Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Nomination Is In: March 13, 2010: The Honeybee, The Rebel and the Oaklawn Park Pick 4

The weeks are ticking by as Winter has but 14 days left before Spring arrives. The Arkansas Derby is five weeks from today and The Rebel being run today at Oaklawn Park should go a long way towards identifying the potential to reach top condition for the Kentucky Derby. Speaking of the Kentucky Derby, that dapper gentleman to left should need no introduction, relevant again after a few lean years, the winner of the Kentucky Derby four times, 13 Triple Crown race victories overall and 18 Breeders' Cup races, Mr. D. Wayne Lukas who saddles Dublin and Decelerator today, the Turk's Chalk in The Rebel and The Honeybee. Let's get after it!

Oaklawn Park Race 8-9-10-11 Pick Four Including the Grade III Honeybee and the Grade II Rebel.

As always check the weather and the scratches and changes before finalizing your bets. Know the track condition and the potential track condition at the time the races go to the gate.

The Pick Four begins with Race 8, The Honeybee, that goes to Post at 5:42 Eastern Time. The field of nine contains some real quality centered around my choice of chalk, Decelerator. Winner of her last race and the loser by a nose before that, two solid back to back OP efforts with near equal 82 BSF. Nice work since the last outing a month ago and a new rider, Nakatani up. Decelerator is carrying 122 pounds, the heaviest of the combatants.

Making her first race in 2010, Beautician returns after an abysmal effort at Hollywood park in late December. Blinkers off today for trainer McPeek and he gives the mount to R. Albarado who has a win and a 2nd in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. A great 2 YO campaign, she shares a sire with Decelerator, Dehere.

No Such Word breaks from gate for Trainer Cindy Jones, looking for her first Graded Stakes win, but she sure knows how to find the winners circle and deserves to share some of the credit with her husband Larry for the successful trainer stats he put together over time. Comes in off an N1X win in the slop at OP on Valentines Day and is on the rise but has quite a class jump to hurtle.

For the Pick Four I'm leaning towards only my two two but may stretch to all three with my last toss Tiz Miz Sue.

For the Rebel, as I said I like Dublin to win in this race and I think he needs to win with a bit of conviction as well. About the only thing not to like from the Southwest Stakes was the slow final 1/4 mile and we will see what the extra 1/16 does for him. Two nice bullets since then, the fastest work of 149 other runners on those days combined. Nakatani is up here as well.

The fashionable Kentucky Derby pick for many weeks finally makes his 2010 debut, Looking at Lucky. First time on dirt for the Baffert runner, but the Hall of Fame Trainer does win 25% of his dirt races. Blinkers on today. His work pattern from SA does not show an improving progression but a minor factor for the Smart Strike son is capable of 1 1/16 mile wins, as he has two of the only three in the race. If he were to win, a big arrow will go up on his stock but the reality is he needs to have a solid race, be in the top three and set himself up for his last prep before the Kentucky Derby as his $1.2 MM in earnings will go a long way to securing his inclusion.

An interesting group that I'm torn on sits just below these two horses: Cardiff Giant appears to be no better then a Grade III contender and is winless on dirt but did have a good effort in the Southwest. Noble's Promise makes his first start on dirt and Uh Oh Bango owns the lifetime best BSF of the field lifetime and at this distance. I'm only including my top two in the Pick Four.

Have Fun, Turk Out!

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