Three-year-old sprinters will be in the spotlight this Saturday at Oaklawn in the $100,000 Bachelor Stakes. A field of nine has assembled for the six-furlong event, led by Grade I winner EIGHT RINGS and Gazebo Stakes winner LONG WEEKEND. The Bachelor, Race 9 of 11 on the day, has an estimated post time of 5:45 p.m. ET.
#3 ECHO TOWN (9-2) was last seen running his lifetime record to 2-for-3 with a solid allowance win over this strip. He likes to sit a stalking trip, and that could be the best possible scenario in the Bachelor with EIGHT RINGS and LONG WEEKEND projected to duel early on. ECHO TOWN is fast enough to secure his first career stakes victory under Ricardo Santana Jr. on Saturday.
#9 LONG WEEKEND (3-1) controlled a reasonable early tempo in Oaklawn’s Gazebo Stakes last time out and won gate-to-wire with ease. He’s 3-for-4 lifetime and has strong speed figures to his name, but having to deal with EIGHT RINGS’ natural speed could prove problematic. Joe Talamo has the call on LONG WEEKEND once more.
#7 EIGHT RINGS (5-2, morning-line favorite) seeks a return to form following a disappointing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Two starts ago, he posted a Grade I score in the American Pharoah at Santa Anita. It’s reasonable to expect a solid bounce-back effort for EIGHT RINGS on the class drop and cutback as he fired a bullet leading up to the Bachelor. However, EIGHT RINGS could get overbet and must deal with a respectable two-pronged challenge in ECHO TOWN and LONG WEEKEND. Joel Rosario gets the leg-up here.
The play: $3 exacta key box 3/7,9 ($12)
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking