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Rick Lee's Oaklawn picks and analysis

by Rick Lee | January 7, 2022 at 1:55 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 Tap for Me in the seventh

BEST BET Lightning Hart in the second

LONG SHOT Futile in the third

SUNDAY'S RESULTS 2-9 (22.2%)

MEET 36-111 (32.5%)

****confident choice

***plenty to like

**things to like

*educated guess

1 Purse $27,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $10,000

SANDY SANGRIA** closed her Remington campaign with a clear sprint victory at today's $10,000 claiming price. She is training smartly for new and winning trainer Karl Broberg. WAR BALLAD has not raced since September, but she won following a similar layoff last summer at Delaware, and trainer Chelsey Moysey has already saddled three winners at the meeting. HENRY'S DEAL defeated allowance rivals kicking off her 2021 season last March at Oaklawn, and she is dropping to the lowest price of her career.


2 Sandy Sangria;Vazquez;Broberg;5-2

4 War Ballad;Hiraldo;Moysey;8-1

6 Henry's Deal;Tohill;Loy;10-1

1 Could You;Franco;Puhl;9-2

7 Mongolian Lotus;Santana;Villafranco;2-1

8 Tapalong;Lopez;Manley;8-1

1a Sophie's Angel;Pereira;Puhl;9-2

5 Courtly;Gonzalez;Chleborad;6-1

3 Lovely Lady;Cabrera;Green;30-1

2Purse $84,000, 6 furlongs, Arkansas-bred, fillies, 3-year-olds, maiden special weight

LIGHTNING HART*** pressed a strong early pace before surrendering to an odds-on winner in an encouraging career debut, and she figures to benefit from the experience and may find herself on an easy lead. PUNCHY GIRL crossed the wire a neck in front of the top selection in her first race, while rallying behind a swift pace. TRULY A ROCKET sports a pair of nice gate workouts, and trainer Ernie Witt II excels with first-time starters.


10 Lightning Hart;Harr;Dixon;7-2

9 Punchy Girl;Gonzalez;Barkley;3-1

8 Truly a Rocket;Canchari;Witt;6-1

6 Valentine Angel;Vazquez;Prather;5-1

5 Gold Strategy;Wales;Hornsby;15-1

2 War Music;Santana;Ortiz;6-1

1 Pattern Bet;Cabrera;Moquett;8-1

4 Hamazing Debate;Borel;Gonzalez;15-1

11 Satet;Bailey;Moquett;15-1

7 Twentytwentyredo;Lopez;Creighton;30-1

3 Sober Sunday;Tohill;Petalino;12-1

3Purse $32,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, claiming $16,000.

FUTILE** finished second in his last three sprint races in Kentucky, and he is back at his best distance following a useful route effort. He is also a three-time winner at Oaklawn. ALEX'S STRIKE won two of his four races in 2021 at Oaklawn Park, and he owns competitive Beyer figures. He races for top trainer Robertino Diodoro for the first time. TAPPIN FORA DANCE has finished in the money in four consecutive races. He possesses good early speed and has winning connections.


3 Futile;Arrieta;Hartman;5-1

6 Alex's Strike;Cohen;Diodoro;7-2

4 Tappin Fora Dance;Santana;Villafranco;3-1

5 Verrazano First;Vazquez;Broberg;8-1

7 California Swing;Contreras;Compton;7-2

8 River Ruler;Gonzalez;Young;6-1

1 Tomato Bill;Hiraldo;Contreras;8-1

2 Chakra;Court;Cash;15-1

4 Purse $34,000, 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up, starter optional claiming

WILD BEHAVIOR** has used his early speed to advantage in winning six of his past seven races, and with expected track conditions I'm leaning toward speed types. BABY I'M PERFECT has finished first and second in his last two races at Aqueduct. He has early speed and competitive Beyer figures. ALEXANDROS defeated a similar field just two races back at Churchill, and he was compromised by a poor start when fifth in his most recent.


2 Wild Behavior;Garcia;Sharp;3-1

8 Baby I'm Perfect;Franco;Potts;5-2

1 Alexandros;Court;Vance;4-1

7 Cave Run;Hiraldo;Vance;5-1

3 Flat Lucky;Cabrera;Moquett;20-1

4 War Detonator;Tohill;Martin;8-1

6 Bull Hollow;Gonzalez;Mason;20-1

5 Freudian Fate;Arrieta;Barkley;5-1

5 Purse $25,000, 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races, claiming $10,000

LOCH GARMAN*** sprinted competitively against better at Prairie Meadows, while earning the fastest Beyer figures in this field, and his local workouts have been good. SHACKS WAY was caught by a late-running winner in a good return from a layoff, and he was a 5-length maiden winner last winter at Oaklawn. WINDY NATIONS has not raced in 12 months, but he is battle tested in restricted stake races in New York.


