by Jerry Shottenkirk
April 14, 2018
With races from six furlongs to 1 1-8 miles, it’s hard to find a Pick 4 which as much main-track variety as Oaklawn’s. Sprinters, Derby hopefuls, proven veterans and routers – they’re all there.
The second leg is the Grade 3 $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at six furlongs, it includes the Grade 2 $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap at 1 1-8 miles, and concludes with the Grade 1 $1 million Arkansas Derby.
The Arkansas Derby is the headliner, with the top finishers taking a big leap to the Kentucky Derby. Magnum Moon, Solomini and Combatant were the top three finishers in the Grade II Rebel Stakes on March 17, and they are back. The Rebel was a 1 1 1-16th miles and Magnum Moon was top shelf in a 3.5-length win. Solomini was heavily favored and took some lumps that day, went back to his base in Calfornia and resumed trained. From all accounts, he’s done well in the mornings and is back to Oaklawn for another try. Combatant has the advantage of being locally based and also could get better with distance. He has improved position in his last five races.
Accelerate is the 9-to-5 favorite for the Oaklawn Handicap, but his No. 10 post could make it very interesting. Hedge Fund comes off a win here and Untrapped has done a lot of good in the region. Hawaakom rallied for an authoritative win in the Razorback, which came in the slop. If the track comes up wet, he’ll probably get his share of play.
Here’s the approach to the Oaklawn Pick 4:
8) #1 Title Ready, #5 Ike, #6 Higher Order
9) #1 Ivan Fallunovalot, #2 Wings Locked Up, #4 Whitmore
10) #4 Untrapped, #7 Hedge Fund, #10 Accelerate
11) #5 Solomini, #6 Magnum Moon, #9 Combatant
50-cent Pick 4: 1-5-6 with 1-2-4 with 4-7-10 with 5-6-9 ($40.50)