Maiden America Saturday: RT picks three top-tier maiden races at Keeneland and Oaklawn
RT's first post is the 1st at Oaklawn at 1:03 pm EDT.
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This is the best day of the year so far to write this article. With a plethora of exceptional maiden races coming up today, it is tough to choose where to start.
Let’s begin at the epicenter of the breeding industry.
Keeneland Race 3 - $70K Maiden Special Weight
3yo’s↑ going one mile on dirt
#6 Turnagain Tide (8/5) is a $750K 2018 KEE SEP YRLG 4yo colt out of Into Mischief, whom at the time OXO Equine paid the bargain price of $45K to breed, as opposed to $225K today. Trained by Brad Cox, who is 35% taking horses from a sprint to a route, he had one race back in September of last year, running 4th and putting up an 81 Equibase figure. Benched since that time, he has been working well for his second attempt, hitting a 1:00 from the gate and a :47 flat a week ago. He gets 2nd Lasix and Irad Ortiz who has been on a tear lately, winning 44% the last 10 days. This horse is going to take a lot of money today. #4 Extreme (9/2) is a 4yo colt out of Speightstown who had his debut three weeks ago at Turfway. That race was at 6 and a half furlongs where he passed a couple horses towards the end. Today, stretching out, should not be a big deal. He just recently popped a 1:01 bullet at Churchill Downs, so the move from poly to dirt might be the ticket. #7 Atoka (4/1), a 4yo, $190K Fasig yearling sale colt out of Union Rags started his career in grand fashion at Saratoga back in August of 2019. He set the pace in a 7 furlong event only to lose by a neck. He came back three weeks later as the betting fave, set the pace again, then faded off to 6th. Was benched for a month after that, shipped to Churchill and put in a very dull effort in September of 2019. Brought back in November of 2020 with only one workout, he ran like a 13/1 horse is expected. A bullet :59 work preceded his next race and he showed improvement with a blast of early speed. Again, he was put on the bench, shipped to Oaklawn, and proceeded to tear the training track up. Of all things, he was entered into an $84K NW1X allowance race where is front running style came alive and he ended up taking show money, hitting a 91 Equibase figure. He was put into an allowance race after that, then back to an MSW race. His recent :47 work and experience of late shows he is in form and he will be the lone speed. Drayden Van Dyke rides him for the first time today, so look for him to get this colt to about the one and three quarters path along the backstretch. This will force all the other horses to his outside, making them run the extra distance – something most have not done before. My choice for this is #8 Assembly Point (20/1), a Brazilian shipper who is relishing the surface in the U.S. I've been to the races in Santiago, Chile and I can assure you running in that sand over there is one hell of a lot tougher than it is here. If Brazil is anything like that. this horse should be flying. This colt just worked six furlongs in 1:12 and folks, that is what Life Is Good did his work in before his last race and Concert Tour had the exact same time on April 3 at Santa Anita. Do not be surprised if this horse takes it.
Oaklawn Race 1 $93K Maiden Special Weight
Arkansas bred 3yo’s↑ going 6f
This is a 12 horse field which always means betting opportunities. However, there are two in here who I think have a chance to beat the favorite, #4 Navy Seal. Before I go any further, let me say that the person who helped me put SmartCap and other programs together, is a graduate of West Point. For me to bet anything with the name Navy associated, is a sacrilege and akin to getting kissed on the lips by Judas in the garden of Gethsemane. The two horses who are going to make a run at him are #6 Mo Betta (4/1) and #8 Topf Road Rules (3/1). However, given. Navy Seals’ Group 1 score, his pressing style and having passed horses and fought for a win, he should prevail.
Oaklawn Race 4 $93k maiden Special Weight
3yo’s racing six furlongs
By all accounts, Robertino Diodoro looks to have caught a $50K bargain in the claiming ranks with #1 My Honey’s Perfect (6/1). His mom, Haven’s Honey, went 18/6-2-4 in her career and his dad, Majesticperfection, was 6/5-0-1 including his last race, a G1 win in the Alfred Vanderbilt at Saratoga. Majesticperfection was a classic sprinter all the way nailing a 1:08.6 in the Vanderbilt and a 1:07.2 in the Iowa sprint, setting a track record there that still stands today. In his first, and only race, he chased the leaders up to the 1/8th pole and tired down the stretch hanging tough for a third place check. Today he gets an upgrade in Jockey to David Cohen, gets 2nd Lasix, hit a bullet :59 workout, and with his last race experience at the track, poses a better than average chance to win. #5 Happymac (3/1) and stable mate #9 Arms In Armor (8/1) are both trained by Oaklawn King Asmussen. Happymac was last seen on October 3 at Keeneland, where he set the pace through the stretch and fought valiantly to lose by a neck. That was his second race. Every horse who has since come out of that race, has not put in a sharp effort, and given his recent workouts, I wouldn't expect to see him. cross the finish line first. #6 Amazing Rocket (4/1). Is the Brad Cox barn loaded or what? This Into Mischief colt cost $500,000 and is working out like he's a $500,000 horse - 1:00.8 from the gate, 47.4, a :59.4 from the gate on 3/14, all spell w-a-t-c-h o-u-t. Cox 13% with first timers and 28% with Geroux. #4 Terawatt (15/1) with Coolmore recently paying $2.6M for a Nyquist colt at the Gulfstream sale, look for more like this $295K Fasig-Tipton 2yo sale colt to garner more attention. Ron Moquett is 11% with first time starters and he seemingly is taking an odd approach to this colt. Of the twelve published workouts, eleven were at 4 furlongs and the other one was at 3. One interesting note about this cold, his dam won at first asking, has had four foals which one of them won in its first asking and two just missed; one ¾ length and the other by a nose. Use this guy underneath. Of course, we come to the last. A Bob Baffert colt out of Runhappy and whose dam is out of Speightstown. #8 Following Sea (2/1). DQ’s on his only race on 3/6, he put up a big 88 Equibase number, while pressing the pace. Since shipping to Oaklawn, he has put in three, 4 furlong workouts with one of them a bullet in :47.2. Based on that training pattern, that leaves me with a big question mark because Baffert usually likes to work his horses at varying distances before racing them. My money is going on the Diodoro claim, #1 My Honey’s Perfect.
Finally, an opinion about the Arkansas Derby
Concert Tour has done everything right and will likely win this. I am making a minuscule win bet and an underneath wager on #1 Super Stock. Just like watching your buddy’s putt break right and learning from that, I think the distance ideal, and he will not let the pace get away from him this time.