8 Loch Garman;Tohill;Morse;6-1

6 Shacks Way;Cohen;Diodoro;4-1

12 Windy Nations;Santana;Maker;5-2

14 Mists of Time;Geroux;Amoss;7-2

11 Wobberjod;Cabrera;Moquett;6-1

2 Seaside Boy;Gonzalez;Barkley;9-2

13 Honorary Degree;Vazquez;Villafranco;3-1

7 Fallen Empire;Franco;Matthews;8-1

5 Hard to Park;Harr;Cline;12-1

4 Funandfunny;Torres;Loy;15-1

1 The Feature;Hiraldo;Williamson;30-1

3 Demigod;Canchari;McBride;30-1

9 Mr. Cougar;Wales;Westermann;30-1

10 Major Chance;Quinonez;Fires;30-1

6Purse $44,000, 6 furlongs, fillies, 3-year-olds, starter optional claiming

CURBS AND CONES** sports a pair of bullet 5-furlong breezes at Oaklawn since a second-place sprint finish at Churchill, and she is treated with Lasix for the first time. A PAYCHEQUE SMILE easily defeated $50,000 maiden claimers at Del Mar, and trainer Rene Amescua saddled three winners last Friday. WARRIOR'S BATTLE exits a 7-length maiden claiming victory over this track, and she is another showing steady improvement.


7 Curbs and Cones;Garcia;Jones;5-1

1 A Paycheque Smile;Arrieta;Amescua;7-2

8 Warrior's Battle;Geroux;Cox;4-1

4 Essential Bella;Bailey;McKnight;12-1

6 Mumblebee;Hiraldo;McKnight;8-1

3 Guajira;Santana;Amoss;5-2

5 Tone It Up;Gonzalez;Mason;12-1

9 Stanley Market;Contreras;Morse;6-1

2 Verklempt;Franco;Holthus;20-1

7 Purse $84,000, 6 furlongs, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, maiden special weight

TAP FOR ME**** encountered early trouble and made a big middle-move in a deceptively good second-place debut at Churchill. She has worked well subsequently and her dam (Groupie Doll) was a two-time Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner. SHOSHONI MOON has not raced since May, but she finished second in a key maiden race last winter at Oaklawn. She has been working smartly up to her 2022 debut. TERRANOVA showed excellent early speed in a second-place finish last month, and the vastly improved filly is wearing blinkers for the first time.


5 Tap for Me;Geroux;Asmussen;5-2

11 Shoshoni Moon;Garcia;Lyster;8-1

10 Terranova;Hiraldo;Williamson;6-1

12 Goldena;Santana;Hollendorfer;6-1

6 Wings of an Angel;Quinonez;Jones;4-1

13 Mun Luv;Vazquez;Maker;5-1

2 Beguine;Gonzalez;Peitz;6-1

3 Church Service;Harr;Cline;15-1

7 November Rose;Canchari;Cash;15-1

8 High Con;Torres;Baltas;10-1

4 Lady Commander;Court;Fires;30-1

1 Tasha;Franco;Chleborad;15-1

9 Fast and Feminine;Lopez;Snipes;30-1

8 Purse $100,000, 1 mile, fillies, 3-year-olds, allowance optional claiming

FAMED**** followed a 7-length maiden sprint victory at Keeneland with a solid fourth-place finish in the Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill, and the half-sister to champion Essential Quality is treated with Lasix for the first time. ICE BABY was heavily favored and did not disappoint in a clear maiden sprint win at Fair Grounds, and the lightly raced filly is bred top and bottom to improve at two-turn distances. TORTE finished with energy in a clear second-place sprint tune-up over this track, and she was stake-placed around two turns last October at Indiana.


6 Famed;Geroux;Cox;8-5

2 Ice Baby;Arrieta;Cox;8-1

4 Torte;Court;Lauer;7-2

5 Lavendar Lane;Garcia;Lyster;4-1

7 Waterworks;Santana;Asmussen;7-2

1 Holy Justice;Cabrera;Garcia;8-1

3 C.C. Harbor;Vazquez;Cates;15-1

9 Purse $45,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, starter allowance

PRIORITIZATION** won an unusually fast maiden allowance route at Hawthorne before finishing second in a similar spot last month at Oaklawn. He is an experienced two-turn runner with the speed to be perfectly positioned turning into the stretch. AMANI'S EAGLE lost a clear lead inside the final furlong in a second-place finish at Churchill. He has route speed and the best of connections. LEADING WEST crossed the wire only one position behind the top selection, despite breaking slowly, and the pace figures fast enough to set up his late charge.


3 Prioritization;Arrieta;Becker;5-1

8 Amani's Eagle;Santana;Asmussen;3-1

9 Leading West;Cohen;Diodoro;7-2

10 Hanks;Cabrera;Hawley;15-1

12 Sono Grato;Contreras;Williamson;6-1

2 Jay Vee Bee;Geroux;Van Berg;8-1

1 Most Sandisfactory;Vazquez;Diodoro;15-1

11 Amongst Friends;Hiraldo;Matthews;12-1

7 Namesake;Garcia;Swearingen;12-1

4 Shofar;Gonzalez;Barkley;10-1

5 Outlier;Canchari;Cash;15-1

6 Spheroid;Franco;Matthews;12-1

Print Headline: Rick Lee's selections and analysis


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