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Favorites Vulnerable At Oaklawn This Saturday?

Favorites Vulnerable At Oaklawn This Saturday?

By NY Hot List Staff // Thursday, April 23

During another weekend of lockdowns and social distancing, horse racing fans can at least find some refuge with top-level racing at Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Oaklawn Park, where there’s no turf racing, offers two interesting dirt stakes Saturday in which the favorites might be vulnerable.

The $100,000 Bachelor Stakes, Oaklawn Park, Saturday, Race 9.

It’s a stakes for 3-year-olds and Bob Baffert has a starter. That’s normally a slam dunk. But Eight Rings has perplexed the Hall of Fame trainer, which explains why a horse who was a grade 1 winner at two is running in a six-furlong stakes with a $100,000 purse instead of a two-turn graded stakes. So, we’ll go with (9) Long Weekend who has impressed in his two races at 3, winning by 11 ½ lengths. He should not look back here. (7) Eight Rings may not be suited by the distance but he is trained by Baffert and cannot be tossed from consideration. (4)  Ginobili may have bounced after a big effort against Baffert’s undefeated Nadal and might rebound here. (1) Little Menace was a distant second to Long Weekend last time and might work out a good trip from the rail.

The $125,000 Carousel Stakes, Oaklawn Park, Saturday, Race 10

Bellafina ships in from California as a multiple Grade 1 winner and the class of the field, but she’s never won outside of California. So why take her at short odds? Instead, we’ll try (8) Mia Mischief, who is also a Grade 1 winner who is coming off a useful win over the track. (6) Amy’s Challenge had some traffic issues when she was second by a neck in a stakes earlier in the meet and should be formidable. (1) Bellafina wins this on her best effort but a new track and the six-furlong distance may work against her. (4) What a Fox gets a little more ground here and should be a factor.