How to bet the Temperence Hill Stakes

March 28th, 2024

A massive field of 13 will travel a grueling 1 1/2 miles at Oaklawn Park on Friday in the $200,000 Temperance Hill S. In a field where I feel that the favorites are quite vulnerable, I’ll tab a few value horses of my liking in the wide-open contest. 

Temperance Hill Wagers

  • $12 win and place #3 O P Firecracker ($24)
  • 50-cent trifecta 3 with 2,6,7,10 with all ($22)
  • 50-cent trifecta 2,6,7,10 with 3 with all ($22)

The Robert Medina-trained #3 O P Firecracker (10-1) is a mystery while trying a marathon distance for the first time, but I like his form and profile coming into the race and have a level of confidence that he will thrive at 12 panels. By Will Take Charge out of a Quiet American mare, the gelding has run a trio of useful races at this meeting while going shorter against talented foes, including a close third at 1 1/8 miles two starts back. 

O P Firecracker, who finished second by a length at Churchill Downs at 10 furlongs in November, drew well in the big field to save ground in the early stages of the contest, and the five-year-old seems poised for a forward move after an even run in the Razorback (G3) most recently. His 2-for-22 lifetime mark is a concern, of course, but I think that he will find his niche at the trip while picking up Ramon Vazquez. 

#6 Strong Tide (6-1) has finished fourth in the race in two straight seasons and faces a less formidable cast in 2024. The Grade-1 placed seven-year-old is a winner at 1 1/2 miles on this oval, he owns a versatile running style, and he has trained well for his first start of the season, too. In a race with some pace in it, the son of English Channel could sit a dream trip just off of the tempo beneath Christian Torres. 

#7 Speed Bias (7-2) is an obvious inclusion for Ron Moquett with Flavien Prat in the silks. This Uncle Mo five-year-old has kept some fine company dating back to his last campaign, and he owns five top-two finishes at Oaklawn, as well. He does like to finish second, however, and the bay could face pressure early, as well. With that said, he has to be included, nonetheless. 

One-run closer #10 Commandperformance (20-1) has excellent value in the cast for conditioner Joe Sharp. He has upset potential from off the pace with Francisco Arrieta in the stirrups. And Moquett’s #2 Ethereal Road (5-1) brings solid form to the field from a good post slot. He wouldn’t be a shock in the wide-open tilt with Rafael Bejarano retaining the mount.