The week starts off with a card that is not the best that Oaklawn has to offer. However, there is a big day of racing on tap tomorrow, headed by the FGrade 1 Apple Blossom Stakes. This nine race card kicks off at 12:35 (CT) today.
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|
|2||4||3,4||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|5||9||3,9||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|6||3||3,6,8||4||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 6, #3 Stormin Hongkong (12-1 ML): The early part of this card is rough today, but things open up a little bit in the latter half of the program. While I don’t love horses that are claimed by lower percentage trainers, I can back this runner at 12-1 (ML) or better. I don’t think believe his last race was a result of inferior training, I see it more as a bad start that did him in. He was very competitive when facing some of the shorter prices here in the past. I think he can be a rebound candidate.
Race 7, #8 Funtimegirl (10-1 ML): Speaking of rebound candidate, this filly was exceptional when making her debut here last year with $50K maiden claimers. She was off for over a year with some physical ailments, and she hasn’t been her best self in her first two starts of 2023. However, I think the drop in class is significant to have an impact with this group. Leading rider, Cristian Torres continues to retain the mount, so clearly, he’s not deterred from her poor effort in the mud last time out.
Race 8, #9 Protege (6-1 ML): There’s a pair of short priced runners in the feature, but I’ll side with him as my best bet of the afternoon. He was excellent when sprinting last year, winning on debut at this distance at Churchill. He struggled to have the same effectiveness at longer distances though. He makes his first start in over two months, where I think he’ll get a very nice stalking trip. Also, don’t sleep on the second time starter, Axton (#6). Not too many horses can overcome the start he had last time. He was absolutely flying home late. He’ll likely get another sharp pace to close into today.