John B. Campbell Stakes – Race 4 at Laurel Park – Post Time 2:04 PM Eastern
I’m hoping Dixie Drawl gets this week’s KEY RACES blog off to a strong start and that should be the case if he goes to post anywhere near his starting odds of 9/2. Still, even 2/1 will be an overlay as I think he pretty much sticks out here as a win contender. He’s 6 for 19 in his career but better still he’s 6 for 15 at Laurel. He just won at a mile and one-eighth over the track and although just an allowance race it was stakes quality to be sure as the 111 Equibase figure is the BEST last race figure in the field and the BEST figure earned by any horse so far this year. He shows up every time and with Ruiz riding back after riding him to that victory last month and one before last in December, and with the horse having the ability to lead from the start or from off the pace, he’s truly a KEY BET on the day.
Galerio is a tremendous horse to use on exacta tickets, having finished first or second in 13 of 16 races at Laurel in his career including last month in the Jennings Stakes. Zabracadabra has been first or second in six of nine including two straight wins at the distance over the track so he’s another MUST to use with Dixie Drawl on exotic tickets. Bankit¸ the 9/5 morning line favorite, is NO STANDOUT, not only because he has twice as many second place finishes (8) as wins (4) in his career but because his 2020 record was 1-4-3 in 12 races. Additionally although he’s banked over $800,000, Bankit has NEVER won an open stakes race as all his stakes wins have come in races restricted to NY breds only. I’ll reluctantly toss in Cordmaker for exactas in second even though I think he’s seen better days, with his last win coming 16 months ago.
Win: Dixie Drawl to win at 9 to 5 or more.
Dixie Drawl over Zabracadabra, Cordmaker, Galerio, Bankit
Zabracadabra, Galerio, Bankit over Dixie Drawl.
Dixie Drawl over Zabracadabra, Cordmaker, Galerio, Bankit over ALL.
Dixie Drawl over ALL over Zabracadabra, Cordmaker, Galerio, Bankit.
Race 4 – Dixie Drawl, Zabracadabra, Galerio, Bankit
Race 5 – Landing Zone, Wicked Awesome, Lucky Stride
Race 6 – Street Lute, Buckey’s Charm