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Kentucky Confidential

Oaks Day: Scheinman vs. Andrews

Grade 2 $300,000 Alysheba Stakes (Race 9, 3:52 PM ET)

John Scheinman “Action” Andy Andrews

Successful Dan had a long layoff because of a suspensory injury after winning the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November 2010. His return was a successful one, in a sprint over Polytrack last month at Keeneland. Training like an absolute house of fire since. Loves the track and the distance and is the horse that put trainer Lopresti on the map. Can target abundant speed and score. All the promise Mucho Macho Man showed as a 3-year-old began to be realized this past winter at Gulfstream Park. Has won three straight under Ramon Dominguez since debacle in Belmont Stakes. Runner-up two back won the Santa Anita Handicap. Third-place finisher last out took the Grade 1 Carter Handicap. Those key heats are a very good sign. Nates Mineshaft and Fort Larned enter the Alysheba off big numbers elsewhere, and it’s unclear whether they are really that good. The rest are just decent handicap horses. The obvious choice would be to put Apart in here, but Boxeur des Rues is intriguing. He has run only once on dirt, finishing sixth in his last start in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Reportedly working great guns in California and could move forward in his third start this year, which comes off back-to-back top speed figure efforts. Sleeper at 30-1.

1.Successful Dan
2. Mucho Macho Man
3.Boxeur des Rues Scratched

Mucho Macho Man is coming out of two very strong heats at Gulfstream. He beat Ron the Greek two back, who came out to win the Santa Anita Handicap, and Jackson Bend, who he beat last race, came back to win the Carter Handicap. Those are two Grade 1 races, so the Florida form is strong. Looks to sit a good trip off a pretty good amount of speed. Should have first run and should win. Successful Dan returned off a year-and-a-half layoff to win a prep race for this. His last race at Churchill was two back and he won the Grade 1 Clark. Multiple graded stakes winner at the track needs to regain his old form to compete with the top horse. Our Dark Knight, in his third start after transferring from the barn of Nick Zito, stretches out to a mile and a sixteenth and picks up Calvin Borel at 50-1. I don’t think he’ll be 50-1.

1. Mucho Macho Man
2. Successful Dan
3. Our Dark Night Scratched

Grade 1 $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Race 11, 5:45 PM ET)

John Scheinman “Action” Andy Andrews

Believed Millionreasonswhy had the look of a budding superstar and Broadway’s Alibi just destroyed her in the Grade 3 Comely on April 7 at Aqueduct. Has effortlessly won four straight on the lead, and despite having zero two-turn experience, she is bred to easily run beyond a mile-and-a-quarter, and this isn’t even that far. On Fire Baby has been beastly at Oaklawn Park — and she nearly beat males two races back — and is undefeated at Churchill Downs. Her appearance in morning gallops, like that of Broadway’s Alibi, has been exceptional. Distance will test the scope of her breeding, but she appears to be hitting her peak. Karlovy Vary was not all that impressive winning the Grade 1 Ashland last out, but maybe the effort was deceiving. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt for one reason: She looks spectacular in the morning. Five wide in lone dirt try — at Churchill Downs — but that should be forgiven. Won on the front end last out, though should be able to track leaders. Fine value at 20-1 off Grade 1 win.

1. Broadway’s Alibi
2. On Fire Baby
3. Karlovy Vary

Jemima’s Pearl has a lot of speed in front of her. I think she’ll sit a good stalking trip off the speed and get first run. Should improved in her second run for Baffert, and he thinks enough of her to work her with Bodemeister. I think this says it all. Summer Applause will find herself further back than she normally is. I expect a spirit pace in here, and she’ll be 10 lengths back. She’ll have plenty energy to make a big run in the lane. She’s a gift if you get 15-1, but there’s a lot of talk out there about her. Grace Hall is yet to run a bad race and is Grade 1-placed at this track. I just think some others have moved past her, and she may have leveled off in ability. I still think she’ll get a piece.

1. Jemima’s Pearl
2. Summer Applause
3. Grace Hall

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