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Horse Racing Trader’s Tips: US Racing – Saturday 25th April

Senior trader Ian Rozzier previews the Oaklawn Park action

Oaklawn Park’s Spring Meet continues on Saturday with 11 races to look forward to, including the Bachelor Stakes (22:45) and the Carousel Stakes (23:16).

Leading Jockeys

It’s too close to call the race for the leading jockey at the current meet, with just seven winners separating Ricardo Santana Jr (49), Martin Garcia (46), Joseph Talamo (45) & David Cohen (42). Santana Jr is looking to extend his lead here – he has 10 rides booked, with Town Champ (20:39) arguably his best change of another win.

Ricardo Santana Jr booked rides: Implicator (18:35), North Side (19:37), Candy Carlos (20:08), Town Champ (20:39), Awesome Saturday (21:10), Tapsolute (21:42), Bye Bye J (22:14), Echo Town (22:45), Mia Mischief (23:16) & Copper King (23:47)

Leading Trainers

Robertino Diodoro has 50 winners from 210 runners, which puts him nine ahead of Steven Asmussen in the Trainer’s Championship. Diodor has another seven declared on Saturday’s card including What A Fox in the feature Carousel Stakes (23:16).

Robertino Diodoro runners: Esposito (19:06), Street To Indy (20:08), Silver Ride & Big Bella Brown (20:39), Nomizar (22:14), Sir Rick (22:45) & What A Fox (23:16)

Race Previews

18:35Implicator and Jimmie T finished second and third respectively over this course and distance last month. Implicator is expected to confirm his superiority from a superior draw. Chicken Hawk has been staying on over six furlongs – it looks ready for this step up in trip back down in grade.

19:06 – All eyes will be on River Echo here. He’s the class horse in the race, but this will be his first start since back in December. Jerry Hollendorfer’s gelding won three times last year – if he’s even close to full fitness, he should have too much for his rivals. High Risk Strategy won well here last month – if River Echo doesn’t fire, he may take advantage.

19:37 – There are plenty of contenders here, but Connection is well worth watching. Connections paid $260k for the son of Twirling Candy, who has shown enough to be winning a $30k maiden. The drop back in trip favours him too. I Lived It did well enough on his debut in a better race and has since worked well in the mornings.

20:08Hunka Burning Love has produced some good Beyer Speed Figures despite losing recently, but Morse Code looks a better choice. Molly Pearson’s gelding has run well on turf this year, and also won on dirt at Turf Paradise in December. He should relish this trip.

20:39Town Champ will fancy his chances of adding to his three wins here. He produced a career best when winning two weeks ago and it’s hard to make a case elsewhere. Silver Ride did win on the meet’s opening night, though he’s struggled to build on that. However, if anyone is going to trouble Town Champ, it could be him.

21:10 – With plenty of early pace here, it could be worth taking a chance on Tringale. The gelding should be able to get a nice position behind the pacesetters before pouncing down the stretch. Old boy Wilbo loves it round here. He may not be what he once was, but he should have the race run to suit him.  

21:42Tapsolute hasn’t won since October 2018, but he has a couple of reasons to be optimistic. Firstly, this is his third run of the meet and he’s improved for each of his first two. Secondly, he is reunited with the meet’s leading jockey Ricardo Santana Jr – who was also the last man to win on him. Determinant is another to consider back up in trip.

22:14 – As the meet’s leading trainer, Roberto Diodoro looks to have another excellent chance with Nomizar. She was an impressive winner here last month and whilst this is a deeper race, she looks to be the one they all have to beat. Ready To Runaway has been given a tough draw, but produced her career-best Beyer Speed Figure when finishing second last time out.

22:45 – The first of two stakes races on Saturday’s card, Bob Baffert’s Eight Rings will be the centre of attention as he bids to get back on track after a disappointing showing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. However, Long Weekend has won both of his starts since returning from a break and looks ready for this step up in grade.

23:16 – The feature race of the card has produced a high-class field including three-time Grade 1 winner Bellafina. It’s the first run of the year for Simon Callaghan’s star, so fellow Grade 1 winner Mia Mischief could be worth a look after cruising to a two-length victory here last month.  

23:47Copper King is a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and multiple Grade 1 winner Dullahan. He’s got some way to go to come out from the shadow of his siblings, but he should be winning this. Todd Pletcher’s runners always merit respect so Unrighteous is another to consider in the lucky last.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication