Oaklawn Picks: Shedaresthedevil, defending champ back in the Azeri S. on March 12

Oaklawn Saturday ... nothing better ... The annual renewal of the Azeri Stakes is here, so check out J.N. Campbell's analysis of how he would bet this one! Plus, see all of his free picks for the entire 10-race card.
Oaklawn Saturday ... nothing better ... The annual renewal of the Azeri Stakes is here, so check out J.N. Campbell's analysis of how he would bet this one! Plus, see all of his free picks for the entire 10-race card.

Oaklawn Park Picks - Saturday, March 12, 2022

  • Race 1: 3-7-5-6
  • Race 2: 2-10-5-7
  • Race 3: 1-7-4-3
  • Race 4: 3-5-4-2
  • Race 5: 4-11-1-5
  • Race 6: 7-4-10-9
  • Race 7: 5-8-7-9
  • Race 8: 6-2-7-3
  • Race 9: 1-7-5-2
  • Race 10: 2-11-6-10
  • **Most Likely Winner: Late Nite Music #7 (Race 6)**
  • **Best Value: Shotski #6 (Race 8)**

Oaklawn Park is located in a "proto-college town" ... a college town of horse racing to be specific ...

The southern town of Hot Springs is hosting an extended festival with some superb racing. Betting options are the best in the country! We are facing another 2 days of wonderful racing from the celebrated home of Arkansas Thoroughbred culture! Next week, it will be 4 ... how about that?

In the meantime, let us be your guide ... at Horseracing.net/us we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! 

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Saturday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks
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Most Likely Winner: (Race 6: Late Nite Music #7, 4/1):

A nice-looking angle that is pretty interesting is a 2nd-out runner that made their 1st start down at Sam Houston. This well-bred filly, trained by Steve Asmussen who always vies for the “title” wherever he goes, is making such a move. Back on 23 Feb. the 3-yr-old started wonderfully, but faded by the top of the lane. Asmussen is willing to let her go because coming into a race like this one you have a shot at some major cash. This one only cost $20k at the Keeneland 2020 Sale, so this is a good flip, if she can win. The best news of all is that Eclipse Jockey of the Year, Joel Rosario, gets the call. I am thinking this is the proper move from a barn that just continues to churn.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #7

 

Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 8: Shotski #6, 6/1):

Trainer Karl Broberg had a fine idea with this runner when he brought him to run at Oaklawn. After a Starter ALLW Co. contest, he put him in a “Claiming Game” shake, and Chris Hartman won him. It was a savvy pick, and the hot trainer promptly put him in a much tougher AOC. The result was excellent on the step-up, and ending up 4th was not too shabby up against the likes of Runnin’ Ray, Harvard, and Caddo River. Now, with leading rider Francisco Arrieta aboard, plus the cutback in distance to 6F, I like this spot very much. If I could get 6/1 … then I will be over the moon.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #6 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)

 

Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 9: Dirt, 1 1/16th, Azeri S. (G2), $350k, F&M 4+):

One of the racing highlights on Saturday in North America is the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes. Last year, it was Brad Cox’s Shedaresthedevil #7 that rolled impressively in this race, as jockey Florent Geroux was able to beat the powerful Letruska at her own game. This year’s edition is a more interesting race because it brings together some legitimate rivals for Cox’s ace. I think that Pauline’s Pearl #2, the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) winner, and Ce Ce #5, the reigning Eclipse Award winner for Champion Female Sprinter, are worthy options. How will this race unfold … well, that could go several ways, couldn’t it? Each of these 3 entries have strong early speed, and we are probably looking at a duel up front. If Geroux tries that tactic of beating these to the punch, then he is going to have to hope that his mount is fit and ready. She had an impressive ’21, and that was after winning the KYOaks the previous year. In other words, if she is sharp, then should could be very problematic to catch—routing is clearly her game. The real “X-Factor” is McCarthy’s entry. The mare by Elusive Quality has not stretch out to this distance since the start of last summer, and clearly how she will react is a bit unclear. Her comeback race this year, the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita in February proved that she was vulnerable off-the-bench. Regular jockey Victory Espinoza makes the trip east with her, and owner Bo Hirsch will be excited to see her take on such company. McCarthy had a career year in ’21, and I think he will instruct Espinoza to send her. As for Asmussen’s play, this Tapit filly was impressive in Houston, despite facing what I considered to be a substandard G3 field. There is talent here, and she does have a win over this track in Hot Springs (Fantasy G3). Still, this is deeper company, and even with Joel Rosario, it is going to be her greatest test (even more than the KYOaks against Malathaat and Search Results).  Maybe the horse to back in this race isn’t any of them … Instead, I am particularly interested in backing Donnie Von Hemel’s local hero, the 5-yr-old mare by Magna Graduate named She’s All Wolfe #1. Her experience is a superb weapon against this group, and I liked the way she tackled the pace in the Bayakoa S. (G3). Running primarily at Oaklawn and Remington, she has a nice resume, and was a big price (37/1) against Miss Bigly last time. The kind of runner we need in a spot where there is more than a touch of speed signed on, is a router than can press when it is needed most. Having the leading rider at the Meet, Francisco Arrieta, only adds to my argument. Cox, Asmussen, and McCarthy are tough foes, but a long shot could flip the script, and pay handsomely. What an addition of the Azeri, named for such a celebrated horse!

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Wheel, 1 w 2/5/7

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Enjoy another fab Saturday trackside! Best of luck on another run at Oaklawn Park! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!

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