This racing card recap had four top races, but it was the 10th at Oaklawn; which was only a listed stakes race that really attracted the attention of the racing world. The 1-2 finishers in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup squared off in the Hot Springs Stakes; with Breeders Cup runner up and 5/2 third choice in the wagering CZ Rocket running down 7/5 favorite Whitmore.
Whitmore a 4 time defending champion took the lead coming for home only to have CZ Rocket; who was last turning for home but managed to run down the 8 year old Whitmore with Flagstaff getting third. Earlier in the day was the Grade 2 Azeri Stakes over 1 1/16th on the dirt.
Letruska figured to be the early leader in the 1 1/16-mile Azeri; but Shedaresthedevil broke quickly and grabbed a 1 1/2-length advantage with Envoutante and Letruska right behind her. Those two took a run at the leader on the final turn and reached her flank; but were unable to catch the 9/5 second choice in the wagering . Letruska, the 3-2 favorite, was the biggest threat in the stretch, but could not catch the winner with Getridofwhatsailesu. The feature race of the day was the the grade 2 Rebel Stakes over 1 1/16th on the dirt with Kentucky Derby points on the line.
Racing Card Recap: Derby Prep Rebel Stakes
The Rebel Stakes was the first real East vs West contest as Bob Baffert; shipped out two contenders in Concept Tour and Hozier while Peter Miller brought Got Her Number to Arkansas; meanwhile Oaklawn top trainer Brad Cox saddled favorite Caddo River and Steve Asmussen entered Super Stock and Big Lake.
In the racing card recap Derby future book; courtesy of Jazz Sports. Caddo River is 16/1 and Concert Tour is 17/1 with Keepmeinmind at 33/1 as of Saturday morning.
Concert Tour broke alertly and Caddo River came up to challenge right from the beginning and with Joel Rosario confidently riding the 9/5 second choice he turned for home and drew away to a dominating victory. The “other” Baffert horse Hozier at 19/1 closed to be second and Big Lake at 18/1 finished third. Caddo River at even money tired down the stretch and finished 5th This was the 8th Rebel Stakes win for Baffert while Concept Tour dropped to 5/1 in the KY Derby future book odds. This concluded the top races in the east and midwest and led us to a pair of top races at Santa Anita.
The racing card recap at grade 3 San Simeon Stakes at 6 furlongs over the Santa Anita Turf course; was won in a tight driving finish by 7/2 shor Gregorian Chant trained by Phillip D’Amato; over the Peter Miller trainee Sombeyay with Jolie Olympia finishing third.
Jolie Olympia and Cistron went head and head turning for home; when Gregorian Chant came between horses with Sombeyay at the rail and Gregorian Chant got the win. Next up at Santa Anita; is the Grade 1 Beholder Mile featuring 3 year old eclipse and 2020 Preakness champion Swiss Skydiver; for Kenny McPeek and ridden by Robbie Albarado.
The champion filly faced a pair of Baffert horses; including the highly regarded As Time Goes By and Golden Principal plus the multiple winner Harvest Moon. The race was determined at the break when Even money Swiss Skydiver got a great position sitting at the rail behind the very quick Golden Principal. With 6 furlongs to go Golden Principal and Harvest Moon led the field along the backstretch until a half mile to go when Robbie Albarado put Swiss Skydiver in gear and by the 1/8 pole Swiss Skydiver was showing her class and ended up a 3.5 length winner for her first Grade 1 win as a 4 year old. The Baffert duo of As Time Goes By got second passing the titring Golden Principal who had to settle for third.