We’ve reached the end of the road for the 2022-2023 Oaklawn Park Meet, and they’ll wrap things up with a 12 race program that will get under way at 12:20 (CT). There are two stakes races, along with the traditional closing race, the 14 furlong, Trails End Starter Allowance. Crisitian Torres will be the meet’s leading rider and he comes into the day only two wins shy of 100 winners at the meet. While Steve Asmussen made things interesting over the last month, he still remains six wins behind Robertino Diodoro for leading trainer. While it is mathematically possible for Asmussen to pull this out, it’s highly unlikely.
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||5||5,9,11||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|5||9||4,6,9||13||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|6||12||11,12||7||DBL, PK3, PK4|
|8||7||7,10,11||3||DBL, PK3, PK5|
|9||5||5||6||DBL. PK3, PK4|
Race 1, #3 Immoral (5-1 ML):
I’d be thrilled to get 5-1 on this son of Into Mischief, making his first start off the Greg Compton claim. His last race is a toss for me, catching a sloppy track and going two turns. He was caught wide early and faded when facing a slightly better field for this similar condition. Compton has good numbers with horses first off the claim, and the cutback in distance makes a lot of sense as well. He finds a field where there are some other horses looking to get one last race in at this meet, but they might be doing so under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. a condition or distance that may not be ideal).
Race 3, Chupapi Munyayo (15-1, ML):
I think this three year old Sky Kingdom gelding is an interesting play in this state bred optional claiming/allowance race. He’s been a difficult horse to get out of the gate in three of his first four starts. However, Ricardo Santana takes over today and he’s found a field with several early speed horses that struggle to hold on at the end of races. His maiden score three starts ago was exceptional, where he came with a rail rally after sitting in the middle of the pace early on. He’s been outclassed with better fields in his last two starts, where he did break slowly. I think he could be dangerous with a better start. At long odds, I think he’s worth a look.
Race 4, #1 Royal Act (5-2, ML):
While I think this Southern California shipper for Robertino Diodoro is the most likely winner, the story of this race is Rated R Superstar (#3). He’s a ten year old gelding, scheduled to make his 27th career start over this oval. He’s won five times here, three of which came in stakes company. He’s been a fan favorite over the years, often winning these races at long odds. Hos form is tailing off a bit, and he is typically a pace dependent runner. I don’t think he’s going to get the set up that desires in this spot, which could very well be the last time he competes on this oval. He will be getting significant class relief, so I’ll cover with him on deeper plays, and I’ll definitely be rooting for him, however, as handicapper, the majority of my money will be elsewhere in this race, especially if he is overbet.
Race 9, The $150K Lake Hamilton Stakes, #5 Skelly (1-1 ML):
It’s hard to look past the winner of the Count Fleet Stakes in the co-feature race this afternoon. He looks like another super-talented sprinter that is emerging from the Asmussen barn. I am a bit surprised to see him entered here, as opposed to the Maryland Sprint Stakes on the Preakness undercard in two weeks, a race that Asmussen has won three of the last four times. However, it’s hard to argue with how good this horse has been on this course at this meet. I would think with his ability at this distance, a race like the Alfred G. Vanderbilt at the Spa this summer would have to be on his to do list.
Race 11, The $200K Arkansas Breeders’ Championship, #8 One Ten Stadium (9-2 ML):
These state bred races often feature stretch out sprinters, many of which aren’t comfortable getting the distance. A horse coming from off the pace should have an edge assuming they get the right trip. I can forgive the effort last out from One Ten Stadium when he had a bit of weird ride, where he dropped well off the pace down the backstretch. He was still moving well late, to get within a length of the winner, despite finishing 4th. I like the rider switch to Santana and I think he’ll get the right set up today. Gar Hole (#11) is an interesting runner, trying to get two turns for the first time. He is the best state bred sprinter in training, and his pedigree does suggest that he could be better suited to get two turns than most. Man in the Can (#14) has a difficult post for this race, but he’s worth using because he has been a consistent force at this circuit. He’s coming in off a win and was 3rd in this race last year, when also drawing post 14.
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