BEST BET: RACE 8, YOCKEY’S WARRIOR
Yockey’s Warrior, winner of the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds, ships in to lead a strong Friday feature for sprinters. In the opener, SURTAP gets the nod in part because he has an age edge on these. He is cutting back from two turns and for this trip will add blinkers. FUNNY QUESTIONS returns to Oaklawn, site of his best career Beyer Speed Figure. TSUNAMI CAT draws a useful post and could be sitting on a peak effort in his third start since November.
COUNCIL RULES is stuck on the also-eligible list, but would be interesting were she to draw into the body of field. She has been knocking on the door, and shows some nice local works. DUSTEM CAROLINA was second against steeper last time, and is further appealing as a six-time winner. BANDOLERA’S GOLD has been a popular claim, and has a win experience edge on a number of these, with five career victories to her name.
HIGH DOLLAR KITTEN boasts the field’s best lastrace Beyer Speed Figure. He moves to a mile and an eighth and there are aspects of his pedigree that suggest he will appreciate the opportunity at the distance. DYNABEAVER seems well-served by the added ground, given his past performance lines. RUNNINGUNNINRASCAL has a running style that suggests he, too, might appreciate the move to a mile and an eighth.
DISTINCTLY MINE was third last out to a quality kind of winner, and also has reason to move forward in her second start since October. STRAWBERRY BOMB looks like the one these might have to catch. TITFORTAT moves back to the main track and she’s been effective over the local strip in the past.
HOT BLOODED SONG is on the also-eligible list, but would seem to be a top contender were he to draw into the body of the field. He has an age edge on these. He has natural speed. He draws a post that might give Quinonez options. OFFICER GRIGGS has fired two strong races in his two career starts, and owns one of the field’s best last-race Beyer Speed Figures. GOINGTOGIVE’EMHALE has an age edge on some of these, while another top contender is CELTA VIGO.
ROCKET JOE COPPER was fourth last out to a quality kind of winner, and note the runner-up from that race is intended for the Razorback Handicap here Monday. As for ROCKET JOE COPPER, he has tactical speed, a useful post, and reason to move forward in his second out since November. HOLIDAY MAN is a fresh face, as he’s making his first start since the fall at Churchill Downs. He is returning to a surface over which he has registered both of his career wins. SOLVE exits same race as top choice, and like that one will be making his second start since November.
MA’AM draws a wider gate, but ran well from a similar post at this mile trip last out and note the start was her first since November. She would seem to have reason to move forward in her second race back. MA’AM also is appealing for her consistent nature and competitive Beyer Figures. TELLING METZIE exits a race won by a stakesbound winner. HELLO EVERYBODY ran a credible fifth last out in her first start since April. She is a winner over the local strip at Oaklawn.
YOCKEY’S WARRIOR delivered as the favorite last out in the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds and the Beyer Speed Figure of 103 that he earned jumps off the page. YOCKEY’S WARRIOR is further appealing for his tactical speed and the fact that he is a winner over the local strip. W. B. SMUDGE exits a six-furlong allowance that went in a blazing 1:08.80. He was third in what was his first start since November. W. B. SMUDGE is another with