How to bet the Gazebo Stakes
A compact field of six three-year-olds will travel six furlongs in the $100,000 Gazebo S. at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. The race is led by a pair of talented runners from the barn of Steve Asmussen, and I think that one of those will be very tough to knock off in his return.
#6 Cazadero (9-5) looked like something special after winning his first two races with ease prior to going unplaced in the Saratoga Special S. (G2) in his juvenile finale. The bay son of Street Sense overcame an awkward break to dominate foes at Churchill Downs in his debut dash, and he came right back to crush his opposition in the Bashford Manor S. (G3).
The Stonestreet homebred has been working consistently dating back to December on the Fair Grounds surface, and he possesses both the right post position and running style to have things go positively for him off the long absence. The well-bred colt gets Lasix for the initial time on Saturday, and he will have regular rider Ricardo Santana in the silks. The sophomore will be imposing in the feature.
It doesn’t seem likely that the top selection will be sent off at a great price, so I will have to be a bit creative to receive value with him. I will take a stand against second choice #4 Jaxon Traveler (5-2), also from the Asmussen shedrow, despite his being unbeaten from a trio of career races to date. Dark bay colt has done nothing wrong to this stage of his development, but I think that he will face serious early pressure for the first time in his career which could lead to his undoing late.
Stakes winner #1 Sir Wellington (7-2) fits the profile of a horse who will complete the exacta for trainer McLean Robertson. The Cajun-bred son of Palace has been first or second in four of five lifetime tries and was a useful runner-up in a local allowance tilt in his latest assignment.
Sir Wellington has improved his Brisnet Speed number in two straight, and he comes in off the short break for a capable layoff conditioner. The chestnut has tactical speed and runs well from off the pace, and he figures to get a nice trip behind a fast and contested early tempo on Saturday. Alex Canchari will be in the stirrups.
- $30 Exacta: 6 with 1 ($30)