Matt’s Blog — Weekend Preview March 18

Posted March 16, 2017 | Racing News

Oaklawn Race 10 – Grade 2 $900k Rebel – Post Time 5:06 MST

As it has since 2010 the race starts with anything trainer Bob Baffert sends out. In that time he has only lost the race once, with six wins to his credit. AMERICAN ANTHEM is the horse this year carrying the Baffert flag, and with only two races under his belt he still could be very, very good. He broke his maiden at first asking at Del Mar before coming back in graded company and just missing by a nose to the much more experienced GORMLEY. That was also his first try going a mile, and he has burned up the track in the mornings since then. MALAGACY looks to be the main rival off of a pair of flashy sprint victories at Gulfstream Park. There may be some distance limitations in his breeding but he should make his presence felt the first few furlongs.  UNTRAPPED should be able to get first run on the closers with his tactical speed. He was a good 2nd in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, following his 2nd in the LeComte. ROYAL MO has blossomed of late breaking his maiden and then winning the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis in his last two starts. It looks like he wants to be forwardly placed and will have to deal with MALAGACY away from the gate. Couple that with the wide post, and he may be in for a long day. APPALACHIAN GEM is an interesting long shot being listed at 30-1 on the morning line. He easily broke his maiden last time out, and it looks like the more ground the better for him. Both SILVER DUST and LOOKIN AT LEE will be finishing through the stretch. The outside post shouldn’t hurt LOOKIN AT LEE one bit as he will drop to the back of the pack early. He should get a solid pace to try and run down with speedsters PETROV and UNCONTESTED also in the field.