Basin should prove best in Oaklawn Stakes

Saturday’s feature race at Oaklawn Park is the $200,000 Oaklawn Stakes for three-year-olds. A field of 13 from across the country will go postward in this 1 1/8-mile affair. In addition to the first-place prize money, the winner will also receive an automatic berth to the Preakness Stakes. Post time for the Oaklawn Stakes, Race 11 on a 12-race card that also includes the Oaklawn Mile, is 6:48 p.m. ET.

#1 BASIN (7-2) was an commendable third in a muddy renewal of the Rebel Stakes over this course last month. He was beaten over seven lengths by Nadal, but BASIN had never raced a route of ground before and hadn’t been seen since winning the Saratoga’s seven-furlong Hopeful Stakes last September. BASIN gets a class drop in the Oaklawn Stakes and is eligible to improve for trainer Steve Asmussen with the rust shaken off. Florent Geroux is the listed rider.  

#4 THOUSAND WORDS (5-2, morning-line favorite) was a distant fourth behind stablemate Authentic in the San Felipe Stakes last time out in what was a highly disappointing effort. However, the class drop in the Oaklawn Stakes should aid this Bob Baffert’s trainee’s attempt to bounce back. THOUSAND WORDS is a two-time former stakes winner, so it would be foolish to write him off entirely. The Pioneerof the Nile colt will have Joe Talamo aboard this Saturday.

#5 SIR RICK (15-1) has a nose for the wire having won four of his first six career starts. That includes his Mine That Bird Stakes score at Sunland Park from February. The versatile son of Paynter has David Cohen in the irons and owns competitive prior speed figures. SIR RICK should be in the picture late.

The play: $4 exacta 1/4,5, $2 exacta 4/1, $2 win 5 ($12)

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