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Rick Lee's selections and analysis

by Rick Lee | March 27, 2021 at 9:18 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 Top Gunner in the fourth

BEST BET Tempt Fate in the 10th

LONGSHOT Sevier in the first


MEET 86-264 (32.6%)

* * * * confident choice

* * * plenty to like

* * things to like

* educated guess

1 Purse $45,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $30,000

* *SEVIER set a fast pace and continued clear to the finish in a sharp return from a layoff, and he has the back class to move up and repeat. D'RAPPER has raced competitively against slightly better in two races at the meeting, and he switches to leading rider Ricardo Santana Jr. MUSIC TO MY EARS has not raced since November, but he sports good looking works for new and winning connections.


4 Sevier;Torres;Broberg;6-1

3 D'Rapper;Santana;Villafranco;3-1

5 Music to My Ears;Mojica;Contreras;7-2

1 Champagneonme;Arrieta;Sadler;5-2

2 Harper;Bowen;Moysey;4-1

6 Sedaris;Vazquez;Villafranco;5-1

2 Purse $35,000, 5 1/2 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred, maiden claiming $30,000

* *OLIVIAN has lost a lead in the stretch in both of her starts, but she is dropping into a state-bred maiden-claiming race for the first time and is strictly the one to catch. SERIOUSLY SASSY has a series of encouraging workouts leading up to her career debut, and she has landed in a soft maiden field. RUN FEARLESS is another showing speed before tiring in her races, and she also is dropping in class.


1 Olivian;De La Cruz;Martin;5-2

5 Seriously Sassy;Eramia;Von Hemel;8-1

7 Run Fearless;Court;Fires;4-1

6 Flirtatious Smile;Mojica;Martin;8-1

4 Jeri Dawn;Wales;Fires;6-1

2 Do Me a Favor;Santana;Asmussen;7-2

3 Peanut;Thompson;Jackson;5-1

8 Calico Dreamer;Morales;Rhea;15-1

3 Purse $27,500, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races, claiming $10,000

* *SOLDIER BOY has done all of his best running with blinkers off, and he is taking a significant drop in class and recorded a swift breeze March 16. CHICKEN TRUCK sprinted consistently well last season at Indiana, and he is training smartly for his return to the races. HOOKED A GOODWIN is back sprinting following a wire-to-wire route victory, and the improving gelding had a nice subsequent workout.


5 Soldier Boy;Camacho;Vance;5-2

8 Chicken Truck;Cabrera;Garcia;7-2

2 Hooked a Goodwin;Bowen;Deville;6-1

6 Run Away Son;Talamo;Deville;8-1

4 Wings Up;Gonzalez;Morse;5-1

3 East Moon Lake;Harr;Rhea;8-1

1 Gotta Love Ike;Tohill;Martin;4-1

7 Boo Reid;FDe La Cruz;Haran;20-1

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

* * * *TOP GUNNER showed speed and talent in two races last season in southern California, and the freshened runner has looked good in five consecutive breezes. KHAKI JACK had to overcome trouble in the stretch in a fifth-place finish, and the lightly raced colt switches from an apprentice to a leading rider. WESTERN PHAROAH is having blinkers removed following a useful front-running route, and new trainer Jason Barkley is having a good meeting.


3 Top Gunner;Torres;Sadler;5-2

7 Khaki Jack;Arrieta;Vance;6-1

6 Western Pharoah;Gonzalez;Barkley;5-1

5 Murdo;Court;Lukas;4-1

4 Jack Luvs Nova;Harr;Moysey;3-1

2 New Dice;Cabrera;Litfin;10-1

8 Battle Hero;Mojica;Chleborad;8-1

1 Major Chance;Wales;Fires;20-1

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

* *ROCK RIDGE set a moderate pace before quickly drawing off to an 11-length maiden victory, and he was claimed by a stable having a terrific meeting. He should also be stalking a contested pace. NILES CHANNEL is a strong late-running sprinter, who should get a fast early pace to run at. THE BIG BLUFF fired off the bench breaking his maiden last March for current connections, and he appears to be training well for his return to the races.


6 Rock Ridge;Gonzalez;Green;5-2

3 Niles Channel;Vazquez;Villafranco;7-2

1 The Big Bluff;Arrieta;Hobby;8-1

4 Bode's Light;Morales;Garcia;5-1

7 Southside Swig;Court;Ortiz;4-1

2 Wyoming Conquest;Loveberry;Rosin;6-1

5 Greater Cairo;Cabrera;Moquett;8-1

8 Hard to Park;Harr;Cline;20-1

6 Purse $27,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $62,500

* *BITUMEN has broken tardily in two fourth-place finishes at the meeting, and the Steve Asmussen trainee is taking a significant drop and is the one to fear inside the final furlong. BALANDEEN has been on the bench since August, but he is the speed and class of the field, and his recent workouts appear good. WHITE WOLF won consecutive races last fall at Indiana, and he is taking a double class drop following an even effort in his 2021 debut.


