by Jerry Shottenkirk
March 13, 2020
It gets serious Saturday at Oaklawn Park as promising 3-year-olds run in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, but that’s just part of an outstanding late Pick 4.
It starts in the eighth race with the Essex Handicap for older horses and follows with the Grade 2 Azeri for fillies and mares, the Rebel Stakes and a tremendous maiden race to end the day.
This week’s Pick 4 attempt goes with a 4x2x5x4 scenario for an $80 ticket.
Here’s a look at the main combatants in the headliner – the Rebel Stakes, which carries a $1 million purse:
Nadal: The Bob Baffert runner needs to answer the same question all 3-year-olds face: Can he get the distance. His maiden sprint at 6.5 furlongs showed what observers expected. He won in 1:15 4-5 and followed that up in the Grade 2 San Vicente, when he won by three-quarters after being eyeballed through fast fractions. Being by Blame and out of a Pulpit mare, it’s likely that Nadal can a distance but he faces his strongest test.
Basin: Steve Asmussen doesn’t seem to runout of starts, and this one makes his 1st since he romped in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga in September. After losing his debut by a nose, he cruised in his next two. He’s bred to run long and on the front end. This is a tough task in his first one back, but he clearly has the talent.
Silver Prospector: Rallied well and was in plenty of time in the Grade 3 Southwest, and since his win in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November, he’s been good at his new running style. Asmussen has him in top form and he could get the dream trip, considering the amount of speed in this one.
Three Technique: Has been on a steady arch of improvement and ran a good second in the Smarty Jones. That was his first one around two turns and he could benefit from having had the quality start over this strip.
American Theorem: Was second in the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes (named after his sire) and has been since September. Clearly he’s talented and ran a good race but is coming in off a long string of works only. He finished six lengths ahead of Storm the Creek, who came out of that race and won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Here’s a suggested play in the Oaklawn Park late Pick 4 on Saturday:
Race 8) #1 Guest Suite, #2 Night Ops, #4 Bankit, #6 Snapper Sinclair.
Race 9) #4 Lady Apple, #5 Serengeti Empress.
Race 10) #1 Nadal, #3 Basin, #4 Silver Prospector, #6 Three Technique, #8 American Theorem.
Race 11) #5 Cynical Girl, #6 Sacred Union, #10 Weekend Fun, #12 Tipsy Gal.
Total Ticket Cost) 1,2,4,6/4,5/1,3,4,6,8/5,6,10,12 = $80 for $0.50.