- Beholder Mile headlines racing action this weekend
- Rebel Stakes and Azeri also taking place this weekend
There will be another thrilling weekend of action on the track this weekend, with racing action taking place at Oaklawn Park and Santa Anita.
It is a quiet weekend on the Kentucky Derby prep runs front, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t enough racing action to keep fans engaged this weekend.
Rebel Stakes Preview & Picks
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The only race on the Kentucky Derby route taking place this weekend will come in the form of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. There will be a prize pot of $1 million up for grabs this weekend for this race at Oaklawn Park. Bob Baffert has an excellent record in this race, as he has won on seven previous occasions, which includes last year, as he trained Nadal to glory in this race.
Caddo River and Keepmeinmind are the two horses to keep an eye on in this race. Caddo River is trained by Brad Cox, and won last time out at Oaklawn Park after a 103-day break from the track. The three-year-old looked refreshed after that run, as he won by ten and a half lengths. Keepmeinmind also won last time out, but that win came back at the end of November at Churchill Downs. Caddo River’s form at the track could be pivotal, which means he is our pick for success in this race.
- Caddo River
Beholder Mile Preview & Picks
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There will be Grade I action at Santa Anita this weekend in the form of the Beholder Mile Stakes. This will be run over a mile, and there will be a purse of $400,000 up for grab. Victor Espinoza has ridden the winner in this race in two of the last four years. He was on board the winner Ce Ce last year.
Swiss Skydiver will be a popular selection for this race for trainer Kenneth McPeek. This will be the four-year-olds first run at Santa Anita since June last year when he won by four lengths from Speech. This will be his first start of the year, as he has been given an extended break since finishing second behind Monomay Girl at Keeneland in November.
Harvest Moon also has decent form after a strong run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, but we like the value presented by Sanenus. The four-year-old won last time out at Santa Anita, which was excellent progression after finishing second at Churchill Downs in November after nearly 300 days away from the track.
Azeri Stakes Preview & Picks
Another Graded race from Oaklawn Park this weekend comes in the form of the Azeri Stakes, where a number of horses will be looking for first wins in this company. The Azeri Stakes is run over a distance of just over a mile, and recent winners include Serengeti Express, Martini Glass, and Midnight Bisou.
Brad Cox trains two of the horses in contention for this race, with Shedaresthedevil and Getridofwhatailesu both likely to be leading contenders. Shedaresthedevil finished third last time out in the Sprinster. Letruska will be our pick for this race, as the five-year-old has been in excellent form. He has won his last two, which includes a victory at the end of January at Sam Houston, as he won by three and a half lengths from Ujjayi.