9 Bitumen;Santana;Asmussen;7-2

3 Balandeen;Arrieta;Becker;2-1

5 White Wolf;Gonzalez;Manley;10-1

8 Hubbadahubbadaboom;Loveberry;Martin;9-2

4 Little No Way;Torres;Villafranco;6-1

1 Impunity;Morales;Garcia;5-1

1a Unscathed;Morales;Garcia;5-1

7 Flashymeister;Hebert;Williams;12-1

6 Deacon;FDe La Cruz;Haran;15-1

2 Bar Stool Budget;Court;Puhl;20-1

7 Purse $38,000, 1 1/16 miles, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $20,000

* * *INTREPID HEART was a determined winner at this level in his second start at the meeting, and the lightly raced 5-year-old has a strong five-for-13 win record. OMEN OF CHANGE was one-paced in two sprint races this meeting, but he was claimed by a high percentage stable and the gelding is stretching out to his best distance. KNIGHTS KEY is a versatile runner with big races on dirt, turf and wet tracks. He also represents a strong connections.


4 Intrepid Heart;Cabrera;Broberg;2-1

1 Omen of Change;Cohen;Diodoro;6-1

5 Knights Key;Arrieta;Maker;9-2

7 Sonny Smack;Santana;Von Hemel;9-2

2 Mississippi;Talamo;Moquett;8-1

6 Shweet Persuasion;Gonzalez;Villafranco;5-1

3 Pickford;Vazquez;McKnight;12-1

8 Purse $40,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

* *THOMAS SHELBY has sprinted competitively this season against stronger opposition, has proven two-turn ability and drew an advantageous post. SOLOMONIC has finished in the money in five of his past six races, and the two-time beaten favorite switches to the leading rider. BLUERIDGE MOUNTAIN has been a clear winner of consecutive conditioned claiming races, and he may be sharp enough to defeat open rivals.


1 Thomas Shelby;Cohen;Diodoro;4-1

8 Solomonic;Santana;Maker;7-2

7 Blueridge Mountain;Bridgmohan;Amoss;5-2

9 Urbanite;Mojica;McKnight;6-1

2 Derby Code;Cabrera;Barkley;12-1

4 Catholic Guilt;Court;Martin;5-1

5 Aztec Empire;Arrieta;Contreras;6-1

6 Optimus Kat;Vazquez;Lukas;12-1

3 All Eyes West;Gonzalez;Barkley;8-1

9 Purse $110,000, 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, allowance

* *ISTAN COUNCIL owns two recent stake-placed finishes, and she has tactical speed and is effective on fast and wet tracks. VAULT may have moved too soon when taking command in the stretch and getting late in an optional claimer, and she figures tough in the third race of her form cycle. BEACH FLOWER took advantage of a fast and contentious pace when rallying to defeat a talented field in her 2021 debut.


3 Istan Council;FDe La Cruz;Jones;5-2

2 Vault;Talamo;Cox;9-5

6 Beach Flower;Arrieta;Robertson;5-2

5 Blessed Again;Torres;Prather;8-1

1 Piece of My Heart;Cohen;Robertson;9-2

4 Goodbye Earl;Morales;Vance;10-1

10 The Nodouble Breeders', Purse $150,000, 6 furlongs, colts and geldings, 3-year-olds and up, Arkansas-bred

* * *TEMPT FATE set a fast and contested pace before kicking clear in a sharp three-length allowance victory, and the winner of two in a row figures difficult to run down. MAN IN THE CAN won two state-bred stakes last season at Oaklawn, and he has improved in each start this season and may get the fast pace he needs to rally and win. K J'S NOBILITY splashed his way to a clear win in the 2020 Nodouble, and he stands an improved chance of repeating if the track comes up wet.


4 Tempt Fate;Talamo;Deville;5-2

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

1 K J's Nobility;Borel;Borel;7-2

7 J.E.'s Handmedown;Arrieta;Lund;10-1

9 Bandit Point;Harr;Cline;6-1

5 Bebop Shoes;Gonzalez;Borel;6-1

2 Captain Don;WDe La Cruz;Von Hemel;5-1

3 Glacken's Ghost;Canchari;Robertson;10-1

6 Reef's Destiny;Cohen;Cline;15-1

11 Purse $93,000, 1 mile, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

* *CASH ROCKET finished second in a fast two-turn maiden route at Fair Grounds, and he posted a strong subsequent breeze. STILLETO BOY has been forwardly placed in three in-the-money sprint finishes, and he recorded a bullet five-furlong breeze last Saturday. CAERUS was pressured through a quick early pace in a deceptive two-turn debut effort, and typical second-out improvement will make him a major threat.


8 Cash Rocket;Talamo;Stall;3-1

6 Stilleto Boy;FDe La Cruz;Anderson;5-1

1 Caerus;Santana;Asmussen;7-2

10 Cryo;Arrieta;Cox;5-1

7 Mr. Wireless;Vazquez;Calhoun;8-1

11 Right Tone;Cohen;Diodoro;12-1

9 Hanks;Morales;Garcia;12-1

4 W W Crazy;Gonzalez;Becker;8-1

2 Dupuis;Eramia;Peitz;10-1

3 Ram;Court;Lukas;15-1

5 Happy Romance;Cabrera;Asmussen;12-1

Exotic possibilities

The second race starts a double and I like Olivian and Seriously Sassy, and I recommend using Soldier Boy and Chicken Truck in the third. The seventh race begins a Pick-5 and my top three selections need to be on a ticket. The eighth race is contentious and I'll go four deep. I prefer Vault and Istan Council in the ninth. Tempt Fate is a single for me in the 10th. The 11th race is competitive and I like my top four selections.


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