Getting Hot in Hot Springs

Molly Jo Rosen

March 15th, 2014

So maybe we aren't getting exactly hot in Hot Springs this afternoon weather-wise...
Hot Springs

... but Oaklawn Park knows how to do stakes racing right and today is no exception.

The all-stakes Pick 3 looks like the wager of the day no matter what other tracks you're playing.

Starting with the G2 Azeri in the 8th, you have the return of last year's G1 Cotillion and G2 Gazelle winner Close Hatches v consistent local runner Don't Tell Sophia, the Oaklawn debut of Flashy American, and the return of the very consistent On Fire Baby.

Then we move onto the G3 Razorback Handicap, which is a really wide open betting race.

To figure out the Razorback is to understand how the pace will shake out: all 7 runners have won on the lead at some point in their careers. But just because there's a lot of speed doesn't mean there will necessarily be a fast pace. This is when it really becomes a rider's race and this may be the most obvious example of Jockey Musical Chairs in the history of racing: Ricardo Santana Jr takes the mount on Called to Serve, which moves Calvin Borel to Right to Vote, which puts Norberto Arroyo Jr on Taptowne; and of the SoCal contingent: Mike Smith moves to Govenor Charlie, which puts Joel Rosario on Majestic City.

All of these riders are capable, so it comes down to the individual horse.  Taptowne hasn't run a bad race since August 2012 and should get the shortest trip (speed on the rail can turn into a wire-to-wire win), Govenor Charlie should run a much improved race 2nd back off the layoff, Right to Vote should continue to be the mid-level rockstar he's become, and Golden Lad could well runs another good one.

And we close out the Pick 3 with the 10th - the G2 Rebel - which will hopefully clear up some of the Kentucky Derby contender confusion. However you want to bet it - and we've got a Player Quick Pick to help you out - remember that if Strong Mandate wins and you backed any other runner, we will refund your losing win wagers.