begins a Pick-3, and I believe it can be narrowed down to True Castle and Cherished. The eighth race has a single in Vault, and the ninth may come down to Riante Sky, Ina Bling Cat and James's Moonshine.


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