US expert Tom Collins fancies a closer to land good stakes race at Will Rogers
9.15 Will Rogers Downs
11.15 Will Rogers Downs
Hold onto your hats, we have stakes action over at Will Rogers Downs! The Oklahoma venue doesn't often offer up $50,000 black type races (11.15) on a Monday night, but this stakes event is pretty interesting and looks a fantastic punting opportunity.
Ten runners are set to line-up for the feature race on the Will Rogers Downs card and there appears to be plenty of early pace on offer thanks to the likes of Drip Brew, Spring Steen and Lady Orchid.
A duel up front is on the cards and that can suit the top two in the market, Estilo Femenino and Wholehearted, who have a late closing style and are well drawn in stalls two and three.
The duo, who represent top connections, will probably match strides in the early stages and it could be a case of whoever gets the jump on their rival wins this race.
Hopefully it will be Estilo Femenino, who is far less exposed than his market rival after just 12 starts, during which time he has notched three victories and a further five places.
Steve Asmussen's runner has been plying his trade in better races at Oaklawn Park and recorded his last success in impressive style in April last year.
That came in a $92,000 allowance contest, so much better than this level, and he was far from disgraced when fifth on his next outing in Listed company when the pace wasn't hot enough early.
Following a setback, Estilo Femenino spent nine months off the track but he has caught the eye on his two starts back, so he looks well worth following given a perfect race setup now dropped in grade and rock-hard fit.
Asmussen, who is 2-4 (50 per cent strike-rate) at Will Rogers Downs so far this meet, also trains my other selection in Hoyam, who tries to lose her maiden tag at the fourth attempt in the $19,800 maiden special weight contest (9.15).
Bought cheaply for just $24,000, Hoyam has been pitched in at the deep end to start her career but has shown bright early pace over 6f on each start before faltering and weakening late on.
It has seemed that connections wanted her to learn how to sprint straight away despite that fact that is clearly not going to be her game. In any case, the ability she has shown in the opening quarter of her sprints to date has been significant.
Asmussen finally steps her up in trip to a mile, which looks ideal given she is by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned out of a mile-winning mare, and she can make almost all of the running if she has learned from her early outings.
Sheza Rockstar, who has shown some ability at Sam Houston Park and represents leading trainer Scott E Young, is the main threat but she is far more exposed than the selection, who is taken to come out on top.
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