2023 Razorback Handicap & Royal Delta Odds

Away from the febrile Kentucky Derby scene there is plenty to grab the attention, the 2023 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Saturday has drawn a very intriguing field of older horses including G1-placed trio West Will Power, Ginobili and Law Professor. There’s more to whet the appetite at Gulfstream Park, where talented fillies Kathleen O. and Classy Edition cross swords for the second time in the G3 Royal Delta.

Razorback Handicap

G3, $600,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 4yo+, Oaklawn Park 4.42pm CT

Some talented middleweights answer the bell for the valuable Razorback, the main event at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, with three standing out from the crowd as they bid for a huge purse for this level.

The morning-line choice is West Will Power (2-1), who has run the best races of his life on his last two starts, blitzing his rivals by six and three-quarter lengths when going gate-to-wire in the G2 Fayette at Keeneland in October, and building on that next time in his first start at G1 level in the mile-eighth Clark at Churchill Downs, on both occasions finishing well ahead of recent G1 Pegasus World Cup longshot fourth Last Samurai (10-1).

West Will Power couldn’t quite make it all the way home under the twin spires, going under by three-quarters of a length to the classy Proxy, but it was evidence of the progress he has made and there may be more to come. He gets Lasix now, has previously run well on it, and deserves his high-weight.

Also runner-up in a G1 last year was Law Professor (7-2), who kept the brilliant Life Is Good honest in the Woodward at Aqueduct in October. He has already made his mark this year, romping by seven and a half lengths in a mile-eighth stakes back at the Big A, and shouldn’t be fazed by the slight drop in distance.

California shipper Ginobili (5-2) has had injury issues, racing only once last year, but he gave notice that he could be returning to his fine form of 2021 – runner-up in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – when thoroughly dominant in a mile stakes here last month, getting it done by four lengths.

The extra yardage should be within his grasp and he can confirm the placings with the veteran Rated R Superstar (15-1), beaten a further neck into third and making his sixth pass at the Razorback, with his form-figures reading 6-3-7-5-5 and no reason why he should do any better at the age of ten.

Keystone Field (8-1) was beaten out of sight on his only start at this level, but has been in fine form in the minor leagues this winter and was an easy winner of an allowance optional claimer over course and distance last month. Stakes debutant Hero Status (12-1) is going the right way but will need to move up a long way from his recent victory in a short-field mile-sixteenth AOC at Santa Anita, while local favourite Caddo River (15-1) is three-for-nine here, and ran well enough when beaten just a neck in an AOC over course and distance four weeks ago to suggest he could make a play for the board.

Razorback Handicap Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Long Range ToddyRafael Bejarano+2000
Law ProfessorJose L. Ortiz+350
Rated R SuperstarDavid Cabrera+1500
GinobiliRicardo Santana, Jr.+250
TrademarkMartin Garcia+2000
West Will PowerJoel Rosario+200
Last SamuraiCristian A. Torres+1000
Hero StatusMike E. Smith+1200
Keystone FieldIsaac Castillo+800
Caddo RiverGabriel Saez+1500

He is on a roll right now and the energetic front-runner WEST WILL POWER can defy high-weight and continue his progress with class relief on his side.

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Royal Delta Stakes

G3, $150,000, 1m 1/16 dirt, 4yo+ females, Gulfstream Park 5.06pm ET

There’s a reunion in store for the two big hitters in the Royal Delta, the feature at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, but we have to turn back a few pages in the calendar to find their first meeting.

It was last March when Kathleen O. (7-5) and Classy Edition (3-2) locked horns in the G2 Davona Dale here over a mile, and both fillies did all their best work late when filling the exacta, with Kathleen O. coming out on top by two lengths.

Kathleen O. went on to win the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and run a creditable fifth in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, but then spent six and a half months on the bench before reappearing in the mile-eighth G3 Comely at Aqueduct in November, when she again finished off her race well but came up just short, beaten a half-length. She has plenty of class and will be charging hard late again.

It was a similar story for Classy Edition, who fell off the Oaks trail when fourth in the G3 Gazelle at Aqueduct and then spent nine months on the sidelines. She came back with a bang, though, romping by five and a quarter lengths in an allowance optional claimer here over a mile last month, and should be tuned-up for today, but she needs to improve to get the better of her old rival.

Midnight Stroll (6-1) also tried her luck on the Oaks trail but quickly found that level beyond her, but she did get her name in lights when taking the G3 Delaware Park Oaks over a mile-sixteenth, toughing it out to get it done by a head. She has a dash of speed, as shown when a game third in the G2 Raven Run at Keeneland over seven furlongs, and could give the ‘big two’ something to think about.

This is the first start for Tap Dance Fever (5-1) at this level, but she looks ready for it after making her stakes breakthrough over a mile-sixteenth at Tampa Bay Downs, fighting hard to get there by a head. This is a natural progression but she does take on much better rivals here and improvement is required.

It’s also the first Graded race for Jungle Juice (20-1), but she’s been around the track a few times and has never indicated that she’d be able to cope, while Soul Of An Angel (30-1) has tried her luck four times in stakes but never finished closer than sixth. She might improve slightly on that record but appears out of her depth. It’s a similar tale for Don’t Get Khozy (20-1), who is zero-for-seven in stakes but did manage to claim the runner-up spot in a mile stakes here in December 2021.

Royal Delta Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Don’t Get KhozyMiguel Angel Vasquez+2000
Kathleen O.Javier Castellano+140
Midnight StrollEdgard J. Zayas+600
Jungle Juice (IRE)Shaun Bridgmohan+2000
Classy EditionIrad Ortiz, Jr.+150
Soul of an AngelJose E. Morelos+3000
Tap Dance FeverJose C. Ferrer+500

There may not be much between market rivals KATHLEEN O. and Classy Edition, but the former has a slight class edge and can come out on top again.

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