Friday at Oaklawn Park

Mar 13th, 2014 | By TrackSide View | Category: Picking Winners

Rick Francis
Staff writer

HOT SPRING, Ark. – We head to Oaklawn Park to close out the work week and prepare for a Saturday of graded stakes action, highlighted by the Grade 2 Rebel. Today’s eighth features a field of 3-year-olds and up sprinting in a very pricey maiden contest; let’s get started.

Race 8 – Oaklawn Park – post time: 5:42 p.m. EDT

Stormy Dan (1), Frost/Castanon; first time starter for barn that’s had zero luck with first time starters; colt has shown some signs of life in the mornings; give him a good look.

Atomic (2), Green/Corbett; hasn’t shown much in his preps, however it must be noted that trainer Ike Green has won with two of his six first timers this year.

Dancin Jimmie (3), May/Halliday; in his racing debut late January, gelding broke last and finished last. I don’t see much to merit my money.

Mysterious Promise (4), Fires/Court; Stormello gelding has been steady in the mornings in prep for his debut, which is what you get with this steady barn.

Back Off Buddy (5), Gorder/Vazquez; hesitating at the start in last, Tale of the Cat colt rushed to catch up costing him the win but holding on for second. Near bullet work a week ago has this 4-year-old looking to graduate.

Big Air (6), Lukas/Arroyo; More Than Ready colt looks that and more, as he enters well rested after a troubled Churchill trip last October. Lukas works them hot, as the three straight bullet works indicate, so expect nothing less than an all-out try today.

Finisimo (7), Irwin/Johnson; stayed on for a distant third here in January, an effort that saw him in tight quarters late. He’s improving; I wouldn’t be quick too overlook this one.

Saketini (8), Peitz/Hill; pricey 5-year-old by Bernardini was sluggish in his debut, breaking last, yet recovered to finish third. This is a strong Danny Peitz spot.

Repent With Me (9), Shorter/Mello; first dirt start last out produced an even effort, though jock Arroyo lost the whip at the eighth pole. Barn is over 20 percent in this spot.

I’m looking for some value here with exacta and tri boxes, so I’ll include the obvious chalk Back Off Buddy along with Lukas’ Big Air, Repent With Me and Atomic. Rick’s selection: 5, 6, 9, and 2.

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