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Check out our predictions and odds for the Poinsettia Stakes at Oaklawn Park!
|J Court||D Stewart|
|R Santana Jr||T Amoss|
|3||FLASH OF MISCHIEF||5/2
|R A Vasquez||K Broberg|
|L Contreras||S Asmussen|
|D Cohen||R Diodoro|
|F Geroux||M Maker|
|F Arrieta||D W Lukas|
$10 Exacta part wheel – Flash of Mischief over Super Stock, Defeater and Ram = $30
$5 Exacta part wheel – Super Stock, Defeater and Ram over Flash of Mischief = $15
Top Pick – Flash of Mischief (5/2)
Grade 1 winner Super Stock returns to the site of his biggest career victory when he headlines a field of seven 3-year-old males set for Saturday’s $150,000 Poinsettia Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
The son of Dialed In has not been able to find the same kind of success since he won the $1 million Arkansas Derby back in April, but he has managed two more stakes victories since surprising in Oaklawn Park’s signature race. Bouncing back from a 16th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt has won two of his last three, including the Zia Park Derby in his most recent start.
Chief among his competition is Flash of Mischief. Trained by Karl Broberg, this sophomore also has won two of his last three and comes in off perhaps his best performance yet when beating older horses in the Delta Mile. In the start before that, he finished just ahead of Super Stock when second in the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby.
Another who should get plenty of support in the 8 ½ furlong feature at Oaklawn Park, is the Tom Amoss-trained Defeater. Although his stakes experience is limited, the son of Union Rags has shown plenty of promise in his five-race career. Most recently, he dominated a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs.
Despite being easily the most accomplished horse in the race, if you draw a line through that nice Arkansas Derby victory, he does not appear to be a stand-out in this field by any means. Keep in mind, as well, the horses he beat that afternoon eight months ago have not distinguished themselves since. Still, he has been good enough to have won three Derbies around the country this year and is returning to the track of his best career performance. He deserves favoritism, but coming off a decidedly mediocre victory last time at Zia Park, I am happy to take a shot to beat him as the favorite.
A three-time stakes winner, this son of Into Mischief has been quite consistent in 2021. In ten starts on the dirt, he has five wins and four seconds. The only time he finished out of the top two came when fourth against Jackie’s Warrior in the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga. Not only has he been consistent, but he also has good early speed in a race without much. Since chasing the crazy speed of Jackie’s Warrior, he has won St. Louis Derby, finished second in the Oklahoma Derby, and won the Delta Mile. I see no reason to believe why Saturday will be any different than those recent results. He is the top pick.
A lightly raced son of Union Rags, he won nicely in his career debut back in January, and has finished first or second in three subsequent allowance starts. Unfortunately, his only previous stakes race was rather disappointing, when he finished sixth and well behind the two favorites in the Oklahoma Derby. Given his relative inexperience and the belief that he might have needed that race, there is significant hope that he can turn the tables this time, though. Much of that hope comes from his last race where he dismantled his competition in a Churchill Downs allowance race last month. A similar performance makes him a real threat in here, and he is also eligible to make another move forward. I see him as the biggest threat to Flash of Mischief.
Trained by Dallas Stewart, this son of Malibu Moon may have found his niche going long. Two starts back, he turned in a career-best performance when just missing in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup, going 12 furlongs at Parx. Last time he finished a troubled third in a 10 furlong allowance race at Churchill Downs. He seems to have a future in races much longer than what he will see on Saturday. Cutting back in distance, and without much speed in the race, I don’t think he will have enough early speed to threaten for the win against this field.
Trainer Mike Maker has this son of Street Sense headed in the right direction, having won last time out in a Churchill Downs allowance race in his second start following a layoff. Having said that, this colt has been a little hard to figure. In six lifetime starts, he has two wins and a decent second, but in the other three races, he has been beaten by nearly a 20-length average. Given that this will be his stakes debut, I don’t know that I can back a horse who has been so well beaten in half his lifetime races while facing maiden and allowance company. Perhaps he is turning a corner, but I am going to take a pass on Saturday.
A good rallying second lasts out against older allowance horses at Churchill Downs, this son of American Pharoah has been knocking on the door of late. He has finished second or third in his last five races, including two stakes races. His other stakes experience came when he finished tenth and last in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Trained by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas, I like his form since, and especially in the last two. It’s also worth noting that when he broke his maiden earlier this year, it came at the same track and distance as Saturday’s Poinsettia. Of the long shots, he is clearly the one I like best.
This gelding looks to be the only one in the field who might be able to go with Flash of Mischief early. The well-traveled son of Candy Ride has won only once in six career starts, but was second in a pair of 3-year-old stakes in Canada. Unfortunately, the quality of those races came into serious question when he followed them up with a 10 ½-length defeat in that Churchill Downs allowance won by Defeater. Off that performance, he is hard to pick here, other than as a pace factor.
|Poinsettia Stakes Race Information|
|Time||Saturday, December 11 — 5:13pm Eastern time|
|How to Watch||TVG|
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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