The final 50 point Kentucky Derby prep is this weekend at Oaklawn. This is a great race to attend in person (limited this year unfortunately) with high quality fields which have had tremendous impact on the Triple Crown. Unfortunately the weather is going to be stormy but don't let that dampen the mood of a superb card. The pace of the race looks fair (not fast) but the conditions may favor front runners.
1. Caddo River - Should get the lead from the rail. RANK column starts with "1,2" and gets "A" letter grade which are both positive signs. Pace shouldn't be too difficult and horse will be tough to run down late. Final time of Smarty Jones was slow but horse has run fast before & has good work-outs and connections.
2. Big Lake - Barely held on in stretch for victory against much weaker with LASIX on. Not sure horse wants to go this far and will be well back of pace early.
3. Hozier - Baffert other entry has to be respected in Oaklawn but this one appears a significant cut below Concert Tour (whom he lost to). Energy level is weak and Rosario jumps off.
4. Get Her Number - High position in sheet off G1 victory in American Pharoah beating Rombauer & Spielburg. Long layoff a concern but work-outs look fine. Should be very close to pace against Caddo River. This is a viable price horse.
5. Twilight Blue - Heavily raced & slow. This one has no shot & probably prefers sprinting. Could come running late for a minor piece.
6. Keepmeinmind - High on sheet off 3nd place effort in BC Juvenile. Running style is perfect for race where he should be able to relax well off pace by himself. But weather conditions may hurt chances of a deep closer. Layoff is a concern with some suspect work-outs after horrible Oaklawn weather caused pause in training. Trainer is positive ROI in Graded Stakes.
7. Concert Tour - Very high on this Gary West home-bred who they kept while selling Life is Good. Pedigree is perfect for this distance but this is first time around two turns. Baffert gives his patented 6F bullet work in preparation & he is dominant in Oaklawn. Rosario gets perfect draw. Prefer this one over Caddo River at same price.
8. Super Stock - The other Asmussen entry. Curious that Santana ends up on Big Lake. Has kept some good company as a 2yo with quality finishes (although behind Keepmeinmind). Gets good works for return and should finish with energy. Not a threat to win.
Bottom Line - Concert Tour is most likely winner & prefer him over short priced alternative Caddo River. Watch previous races to see how track is playing to decide if Keepmeinmind is an alternative. Get Her Number is the long-shot who should get a good stalking trip and add value to the exacta. Super Stock could be used in 3rd/4th.