Fifth Season Stakes 2022: Odds, free PPs, preview

Fifth Season Stakes 2022: Odds, free PPs, preview
Photo: Ted McClenning/Eclipse Sportswire

Concert Tour was one of the 2021 Kentucky Derby trail’s top prospects when he won the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes last March at Oaklawn Park. Now at 4, he returns to Oaklawn for a new trainer looking for his first win since that race.

The Street Sense colt Concert Tour is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes. Post time is 4:46 p.m. EST, with TVG showing the one-mile race for 4-and-up runners.

Brad Cox now trains Concert Tour, who made all five of his previous starts for trainer Bob Baffert. Last year, he won Santa Anita’s San Vicente Stakes (G2) and the Rebel but settled for third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) as an odds-on favorite, then finished ninth of 10 in the Preakness Stakes.

The Preakness was Concert Tour’s final start of his 3-year-old season. The Gary and Mary West homebred returned to training in October for Cox, gearing up for a 4-year-old campaign.

Jockey Joel Rosario gets the call Saturday on Concert Tour. Rosario returned Friday to ride for the first time since suffering a rib injury Dec. 2 at Aqueduct.

Mucho (7-2) for trainer John Ortiz is the second choice on the morning line. The stakes winner enters off a last-out, local allowance score Dec. 18.

Necker Island (9-2) finished ninth in the 2020 Kentucky Derby. The Chris Hartman-trained runner scored three wins last year as a 4-year-old, and was fourth in his most recent start, the Thanksgiving Classic Stakes on Nov. 25 at Fair Grounds.

Long Range Toddy (10-1) won the 2019 Rebel at Oaklawn, two starts before Maximum Security was ruled to have interfered with him coming around the far turn of the Kentucky Derby. The Rebel was the 6-year-old’s last victory, and he enters on a 0-for-16 drought dating nearly three full seasons.

Trainer Steve Asmussen has a pair of Fifth Season starters in Snapper Sinclair (6-1) and Silver Prospector (10-1). The latter most notably upset Tiz the Law in the 2019 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Asmussen won the Fifth Season last winter with Silver State, who went on to take the 2021 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

Related: Barn Tour: Stewart plans for 3 vets, 8 Derby hopes |
9-year-old Rated R Superstar battles Concert Tour at Oaklawn

Here is a look at the field for the 2021 Fifth Season Stakes (trainer and jockey in parentheses) with morning-line odds:

1. Thomas Shelby (Robertino Diodoro, David Cohen), 5-1

2. Rated R Superstar (Federico Villafranco, David Cabrera), 8-1

3. Snapper Sinclair (Steve Asmussen, Ramon Vazquez), 6-1

4. Necker Island (Chris Hartman, Francisco Arrieta), 9-2

5. Concert Tour (Brad Cox, Joel Rosario), 5-2

6. Atoka (D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Contreras), 15-1

7. Long Range Toddy (Dallas Stewart, Jon Court), 10-1

8. Silver Prospector (Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr.), 10-1

9. Mucho (John Ortiz, Florent Geroux), 7-2

TimeformUS’ pace projections show Mucho going out to an early lead under jockey Florent Geroux, followed by Thomas Shelby. Favorite Concert Tour is projected to sit behind that duo.

For more information on both the Fifth Season Stakes and Tampa Bay Downs’ Pasco Stakes, visit Horse Racing Nation’s free past performances page.

Other Saturday stakes

Here is a look at some of the other stakes races taking place Saturday across the U.S. All post times are EST, with races broadcast by TVG.

2:14 p.m. – $125,000 Pasco Stakes, 3-year-olds, 7 furlongs, Tampa Bay Downs

Cattin (2-1), a Neolithic colt, looks for the second stakes win of his career in the Pasco, a race that leads into Tampa’s duo of Kentucky Derby-points paying preps: the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) on Feb. 12 and the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 12. Jockey Samy Camacho rides the last-out winner of the local Inaugural Stakes on Dec. 4 for trainer Ralph Nicks. Todd Pletcher trains Provocateur (3-1), a $600,000 auction purchase who broke his maiden on third asking Dec. 23 at Tampa. Cyberviking (7-2), a former maiden claimer, enters off back-to-back wins for trainer Jorge Delgado, including in a New Year’s Eve allowance race at Gulfstream Park.

2:50 p.m. – $125,000 Gasparilla Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs, Tampa Bay Downs

Outfoxed (2-1), twice a stakes winner, leads this prep for Tampa’s lone points-paying race on the 2022 Kentucky Oaks trail, the $150,000 Suncoast Stakes on Feb. 12. Bill Mott trains and Camacho rides the Valiant Minister filly, who makes her first start since winning Gulfstream’s FTBOA Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes on Sept. 25. Mark Casse trains Strategic Bird (5-2), whose 2-for-2 record includes a local Sandpiper Stakes score Dec. 4. Devine Charger (4-1) was second last out in the Sandpiper for trainer Jordan Blair.

4 p.m. – $200,000 California Cup Derby, California-bred or California-sired 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, Santa Anita

Straight Up G (4-5) enters off back-to-back wins, including in the King Glorious Stakes on Dec. 12 at Los Alamitos. Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez gets the call on the Straight Fire colt, who Richard Baltas trains for Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing. Walther Solis trains Finneus (5-2), a state-bred stakes winner who as second last out in the King Glorious. Fast Draw Munnings (4-1) was third in that race for trainer Jeff Mullins.

