2024 Bachelor Stakes (Oaklawn) - Analysis, picks and predictions (GRADE: 80%)

Pick Pony |April 26, 2024, 2:13 p.m.

About the Bachelor Stakes


A $200k test for 3-year-olds

The Bachelor Stakes is a $200k 6-furlong race run on dirt at Oaklawn Park. It is restricted to 3-year-olds. The race has been run annually since 1995.

Bachelor Stakes analysis, picks, and predictions

Keep an eye on the weather. At race time, it’s expected to be windy with a 22% chance of rain, adding an element of unpredictability to the race.

Bergen

Bergen will enter the race as one of the favorites, and if the track gets sloppy, his chance of success will broaden. Bergen’s fastest race in his four-race career was in January on a muddy dirt track at Aqueduct.

His works have been all over the place lately, and we’ve found no work videos to help us understand why. His average speed is trending down but that’s largely because of his 8th-place finish and dismal speed rating in his last race, at the Gotham on a rainy, sloppy track. 

Bergen has one route race in 2023 in Churchill Downs. He finished 2nd with only a decent speed rating. We think Brad Cox moved him to the route distance in the Gotham to test the waters. He was boxed in on the first turn in the crowded race and simply gave up. Brad Cox added more works to his agenda (one workout per week) at a decreased intensity before throwing in a couple of 5f works to build his stamina. A return to the shorter 6f distance will be in his favor. Given his potential for outstanding speed (when he’s in shape), he will easily land in the money, possibly even take home the win.

Frost Tree

Frost Tree has turned in some of his best speed numbers lately, just slightly behind Bergen. However, routes are not his forte. It’s hard to tell, however, given his inconsistency at all distances.

His works are slowing up which may be to rest him before this race. His speed numbers are trending up, as are all his pace ratings. He'll return with blinkers on, equipment he has preferred in past races. Still, we’re not quite sure he’ll make it in the money, but it will be close.

Market Street

Market Street has churned out only slightly below-average numbers but is improving in all areas. Still, he’s been beaten by Valentine Candy *and* Bergen already. Before his last race, he ran through one light workout, then blew out the competition in a sprint at Oaklawn Park, where he cranked out his best speed number ever. Now he returns to a route, a distance he’s never managed to do any better than 3rd? It makes no sense. He’ll finish out of the money, likely the middle of the pack.

Time for Truth

Everybody loves Time For Truth. He’ll go into the race as one of the favorites because, well, he went 1-2-1 in his first three races. But then he got the big head and decided to throw in with the G1 boys at the Arkansas Derby. He took the lead on the inside post before being overtaken by two opponents going outside. An unnecessary swing wide put him further behind. Eventually, he gave up and was summarily trounced.

His speed is declining, but he still has the highest average speed and the top speed rating he earned back in February on this track. We’re putting him in the money, likely with show honors.

Cats By Five

Cats By Five has one win and a few place finishes at sprint distances but has never been tested in a route. He has an outstanding E2 pace and is showing improving speed. Steven Aamussen threw him into this race with another colt from his barn - the favorite, Valentine Candy. Cats By Five is only in this race for the ride and to clear the way for Valentine Candy. Toss.

Valentine Candy

Valentine Candy goes in as the favorite. His average speed is slightly behind Time For Truth and trending upward along with improving pace numbers all around - and he has yet to show his true worth. His speed in the last race was off, and his all-time top speed rating is merely average. He arrives via superstar trainer Steven Aamussen so naturally, his works have peaked at just the right time. Despite appearing to be overworked at this time, AI predicts he will turn in an improved speed number, likely close to his best. It’s Valentine Candy for the win.

Drewmania

Drewmania has never faced competition this tough in his young career - and he still can’t win. His speed and pace are trending up but that doesn’t help much when you’re the slowest horse in the race. We don’t see anything to get excited about here. Toss.

Predicted finish order


    1.    Valentine Candy
    2.    Bergen
    3.    Time for Truth
    4.    Frost Tree
    5.    Market Street
    6.    Cats By Five
    7.    Drewmania