by Jonathon Van Dine
April 23, 2020
It’s another phenomenal Saturday of racing at Oaklawn Park and the day’s co-features – the $125,000 Carousel and $100,000 Bachelor – have attracted some serious racehorses. The Bachelor, which goes as Race 9, drew Bob Baffert’s superstar three-year-old Eight Rings, while Race 10, the Carousel, marks the seasonal debut of Bellafina and also attracted Steve Asmussen’s star mare, Mia Mischief.
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Here's my take on the Late Pick 4:
Race 8 (5:14PM ET) – Allowance ($62K)
Oaklawn kicks off its late pick 4 with a difficult allowance race going 6 furlongs. This race seems to revolve around #4 SNEAKING OUT. If she can revert back to her form when Hollendorfer had her in April and May of 2019 then she will be very tough to beat. She is 6-4-2-0 in one-turn races, and Hollendorfer is 25% of the layoff. However, this will be the first time she has left California and the layoff does concern me a little bit. I am going to use multiple horses in this leg starting with #1 FLAT OUT SPEED who has done nothing wrong in her first 3 starts. #5 NOMIZAR could get a very nice stalking trip in this race as there is quite a bit of speed lined up here. I will also use #8 READY TO RUNAWAY and #9 BYE BYE J to round out this first leg.
Pick 4 Horse(s): #1 FLAT OUT SPEED (12/1), #4 SNEAKING OUT (7/2), #5 NOMIZAR (9/2), #8 READY TO RUNAWAY (6/1), #9 BYE BYE J (4/1)
Race 9 (5:45PM ET) – Bachelor Stakes ($100K)
The Bachelor Stakes has a few familiar rivals once again going up against each other. #9 LONG WEEKEND was victorious over #1 LITTLE MENACE, #2 BEAU OXY, and #5 LYKAN. LONG WEEKEND was able to go right to the front, and never look back winning by more than 4 lengths in the end. It would seem to be a difficult task for any of those 3 to turn the tables here so we’ll use LONG WEEKEND and then look elsewhere. #7 EIGHT RINGS won the Grade 1 American Pharaoh by 6 before struggling in the BC Juvenile. This is obviously a much easier spot, and is a must use. I am also going to use #3 ECHO TOWN coming off a nice $90K Allowance win at Oaklawn Park.
Pick 4 Horse(s): #3 ECHO TOWN (9/2), #7 EIGHT RINGS (5/2), #9 LONG WEEKEND (3/1)
Race 10 (6:16PM ET) – Carousel Stakes ($125K)
The feature race of the day sees #1 BELLAFINA ship into Oaklawn Park to face 7 rivals. She has been installed as the 8/5 favorite, and I will be singling in this race. However, I will not be singling BELLAFINA. I am looking to the far outside in the #8 MIA MISCHIEF. She had an easy win at Oaklawn Park off the lay-off albeit against very weak competition, but that race was used to tighten her up for the Carousel Stakes. She draws favorably on the outside and should sit a very good trip. I would definitely understand going 2 deep and using BELLAFINA, but she has never really come close to winning a race outside of California. I will single here in hopes that going deep legs 1 and 4 will pay-off.
Pick 4 Horse(s): #8 MIA MISCHIEF (9/2)
Race 11: (6:47PM ET) – Maiden Special Weight ($60K)
The nightcap is a tough maiden special event, and honestly, this is race where it is tough for me to a very strong opinion. Singling Mia Mischief will afford me the ability to go deep in this leg which I most certainly will. We’ll start with #1 COPPER KING who draws the rail, but doesn’t have a lot of speed. He has shown the ability to sit mid-pack which he’ll need here. It will likely be too difficult to drop back and circle the field. #3 VIOLENT PASS went off at 9-2 against similar last time out and lost all chance at the start and then raced wide. Given the 15-1 morning line I will give this one another shot. Joel Rosario picks up the mount on #4 UNRIGHTEOUS who was overmatched in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, but obviously gets back to easier competition here and is the one to beat. #6 AZTEC EMPIRE is another logical horse to use in here after finishing 3rd in a $60K MSW last out. I will also use #9 RONAMO, #11 On d’Oro, and if the #13 SCALE draws in, he will also be included on the ticket.
Pick 4 Horse(s): #1 COPPER KING (7/2), #3 VIOLENT PASS (15/1), #4 UNRIGHTEOUS (5/2), #6 AZTEC EMPIRE (5/1), #9 RONAMO (10/1), #11 ON D'ORO (8/1), #13 SCALE (6/1) (AE)
Race 8: 1, 4, 5, 8, 9
Race 9: 3, 7, 9
Race 10: 8
Race 11: 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13
Ticket Cost: $52.50 for 50-cents
I am looking at $52.50 for 50-cents as it stands now. If you are a big fan of Bellafina in the Carousel, then it probably wouldn’t be difficult to pare down the first leg to just two horses to allow you to include Bellafina.