Closing week at Oaklawn Park gets underway with a nine race program that will kick off at 12:25 (CT) today. There are stakes races each of the last three days of racing. Today’s featured race is The Natural State Breeders Stakes for Arkansas bred fillies and mares going one mile. A full gate of 14 has been assembled for this race, which will be the 8th of the day.
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||10||10||6,9||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|5||5||5,6,10||7||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|6||5||3,5||1||DBL, PK3, PK4|
Race 1, #7, Hoping for a Ring (5-1 ML):
This is a mare that was aggressively placed in her first few starts at this meet, after an excellent end to her Prairie Meadows meet last fall. She’s been more at home in her last two starts after getting some class relief. She appears to be ready to take a small step forward in this race, which should be enough to put her over the top in a wide open race.
Race 2, #10 Be Bo (8-1 ML):
I think this maiden claiming race is ripe for an upset. Be Bo interests me the most as a horse that should finally get to compete on a fast track. She’s caught sloppy courses in her first three starts, not running all that well against better company. She stumbled at the break when going two turns for the first time in her last start. Her Tomlinson Figures are very low, so I do see her as a horse that could be upgraded on dry ground. I like the cutback in distance and think that we’ll see her best effort to date today. Hot Summer Dream (#9) is a longshot that hasn’t come close in her three starts. However, she is making her second start of the year after returning from a six month layoff. She;s improved with each start and could be flying under the radar for lower percentage connections. Joyce’s Dream (#6) is also worth a look as she’s getting some significant class relief, even though it really doesn’t look like she is on paper. She’s been beaten by double digit lengths in her last three starts, but two of those three races were above average for the condition.
Race 4, #8 Mystic Pleasure (2-1 ML):
She looks extremely tough to beat in this maiden allowance, which is a below average race for the condition. She ran well in defeat when making her debut at Turfway for Brad Cox. She was training at the Fair Grounds, but wasn’t able to draw into a race there before the meet ended. He got her in a race at Turfway, where she ran a game second. She’s been based at Horseshoe Indianapolis, where she’s been working well. She was entered in a race there yesterday, but opted for this spot instead, which carries a significantly larger purse. Brad Cox usually sends some horses to Turfway that may prefer racing on a surface other than dirt, however, I think the fact that race was a backup plan, tells me that this Good Magic filly seems to want to run on dirt. She draws a soft field for the condition, so I’m expecting that she graduates in her second career start today.
Race 8, #11 Summer Shoes (7-2 ML):
The featured race drew 14 Arkansas Bred fillies and mares, going one mile. These races are always tricky because many of the contenders tend to be better sprinters. Summer Shoes will be asked to go two turns for the first time today. She’s won four of her seven career starts, including a win over several of these runners in the Downthedustyroad Breeders’ Stakes in March. She has the pedigree to handle two turns , but she will need to work out a trip from her high draw. Sulwe (#1) is an interesting runner in this race to me. She missed some this time this meet, and returned to finish seven lengths behind Kaboom Baby (#3) and Connie K (#4) in the slop. She has shown a lot of potential though, and I think she’ll be a candidate to be passing many of these though the stretch.