October 3, 2022

Lone Rock looks to stay hot in Razorback

Lone Rock wins the Tinsel Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Razorback H. (G3) — Race 10 (5:56 p.m. ET)

The $600,000 Razorback H. (G3), Saturday’s feature at Oaklawn Park, has proven a stepping stone to bigger things in recent years, most notably for Horse of the Year Gun Runner and Dubai World Cup (G1) hero Mystic Guide. The 1 1/16-mile fixture doesn’t have a horse of that quality in it this time, but bettors should find it a competitive affair.

Distance specialist Lone Rock won seven of his nine outings last season, but is generally good enough to get the job done at shorter trips as well. That was evident in his season finale, when he gamely won the nine-furlong Tinsel S. over a muddy Oaklawn strip by three parts of a length over Thomas Shelby.

Super Stock, upset winner of last year’s Arkansas Derby (G1), added the Ellis Park Derby and Zia Park Derby to his trophy collection later in the season, but will look to rebound from a second-place effort to Last Samurai in the Dec. 11 Poinsettia S. over the track and distance.

Plainsman was a three-time stakes winner last season, including the Ack Ack (G3), and closed out the campaign with respectable third in the Cigar Mile (G1). The grizzled nine-year-old veteran Rated R Superstar has earned about half of his $1.27 million in career earnings at Oaklawn, most recently taking the Jan. 15 Fifth Season S. at odds of 25-1.

The lightly-raced Promise Keeper is back in action following a layoff dating to late June. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Constitution won the Peter Pan (G3) last May, and then weakened late to fourth after setting the pace in the Ohio Derby (G3). Silver Prospector, a past winner of the Southwest (G3), was runner-up to Mystic Guide in last year’s Razorback and is sure to be fitter after finishing midpack in the Fifth Season following a long spell.

Bayakoa S. (G3) — Race 8 (4:47 p.m. ET)

Postponed due to last weekend’s inclement weather, the $200,000 Bayakoa S. (G3) for fillies and mares was redrawn for this Saturday. The field of seven remains the same for the 1 1/16-mile event, though post positions were shaken up a bit.

Queen Goddess will look to reaffirm her dirt ability for trainer Michael McCarthy. The four-year-old by Empire Maker raced exclusively on turf last season until the Dec. 26 American Oaks, which retained its Grade 1 status after being moved from the grass to Santa Anita’s main track. Queen Goddess led wire-to-wire, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths in the 10-furlong test.

Coach registered the second stakes win of her career in the Jan. 8 Pippin S. over one mile, beating Miss Bigly by three lengths. Also exiting a last-out stakes win over the track is Mariah’s Princess, who won the Dec. 4 Mistletoe S. by three lengths.

The Brad Cox-trained Matera, a stakes winner last season at Indiana Grand and Ellis Park, finished second in the Chilukki (G3) in her season finale and can’t be discounted.