Rebel Stakes, March 14th

Well, last week turned out to be quite the “chalky” week, but I don’t think anyone managed to put together all 6 of them (if only I had room for Ring Weekend).  This week features some distinctively light fields averaging around 7 horses to choose from.  The last race of the day, The Rebel is our Derby Championship race of the week.  Next week we will feature the Spiral at Turfway Park.  On to this weeks “handicapping”.

Race 1: Azeri Stakes.
Race one from Oaklawn gives us our smallest field of the day. Untapable with Johnny V on top certainly loos unbeatable in this race.  He takes over the ride from retired Rosie Napravnik.  If you are looking for a challenger in this race, I’d say your best bets are Mufajaah (winner of her last 2 at Oaklawn) or maybe Flashy American who has experience at this distance having raced it a whopping 13 times.

Race 2: Irish O’Brien Stakes.
Race two takes us to Santa Anita for our first of two on the left coast.  The Irish O’Brien Stakes features 7 horses, and your standard favorite jockeys (talamo, Stevens, Mike Smith).  This race looks to be a two horse battle between Velvet Mesquite and Go West Marie.  If you don’t want one of those, Qiaona may be your outside play.

Race 3: Razorback Handicap
Back to Oaklawn for Race 3, one of maybe our toughest races to handicap today.  Tapiture hasn’t raced in a while, but is always a threat to win.  Race Day appears to be training well under Pletcher, and it’s hard to ignore the Pletcher/Johnny V combo.  Carve is moving up in class after a great first race of the year, and finally Ride On Curlin has tons of experience in the graded stakes race, having done all 3 triple crown races last year.  I just don’t know if he has what it takes to beat the others today.

Race 4: The Silks Run.
Watch out for City of Weston if this race goes Main Track.  Also on the outside, Cornelio always likes a foreign runner, and Argentina based Power Alert with turf specialist Julien Leparoux should take some money.  Amelia’s Wild Ride should not be left off, a winner last time out at GP, and second to Power Alert the time before.  Our largest field, keep an eye on Mongolian Saturday and Bold Thunder as well.

Race 5: The Santa Margarita Stakes.
Back to Santa Anita for the Santa Margarita stakes, and Cornelio loves Cassatt and Dame Dorothy. Cassatt has won her last three and is working Bullets, while Dame Dorothy only posts 5 wins and a third in her first 6 starts.  Warren’s Veneda has won her last 2 but is coming off the outside.  Keep an eye on Thegirlinthatsong with cagey veteran Mike Smith and Tiz Midnight who makes a jockey change to Garcia.

Race 6: The Rebel Stakes.
Last race of the day is the Rebel from Oaklawn.  Not much to say about this race.  American Pharoah looks to punch his ticket to the Derby and will not pay you any $$$ if you decide to wager some real money on that winner.  Madefromlucky is a winner of his last 2 at Gulfstream, and gets that talented Johnny V/Pletcher combo once again.  Looking for another one to finish your card?  Maybe The Truth Or Else is your colt.  If getting the rail with Calvin Bo-Rail is your thing, hop aboard.

Good luck to all today.

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