Most sporting events around the world have been cancelled or postponed to keep players and spectators safe from Covid-19. Nevertheless, the show will go on for horse racing this weekend at Oaklawn Park and people all around the country will be tuning in to watch.
Saturday promises the return of horses that many horse racing fans were following in 2019 or in the years before that. For those who will be tuning in to horse racing for one of, if not the first time, Saturday promises the sports fix they’ve been craving.
The Allowance and Claiming level horses, the backbone of our sport, will get their chance in the spotlight. Sons and daughters of some of the most well-known horses in our sport - Tapit, Into Mischief, Curlin, and Tiznow to name a few - will be battling each other to the wire. Even California Chrome’s half-brother Fort McHenry will be running.
Headlining them all are exciting renditions of the Oaklawn Mile and Oaklawn Stakes.
The Oaklawn Mile - R9, 5:43 p.m. ET
The Oaklawn Mile has turned out to be one of the most exciting races of this weekend with the starting gates filled by some of the most mentioned names of 2019.
Gate two will hold fan-favorite Mr. Money, a long-tailed son of Goldencents that reeled off four straight Grade 3 victories and was Grade 1 placed last year.
Racetrack veteran Tom’s d’Etat will load next to him in gate three and is coming off of a victory in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs in November.
On the other end of the starting gates will be Long Range Toddy, who made himself known on the 2019 Kentucky Derby trail by winning a division of the Rebel Stakes (G2). It will be his first start for his new trainer Dallas Stewart.
At the very end of the starting gate will be Improbable, starting widest of all from gate 14. This Bob Baffert trainee was a favorite in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, where he would finish fourth.
There are many other respectable horses in this field as well. Snapper Sinclair is not only recognizable by his white face, but for his talent too. He has hit the board in three consecutive stakes races at Oaklawn Park. Seven year old Pioneer Spirit, the winner of the Fifth Season Stakes in January, will also be loading into Oaklawn’s starting gates. Here is the full field for the Oaklawn Mile:
M G Warrior
Home Run Trick
Long Range Toddy
The Oaklawn Stakes - R11, 6:48 p.m. ET
The Oaklawn Stakes has drawn a field full of three-year old colts who are hoping to get a chance to run in the Kentucky Derby in September. The top three finishers in the Oaklawn Stakes will get an automatic entry into the Arkansas Derby (G1), a premier Kentucky Derby prep race that will be held on May 2nd.
There are many recognizable colts in this field. The favorite is Thousand Words, a Bob Baffert trained son of Pioneerof The Nile. This colt was undefeated in 2019 and early 2020, winning races like the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita. However, he finished fourth when faced with top horses like Authentic and Honor A.P. in the San Felipe Stakes (G2).
Basin is another colt that is favored in this race. This son of Liam’s Map first caught the community’s eye with a win in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last year. He recently finished third in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
Gold Street won a few stakes races at Oaklawn Park too but finished ninth in his most recent race, the Southwest Stakes (G3) after experiencing some early traffic problems.
All in all, the field for the Oaklawn Stakes is full of horses with talent. Many of these horses have been impressive Allowance winners and a few others have won their fair share of stakes races. We will undoubtedly be seeing some of these names again as we progress down the Triple Crown trail.
Here is the full field:
Mr. Big News
Be sure to tune into Oaklawn Park today. This is some action that you do not want to miss! First post is at 1:35 p.m.
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