Oaklawn Park features a pair of 6-furlong stakes Saturday, the $100,000 Bachelor for 3-year-olds and $125,000 Carousel for older fillies and mares, and both races are of graded quality.

Carousel (race 10)

#1 Bellafina has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, but I will play against given her aversion to shipping, recording well-beaten performances at short odds in all four starts outside of California (Keeneland, Saratoga, and Churchill Downs twice). Unless she catches a flier at the break, Bellafina doesn’t look quick enough to make the early lead, and good luck working out a trip from a tricky inside post.

#8 Mia Mischief appears poised to run her best race. Purchased for $2.4 million at auction last November, new owner Stonestreet Stables elected to keep the Grade 1-winning mare in training with Steve Asmussen, and Mia Mischief favors the ovals at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs.

Don’t put much stock into three consecutive disappointing losses last fall – those races came at Keeenland and Churchill Downs, tracks where Mia Mischief performs like Bellafina outside of California. The classy 5-year-old immediately rebound with an impressive stakes victory at Churchill Downs in her 2019 finale.

Mia Mischief received the perfect tune-up for the Carousel, improving her Oaklawn record to 5-3-2-0 with easy romp over allowance foes on March 20, and the early-pressing type should be in position to strike turning for home after breaking from an ideal outside post in the speed-laden field. She is my best bet of the day.

Bachelor (race 9)

#7 Eight Rings makes his first start since weakening to be a well-beaten sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The Empire Maker colt opened his racing career with an outstanding score at 6-furlongs, registering a 100 Brisnet Speed rating for the 6 ¼-length decision, and dominated the American Pharoah (G1) at two turns while loose on the lead.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has had plenty of success with young horses cutting back in distance, and Eight Rings has trained forwardly in preparation. He doesn’t have to be on the lead with Joel Rosario, but Eight Rings should be prominent from a favorable post. It will be no surprise to see him prove best, but the heavy favorite doesn’t look invincible in the first start off the bench.

#3 Echo Town exits a sharp score over entry-level allowance, netting a 97 Brisnet Speed rating for the 3 1/4-length decision, and the lightly-raced son of Speightstown appears to have upside for Steve Asmussen. The stalker should receive the right setup.

With the scratch of Liam’s Pride, I will add late-running #5 Lykan to my multi-race tickets.

Late Pick 4

The Late Pick 4 encompasses races 8-11, and I will play a $36 ticket.

In race 8, #4 Sneaking Out will take some beating if she receives the proper trip off the layoff. An open stakes winner and close second against Grade 2 rivals last spring, the California-bred filly adds Joel Rosario. I will also the speedy #3 Bootytama.

Here is my 50-cent Pick 4 ticket:

  • 3,4 with 3,5,6 with 8 with all = $36