7:36 p.m. – $200,000 California Cup Oaks, California-bred or California-sired 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf), Santa Anita

Professors’ Pride (5-2) brings a 2-for-2 record into the Cal Cup Oaks for trainer Eddie Truman. Jockey Umberto Rispoli gets the call Saturday aboard the Bayern filly, winner of Los Al’s Soviet Problem Stakes on Dec. 10. Phil D’Amato trains Rose Dawson (7-2), a debut winner Dec. 5 at Los Al. Big Novel (4-1) was second in the Soviet Problem and another Cal-bred stakes for trainer John Sadler.

Fifth Season preview

From Oaklawn Park’s communications team:

Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox and nationally prominent owners Gary and Mary were opponents on Oaklawn’s 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby. But several months after the meeting ended in May, they began collaborating and already have two victories together this season in Hot Springs.

“I don’t have a clue how many horses they’ve sent me,” said Cox, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2021-2022. “I can’t even keep track. We have a lot. They’re great to work with.”

Perhaps the most intriguing prospect Cox received from the Wests following the 2021 Oaklawn meeting, Concert Tour, was among the biggest names during the 2021 Oaklawn meeting.

Then with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Concert Tour was a flashy winner of the Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds last March – the Cox-trained Caddo River was fifth – before his unbeaten record and Kentucky Derby hopes crashed with a weakening third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in April. Caddo River was second in the Arkansas Derby.

Concert Tour, who is unraced since a ninth-place finish in last May’s Preakness Stakes, makes his first start for Cox in the $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses Saturday at Oaklawn. The one-mile Fifth Season has drawn a strong field of nine, including three millionaires (Rated R Superstar, Snapper Sinclair and Long Range Toddy), another Oaklawn stakes winner (Silver Prospector) and Mucho, who will be making his two-turn debut.

Probable post time for the Fifth Season, which goes as the eighth of nine races, is 4:46 p.m. EST. First post Saturday is 1:30 p.m. EST.

Concert Tour, the 5-2 program favorite, has nine published workouts since Nov. 14 in advance of his 4-year-old debut. Concert Tour was entered in the Woodchopper Stakes on Dec. 27 at Fair Grounds but scratched after the race didn’t come off the grass. A forward factor early in his first five career starts, Concert Tour’s return to Oaklawn will mark his first start without blinkers. He also adds Lasix for the first time since his debut last January at Santa Anita.

“I like him a lot,” Cox said. “He’s a talented horse. I think if he runs the way he trains, we’ll be in good shape.”

Mucho came from just off the pace to capture an allowance sprint Dec. 18 at Oaklawn for trainer John Ortiz and owners WSS Racing (William Simon) and 4 G Racing (Brent and Sharilyn Gasaway). Mucho has bankrolled $686,729 in a 29-race career, but the 6-year-old son of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame has never raced around two turns. Ortiz, on behalf of WSS and 4 G, claimed Mucho for $80,000 in November 2020 at Churchill Downs.

“To me, I don’t think distance is going to be an issue,” Ortiz said. “The only variable that we have here is going to be the two turns. Will he sprint out and run off or will he sprint out and be able to rate and either dictate the speed or just sit off the pace and use his sprint ability for the finish?”

Snapper Sinclair seeks his first career stakes victory on dirt after finishing second, beaten a neck in the 2020 Fifth Season, and finishing fifth in the 2019 Fifth Season for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and co-owner Jeff Bloom (Bloom Racing). Snapper Sinclair finished fifth in his last start, the Prairie Bayou Stakes on Dec. 18 at Turfway Park. Turfway has a synthetic surface.

“He had come out of the Breeders’ Cup in such great shape, and we didn’t really have a whole of options with him and he had yet to run on a synthetic track,” Bloom said. “We just figured, ‘What the heck? Let’s give it a try.’ It was one of his extremely rare, sort of flat performances, so we just kind of drawn a line through that one and refocus on the coming year.”

The speedy Thomas Shelby cuts back to a mile after finishing a game second behind heralded stablemate Lone Rock in the inaugural Tinsel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles Dec. 18 at Oaklawn for trainer Robertino Diodoro.

“I think it’s the best race he’s run,” Diodoro said.

Thomas Shelby won seven races in 2021, including two last spring at Oaklawn, after being privately purchased by Diodoro’s major client, four-time local leading owner M and M Racing (Mike and Mickala Sisk).

Silver Prospector, another Asmussen trainee, is seeking his first stakes victory since the $750,000 Southwest (G3) for 3-year-olds in 2020 at Oaklawn. Necker Island ran ninth in the rescheduled 2020 Kentucky Derby and returns to a route after finishing fourth in the Thanksgiving Classic Stakes on Nov. 25 at Fair Grounds for 2015 Oaklawn training champion Chris Hartman.

The Fifth Season is a major steppingstone toward the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) for older horses April 23. The Asmussen-trained Silver State won the Fifth Season and Oaklawn Handicap in 2021.

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