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$25,000 Exacta-Thon Picks for Oaklawn | Saturday, February 24, 2024

by Jeremy Plonk

February 22, 2024

The $25,000 Exacta-Thon from 1/ST BET and Xpressbet on Saturday at Oaklawn Park gives the kind of boost every horseplayer should love. Hit exactas … win more money than other players. It’s that simple.

As you play Saturday’s 12-race card that features the Rebel, Razorback and Honeybee Stakes, give extra consideration to exacta bets. That’s because players at 1/ST BET and Xpressbet who cash any exacta combination in at least 6 of the 12 Oaklawn races on Saturday will share in an additional $20,000 in free cash. The player(s) who hit the most exactas on the day will be rewarded with their share of an additional $5,000.

Sound too good to be true? Last week’s $25,000 late pick five Hit & Split at Fair Grounds saw 11 players on our platforms bag more than $2,200 each in addition to their parimutuel winnings.

Barring scratches, I’ve got $56 worth of exactas spread out over the 12-race program to attack – some that could elicit big returns, others that could help hit the Exacta-Thon’s 6-win threshold.

Oaklawn // Race 1

Notable: You won’t see a horse get much worse of a trip than #6 Footprint got in a tough allowance on January 28 – and still missed by only a head to two runners coming back in today’s Rebel Stakes. Use him to split the two favorites who look logical.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Key-box 6 with 4,7 ($4 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 2

Notable: Horses at Oaklawn missed 11 days of training due to weather in January, so I give extra credit to a few here coming out of races on February 3 as they’ve had a chance to gather more fitness in a shorter amount of time than the others. #5 Run Jalen Run, #7 Excitable Boy and #9 Daily Grind are that trio ... and two of them are double-digit odds in the morning line.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Box 5-7-9 ($6 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 3

Notable: Not every race entices a horseplayer to get cute. This one looks straightforward with #3 Motown Dynamic and #7 Cruise Missile as standout favorites. Not the kind of exacta I’m betting on a normal day, but for Exacta-Thon purposes, this might be an easy pickup for 1 of your 6 races needed.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Box 3-7 ($2 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 4

Notable: On a fast track, #2 Gunflash could bounce back with a much-improved effort. If it comes up wet on Saturday, you’re on your own in this race. He’s the key for me along with a couple of horses with strong career records of landing on the exacta ticket, #10 WW Scout’s Honor (64%) and #11 Favorite Outlaw (69%).

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Key-Box 2 with 10,11 ($4 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 5

Notable: Excited to tackle this race with two prices, #3 Tap the Champagne (10-1 ML) and #10 Who’s Ticket (15-1 ML). Both stretch out from sprint to route and have classy pedigrees and hints of ability. Get one of these on top and we’re looking at a chance to score nicely with #11 My Favorite Girl running late and #8 Enigmatic getting a slightly better post draw than she’s been accustomed.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 3,10 with 3,10,11,8 ($6 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 6

Notable: #4 Mr. Keating is well-drawn for his two sprints and then a route form cycle, one of the favorite handicapping angles of my podcast partner Jeff Siegel. At 8-1 morning line, he’s not only a good win bet, but the key to my exactas in this mile.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 4 with 8,6 ($2 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 7

Notable: Field of 12 shows just 10 combined career starts among these maidens, but even so it’s rare to see debut horses run 1-2. First-time starters #10 Snow Flurry and #11 Queen Mallard have shown morning promise for capable barns, though the former’s trainer is more apt to win at first asking than the latter. #3 Linnie Mae and #4 Haulin Ice ran decent races first time out and make sense in a race that I’m not keen on trusting. Let’s try rookies over experience and see what happens.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 10,11 over 3,4 ($4 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 8 // Carousel

Notable: From a pace standpoint, I expect this 6-furlong sprint to fly early and give a late-runner the best chance to win. #8 Zeitlos not only is the morning line favorite, but also gets the perfect set-up in front of her. The best horse with the right setup rarely gives back the advantage. Looking for #7 Mucho Macho Girl to get tied up in the pace tussle and perhaps fade out of the exacta to boost the payoff.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 8 with 9,2,3 ($3 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 9 // Honeybee Stakes

Notable: Heavily favored #6 West Omaha  (pictured above) should be extremely hard to beat in this spot. #2 Band of Gold and #1 Alys Beach are the logical contenders behind her, but I’m looking at #7 Lemon Muffin (30-1 ML) as a longshot to consider for the exactas. She’s run second in four straight maiden races in sprints and stretches out off of a series of bullet workouts. Let’s see what she’s got at a price. On a typical day, I’d play heavily 6-7 and bypass the shorter prices, but for the Exacta-Thon, the other combinations appear worth the extra $2 total to get you perhaps over the hump and into the bonus money.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 6 with 7,2,1 ($3 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 10 // Razorback Stakes

Notable: One of the toughest races and best betting chances anywhere in America on Saturday, this field of 13 has many possible twists. I’ll use 6 of them in all in various combinations, but keyed around only #8 Magic Tap, my top choice shortening in distance and #11 Notary, who is in absolute peak form. Magic Tap is my preferred of the pair, and as written up in the Race of the Week commentary, I’ll be playing a larger ticket with that one in the first spot; and a smaller ticket with Notary in the first spot.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Part-Wheel 8,11 with 8,11,9,13,1,5 ($10 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 11 // Rebel Stakes

Notable: Longshot play #9 Lagynos comes in fresher than those from the Southwest Stakes just 3 weeks ago and I’m rolling the dice that heavy favorite #7 Timberlake will offer poor value having never won around 2 turns. Definitely want to get win money on any horse that you like in any race at a big price like Lagynos, but in terms of the Exacta-Thon, I’ll spread with several chances if he runs first or second.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Key-Box 9 with 6,11,13,7,1 ($10 for $1)

Oaklawn // Race 12

Notable: #7 Crushed It is going to be a big favorite, but note he’s run second at 6-5 and 4-5 odds in his 2 starts. The preferred play is #2 Give Me a Reason, a regally bred colt with a great post draw and adding Lasix. I don’t see a lot of value in this race, but the favored pair are the way to go in the promotion.

JP’s Exacta-Thon Plays:
Box 2-7 ($2 for $1)