Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

Older Males

1. Game On Dude – He holds a head to head match up win over Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man so he assumes the top spot for now.  Most people are down on him for his second place effort in the Charles Town Classic, but I still think he ran well.

2. Will Take Charge – From a consistency standpoint he is well clear of the others so far this year.  He’s ran two winning type races when finishing second, and was able to redeem himself with a home track win last time out at Oaklawn.  Looks like he is on his way to another big year.

3. Wise Dan – Most of his big races are still to come so he’s third for now, but what a nice comeback race he had last time out at Keeneland.

4. Palace Malice – Already has two wins under his belt, with the last one being a monster effort in New Orleans.  Came back looking better than ever.

5. Mucho Macho Man – Dull performance at Santa Anita last time out, but he stays ranked out of respect.  Needs to pick it up if he wants to move past the monsters ahead of him.

Sleeper: Normandy Invasion – Obviously he’s come back strong, but he was beaten decisively by Palace Malice last time out.  Wouldn’t toss him out yet though…

Older Females

1. Beholder – Freak of nature!  Not sure if anyone can beat her in this division.

2. Close Hatches – Two very workman like performances at Oaklawn has me thinking she has progressed even further since last year.

3. Princess of Sylmar – Easy winner in her return race.  She’s one that is easy to root for considering she could have easily won the eclipse award last year.

4. Groupie Doll – I put her on here out of respect, and because some of the stars of last year haven’t started yet.  What a great career for this champion.

5. On Fire Baby – Ran two decent races to start the year, no disrespect in losing to Close Hatches…lets see if she can keep improving and stay healthy.

Sleeper: Dreaming of Julia – If she ever makes it back in good form we don’t know how good she could end up being…

3 Year Old Males

1. California Chrome – There is no doubting he’s the top horse in this bunch as of now…can he take his show on the road?

2. Hoppertunity – He’s improving at a rapid rate.  With one more progression he could be the best of the bunch.

3. Wicked Strong – He’s the “now” horse, but like California Chrome he also must prove he can take his show on the road.  Hasn’t ran well outside of New York.

4. Samraat – Yet to run a bad race.  Horse is talented and as steady as they come…pedigree in question for the Derby though.

5. Tapiture – Took a step backwards in the Arkansas Derby, but could see him rebounding.  The talent is there.

Sleeper: Kid Cruz – Quietly winning the smaller races for three-year olds, but could sneak up on a lot of people come Preakness time.

3 Year Old Females

1. Untapable – Cleary above and beyond anyone in this group by a wide margin.

2. My Miss Sophia – Her blowout wins of late make her the intriguing challenger to Untapable in the Oaks

3. Awesome Baby – Declared that she is not running in the Oaks, but still like her talent.

4. In Tune – Has progressed extremely well at Gulfstream, but can she run that well away from her home track?

5. Sugar Shock – Another that has gotten better with each race.  She’s a cut below the best at this point though.

Sleeper: She’s a Tiger – Never ran a bad race as a two-year old, but yet to see her this year.

Sprinters

1. Secret Circle – This division hasn’t heated up yet, but when it does he’ll be the top dog.

2. Goldencents – Haven’t seen him yet this year, but has already proven to be a monster at a mile.

3. Gentleman’s Bet – Another that is training forward for his 2014 debut.

4. Sahara Sky – Has found his stride after a slow start to 2013.

5. Wild Dude – This is a rising star in the division who has run three strong races in a row at Santa Anita.

Sleeper: Vicar’s In Trouble – He may be pointed to the Derby, but when they shorten him up he could really be something special.

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Blinkers Off 064: Oaklawn Park Stakes Racing Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page.

Blinkers Off 064: Oaklawn Park Stakes Racing – March 14, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview a huge weekend of racing at Oaklawn Park including the Grade II Rebel Stakes, Grade II Azeri Stakes and Grade III Razorback Handicap.

[audio https://racingdudes.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/blinkers-off-064.mp3|titles=Blinkers Off 064: Oaklawn Park Stakes Racing]

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Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) Preview

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Free Past Performances

Likely Winners

#8 Dreaming of Julia (KY) – Well this is it…the race all horse fans have been salivating over for weeks.  While the Kentucky Derby gets all the glamour, this years version of the Oaks could feature the best class of horses.  I’ve made Dreaming of Julia my top selection, mostly based off her breath-taking performance in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.  The added distance should be to her liking, and if she can duplicate her last effort then it will be lights out for the rest of this bunch.  Some skeptics are worried about the possibility of a bounce, and that could be a valid concern.  That being said, predicting when a horse might bounce can be next to impossible so I’m not going to be overly concerned with it.  Bottom line is I believe Dreaming Of Julia is the best horse, so I have to go with her.

#2 Midnight Lucky (KY) – Lightly raced and coming out of know where, can Midnight Lucky really win the Oaks in just her third lifetime start?  Her workouts at Churchill have been legendary, and her races have been impressive as well.  The inside draw will most likely force her hand somewhat, but she figured to be close to the lead anyway.  In a field this loaded her lack of experience could prove costly, but her raw talent might be enough to carry her to the top.  I rate her a notch below Dreaming of Julia, but wouldn’t be surprised if she puts in a freakish performance.

#11 Close Hatches (KY) – There is so much to like about Closed Hatches, and the outside draw could work to her favor.  Many think this horse could be the pace setter, and from the 11 hole she has the option of doing just that, or sitting just off the front-runners in a perfect stalking trip.  The filly is three for three and really has never had a challenge, so her past performances look very similar to Midnight Lucky.  Having Joel Rosario aboard is a major plus considering how well he’s riding, and trainer Bill Mott was quoted early in the week saying that they were going to “win the Oaks” with this filly.  Can major talent make up for lack of experience?

Exotic Plays

#3 Beholder (KY) – You know the race is tough when I’m putting a horse like Beholder in the “Exotic Play” category.  The Two Year Old Filly Champion of the Year comes into the race off two dominating performances as well, making it even more difficult to put her in this spot.  The bottom line for me is the fact that I’m not confident in her ability to get a mile and one eighth at Churchill Downs.  She’ll most likely take this field as far as she can for as long as she can, but I’m not confident she can win the whole thing.  Don’t expect her to give it up easy though, she’s a much use in all exotics.

#4 Unlimited Budget (FL) – Here is a horse that is four for four lifetime, with three of those wins being in graded stakes, yet you can probably have her around the 6-1 odds range on Oaks day.  How can you fault anything this horse has ever done?  Still, I think she might be just a tiny bit below the top few in this loaded race.  However, she’s still a must use in all exotic races.

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