We have bonus coverage for President’s Day. We will be looking at three more races with all three being at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
We will lead off with the Bayakoa Stakes (race: 7) for four year olds and up fillies and mares, then move to the Razorback Handicap (race: 8) for four year old and up, and end with the Southwest Stakes (race: 9) for three year olds.
Although I won’t be breaking down the race, keep an eye on Galilean in the California Cup Derby (Race: 4) at Santa Anita on Monday as well.
The $600,000 son of Uncle Mo is, at this point, a blip on my Kentucky Derby radar screen after showing big time talent in his first three races and is just a neck shy of being unbeaten.
Yes, thus far the competition he’s faced in all three starts is questionable but note he showed serious speed/fractional times in his first two (sprint) starts, yet also won by a wide margin (9 lengths) when stretched out to a mile last time out, stopping the clock in a solid 1:35 flat.
The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is working very well for his 2019 debut including a stamina building, six furlong work (1:12.4) two weeks ago and then zipped a half mile in :47 flat last week.
Race: 7 (4:09PM EST Post)
She’s a Julie had a very good second half of last year including winning three of five and finishing second in the prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. Filly by Elusive Quality will be making her first start of 2019, and in about three months here, but looks best in a very weakly drawn race…………………..Moonlit Garden looks to be sitting on a good effort in this spot. Mare by Malibu Moon ran very well in her last two including just missing at 20-1 in the Houston Ladies Classic at Sam Houston last time out. Her speed figures are on the rise which bodes well with the third start off the layoff angle………………..Remedy might have needed her last when finishing behind Moonlit Garden in the Houston Ladies Classic last time out. Chestnut filly has been either first or second in six of nine career starts and should be “tighter” for this………………………Honorable Mentions: Rose of Malibu is ultra consistent as her 11 on the board finishes in 13 career starts would indicate. She closed well late in her initial try over this track vs. lesser but that race should set her up well for this…………………..Sydney Freeman is another who has very good second half of 2018 (5-2-2-1). However, the 0 for 4 record on this oval is a bit of a concern. (My Play: .50 triple box using all. Cost $30.00)
Race: 8 (4:38 PM EST Post)
M G Warrior is 8-4-3-0 in his career and will be taking a major class hike in this spot. Good looking son of Majestic Warrior has used a strong stretch run to win four of his last five, he draws well for his running style and he has the oh-so-important race/win/prep over the track. Springs a minor upset here……………….Coal Front is clearly the best horse in this race but I’m to try to beat him here as he has not one, but two “play against” angles. This $575,000 son on Stay Thirsty goes against Horse Racing Betting 101 in “Never bet a horse who is trying something for the first time” (in this case the route distance) and he’ll be having to do that from the extreme (#14) outside post. Yes, he added a new weapon to his arsenal while learning how to rate off the pace as he did in his last when he came waltzing home almost four in front on the wire. But still, I’m going to take a stand against him……………………Souper Tapit is in career form right now after back to back wins at Gulfstream. This very well bred, now five year old is consistent and should be able to secure a good stalking trip early. Bottom line here is he figures among the vanguard at the end……………………………Honorable Mentions: Copper Bullet’s last was too bad to be true. Albeit he too will be trying a route of ground for the first time, he does have excellent speed and he draws the rail in this spot. He should come out running and figures prominent throughout…………………………If you are hunting a long-shot in here, take a look at Tiz He the One, who is razor sharp right now after rattling off three straight wins at Laurel. Trainer ‘Miah, who wins at a 29% clip when shipping, might “be here for a reason, not the season”……………….The cleverly named Nun the Less will be making his first dirt start since Nov 22 but he did win three of his last four to close out 2018 plus his speed figures say he’s not completely out of this. (My Play: .50 trifecta using the top 5. Cost $30.00)
Race: 9 (5:09 PM EST Post)
Long Range Toddy has won three straight, along with two Stakes races including the Springboard Mile on Dec 16. This son of Take Charge Indy just missed catching Gray Attempt last time out to break his win streak but the extra half of a furlong these two have to go this time could make the difference. Slight edge in a race where nine of the 11 entered have a chance to win……………….Gray Attempt has speed and the rail and is another who has won three straight including a pair of Stakes races. Good looking colt by Graydar was “all out” to fend off the top pick last time out and the extra distance worries me about him in this spot. That said, his last work (5F- 1:00.1 in the mud) was eye catching good………………….After winning two in a row, Sueno poked his head in front (at 18-1) in mid-stretch of the Sham Stakes last time out before being overhauled by Gunmetal Gray and finishing second. He was probably facing better that day than what he will be facing come Monday and you get the third start off the layoff angle with this obscurely bred colt also……………………….Honorable Mentions: Boldor was “outkicked late” by the Long Range Toddy and Gray Attempt in his last while finishing just a half length behind them. But you MUST note, that was his first start in 61 days…obvious threat here with normal improvement from race #1 off a layoff to race #2…………………Bankit was flying late and just missed behind Long Range Toddy two back in the Springboard Mile. Very handsome colt by Central Banker then disappointed as the 3/2 favorite in his last vs. several of these. This colt does have ability and I expect a bounce back effort here…………………….Couple of other notes about this race: Six Shooter was less than two lengths behind the top two (and Boldor) at 24-1 last time out, Ninth Street, who finished right behind Six Shooter two starts back and Olympic Runner, who was impressive wiring maiden in the slop last time out, all pose long-shot threats. (My play: .50 trifecta box using the top 5. Cost: $30.00)
By: Gerard Apadula
Director of Equine Operations and Development
Knights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team
2019- Record: 12-32 = 38% (My Plays: -$346.46)
2018- Record: 107-261= 41%
2017- Record: 92-235 = 39%
2016- Record: 91-229 = 40%
2015- Record: 67-180 = 37%
2014- Record: 29-73 = 40%
2013- Record: 20-59= 34%
2012 -Record: 24-73= 33%
2011 –Record: N/A
2010- Record: 24-74= 33%