How to bet the Carousel Stakes
A pair of Grade 1 winners lead a standout field of eight fillies and mares in the $125,000 Carousel S. at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
Establishing how the Carousel will shake out in the early stages is a tough task, as all but one contender in the field prefer to be forwardly placed from the start. I envision that #1 Bellafina, who led to late stretch in the La Brea (G1) in her 2019 finale, will have to be sent from the rail to avoid being shuffled back.
#2 Midnight Fantasy and #3 Sunny Dale will be forcing the pace for sure, as will #7 Lady Suebee.
#1 BELLAFINA (8-5) -- Multiple Grade 1 queen makes her local and seasonal debut for Callaghan. Quality Road 4-year-old concluded last season with two of her best efforts to date, and she looms large with a top effort off the bench. California standout will break from the rail under Talamo.
#2 MIDNIGHT FANTASY (5-1) -- Spring Fever S. heroine was visually impressive in achieving stakes glory in her local debut. Gray lass has posted four excellent drills in succession, and she has a lot of appeal as a contender who could be sitting on a big race.
#3 SUNNY DALE (6-1) -- Peaking 4-year-old has rolled home to victory in three straight outings on the surface for Hollendorfer. Keystone State-bred will need a big step forward to challenge this cast late, however, while making her stakes bow.
#4 WHAT A FOX (8-1) -- Diodoro pupil has shown marked improvement since adding the hood in September, posting five wins from seven tries as well as a third in the recent Spring Fever. Bernardini filly could rally for a minor award with a well-timed ride from Cohen.
#5 CLASSY ACT (15-1) -- 5-year-old was game in an allowance tilt in her first try on the oval most recently. Sharp charge has trained swiftly in the interim, but she will need a career best to make the frame against this crew.
#6 AMY’S CHALLENGE (4-1) -- Artie Schiller mare peaked last season at Oaklawn with a pair of daylight stakes tallies. 5-year-old showed a new dimension when rallying from off the pace to be a head second most recently, and she could peak third time off the layoff on Saturday. Canchari has the assignment.
#7 LADY SUEBEE (20-1) -- Sadler pupil cuts back following a pair of unplaced tries with stakes runners at the meeting. Stakes heroine brings pace to the race and could appreciate the 6-furlong distance, as well.
#8 MIA MISCHIEF (9-2) -- Classy Grade 1 vixen prepped for the Carousel with a facile allowance victory in her 2020 debut. Second in the race last campaign, the $2.4 million November purchase dons a 5-3-2-0 local line and is a must use for Asmussen. Ricardo Santana Jr. will be in the stirrups.
- $10 Exacta Box: 6-8 ($20)
- $1 Trifecta: 2,6,8 with 2,6,8 with 1,2,4,6,8 ($18)