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St. Patrick's Day Stakes Action: Green Beer And Horse Racing

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Secret Circle
Secret Circle

Top 'o the mornin' to ya on this lovely St. Patrick's Day. Out here in the Pacific Northwest it's going to be a wet and cold St. Patrick's Day as we are in the middle of a stretch of heavy rain, wind and cold temperatures. While that's bad weather for working in the yard, it's absolutely perfect for staying inside, having a couple of cold ones and watching horse racing and NCAA basketball all day long.

The graded stakes calendar is somewhat light this weekend with small fields in the G1-Santa Margarita and the G2-Azeri (tough to run two races with almost identical conditions within a timezone a couple timezones of each other). The G2-Inside Information at Gulfstream looks like the best graded stakes race of the weekend in terms of field depth, competitiveness, and wagering options. [Sunday's Honey Fox at Gulfstream also drew a very nice field; I'll have a full preview of that race on Sunday morning.]

On the road to the 2012 Kentucky Derby, the G2-Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn is the center of attraction with a full field of 13 led by second division Southwest Stakes winner Secret Circle. If the Bob Baffert trainee is able to uncork another big performance in Arkansas today (and the conditions appear favorable for just such an event), he'll solidify himself as one of the top contenders for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

There is a forecast of thunderstorms in Southern California today, which could lead to wet conditions for the Santa Anita card.

Below are links to the scratches and changes for Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Aqueduct and Guflstream (via Equibase).

Aqueduct Changes
Gulfstream Changes
Oaklawn Changes
Santa Anita Changes

Day Race Track Age Dist Surf
17-Mar G2-Rebel OP 3yo 8.5 Dirt
17-Mar G1-Santa Margarita SA 4up, f&m 9.0 Dirt
17-Mar G3-Azeri OP 4up, f&m 8.5 Dirt
17-Mar G3-Excelsior AQU 3up 9.0 Dirt
17-Mar G2-Inside Information GP 4up, f&m 7.0 Dirt
18-Mar G3-Honey Fox GP 4up, f&m 8.0 Turf