Oaklawn Park Racing Preview – 3/4/23 – By Eric Solomon

Arkansas breds get the spotlight on the Saturday card at Oaklawn, as they’re featured in a pair of sprint races today. Race 7 is the Downthedustyroad Breeder’s Stakes for state bred fillies and mares. Race 9 is the Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes for the boys. Both races are at six furlongs on a nice afternoon which should allow for some drying out after some rain the past few days. Due to time commitments, I’ll share my grid for today and have write ups for only the stakes races below. First post is 12:35 (ET) with Race 7 scheduled for 3:50 (CT) and Race 9 slated to go off at 4:54 (CT).

 

I’ll be covering this exciting meet on the ITM Blog, along with posting some updates and thoughts from time to time on Twitter @EricSolomon718. Feel free to reach out!

 

Race Top Pick A B C Exotics Menu
1 2 2,3,5 DBL, PK5
2 3 3 5 DBL, PK3, PK4
3 1 1 2,8 DBL, PK3
4 1 1,2 9 DBL, PK3
5 5 1,5 7 2 DBL, PK3
6 1 1,8 DBL, PK3, PK5
7 6 6,8 4 9 DBL, PK3, PK4
8 8 4,8 9 DBL, PK3
9 7 7 5,8 DBL
10 12 1,10,12

 

 

Race 7, The $150K Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes:

Connie K (#6) defeated Unbridled Twister (#2) in this race last year, and they’re back to do battle once again today. However, they’ll have to deal with Summer Shoes (#8), who is the morning line favorite after beating both of these mares two starts ago. I do like Connie K to retain her title though. I think she is the quickest of the three from the gate, and she does her best work at this distance. She dueled for the lead against a better group in the American Beauty Stakes last time out. That was an open stakes race though. She’s been much more competitive at the state bred level. I think she can rebound from her last effort here. Summer Shoes is the newcomer in this division. She has never lost a race in three starts in state bred company. She came up just short as the favorite in an open N1X allowance race here at the end of January. If she continues to progress, she’s going to be tough to beat in this spot. I don’t like Unbridled Twister today, coming off a big effort last time out. She’s struggled to pair her best races together in the past, and I think she’s facing a tougher group today. I do see a scenario where there is a bit of pace meltdown, so both Kaboom Baby (#4) and Run Fearless (#9) might be worth throwing in on some deeper plays. Kaboom Baby feels a little light at 4-1 on the morning line since she’s never defeated the upper echelon of runners in this race. However, she does close well, especially where there’s a strong pace in front of her. Her last was strong and now she moves into the third race in her current form cycle. Run Fearless feels like she’ll be a better price, but she’s going to have to continue her pattern of improvement to beat this group. She has won two of her last three starts on this oval and looks like a horse that is getting better in her five year old season. She was a bit flat in the mud two back behind Unbridled Twister and Kaboom Baby, but she ran very well at long odds last out when she cleared the state bred N1X level. 

 

Race 9, The $150K Nodouble Breeders’ Stakes:

One of my favorite horses on the grounds, Gar Hole (#7) is back in action with Arkansas breds after fading late in open company behind Gunite in the King Cotton Stakes. Gunite might be the best horse in training at six furlongs in the country right now, so I can’t fault him for not being able to keep pace in the late stages of that race. He was electric here at the state bred level last year, winning all four starts by a combined 18 lengths. He was very good here of New Year’s Day when easily beating both Mrs. Beans (#5) and Navy Seal (#8), who are the prime opponents once again. I just think Gar Hole is too good. I’ll use the other two on the C line, but if the track is on the wetter side still, I would upgrade both to the B line because the two worst races that Gar Hole ran came on wet tracks. Mrs. Beans is very consistent, finishing in the money in his last nine starts, winning three of them. He couldn’t keep pace with Gar Hole early last out and is 0-2 against him so far. Navy Seal might have a little more upside, finishing a length behind Mrs. Beans and four lengths behind Gar Hole two back. He came back to clear the state bred N2X condition last time out, so he could be moving forward in his five year old season. 

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