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Saturday, April 11: Oaklawn Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

April 11, 2020

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

It is recommended that Jeff’s selections be used to augment the reader’s own personal handicapping, though excellent results can be achieved by applying the rolling exotic strategy specified by Jeff’s analysis. Jeff’s recommended plays are intended for players with a moderate budget; however, readers are encouraged to adjust Jeff’s wagering strategy to fit their preferred investment level.

Grade A=Highest degree of confidence.
Grade B=Solid Play.
Grade C=Least preferred, or pass.
Grade X=probable winner but odds are not likely to offer wagering value.

The selections are available every racing day after morning scratches. For updates, please follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

RACE 1: Post 12:35 CT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-As Fast as You Can; 7-C P Quality; 12-Destiny’s Love

Forecast: A terrific Saturday card at Oaklawn Park begins with a low-level seller that requires a spread in rolling exotic play. As Fast as You Can, claimed back by R. Diodoro for $12,500 in a sign of confidence, is reunited with “win rider” D. Cohen and probably will beat this field with a repeat of her sharp score two runs back over this track and distance. This class drop isn’t really much to worry about from a stable that hits at an amazing 32% with the first-off-the-claim angle, so with a clean start from the rail and a trouble-free trip the daughter of Paddy O’Prado should be hard to beat. C P Quality, fourth in the same race our top pick exits after finding her best stride late to be fourth with a rally-wide trip, makes that same exact class drop off a claim, this one by J. DeVito. She knows where the wire is and with some help up might be heard from in the final furlong. Destiny’s Love has only one way to go – on the front end, gate-to-wire – and if the daughter of Even the Score and get over from her extreme outside draw she could run back to her recent score in a restricted (nw-3) $16,000 event that charts quite well in this league. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics with As Fast as You Can worth a look in the win pool at or near her morning line of 4-1.

RACE 2: Post 1:08 CT. Grade: C+
Use: 3-Madison Way; 4-Adheretome; 8-Miss Imperial

Forecast: Miss Imperial arrives from Fair Grounds on a three-race winning streak but shows up for a $25,000 tag, well-below her claim level of $40,000 in early January. The B. Cox barn is very aggressive with its claiming stock, so we’ll accept the class drop as business as usual and expect the daughter of MacLean’s Music be on or near the lead throughout. One of the barn’s go-to riders, F. Geroux, takes the call. Adheretome just won at this level over a sloppy surface and if she can perform as well on dry land the daughter of Paynter looms the one to fear most. A perfect three-for-three over the Oaklawn Park main track, the R. Diodoro-trained filly isn’t as fast on speed figures as ‘Imperial but she may be one of those that rises to occasion when called upon. Madison Way seeks her third straight score while moving up from a starter’s allowance $10,000 event. Both of her wins were accomplished with O. Mojica in the saddle and he stays aboard. She figures to draft in behind the dueling leaders and have dead aim when it matters the most. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and hope to get home the best price.

RACE 3: Post 1:39 CT. Grade: B+
Single: 8-Skol Factor

Forecast: Skol Factor finished second in a strong, highly-rated and productive sprint in his debut in mid-February and has trained very well since, including a bullet five furlongs (:59.2/5, fastest of 28) nine days ago. There are a few interesting first-timers in the field and a couple of others that have displayed a bit of promise but nothing should stop the M. Robertson-trained son of The Factor from graduating today if he delivers anything close to a repeat of his first start. The switch to J. Rosario is added bonus for a barn that has excellent stats with second-time starters. At 2-1 on the morning line and likely to go lower, he’s a logical rolling exotic single.

RACE 4: Post 2:10 CT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Shooters Shoot; 5-Blackberry Wine

Forecast: Shooters Shoot was quite impressive breaking his maiden at Santa Anita over this one mile distance with a stakes-quality speed figure that equaled the number he was assigned when finishing a distant second behind unbeaten Charlatan in his previous outing. The son of Competitive Edge surely will employ gate-to-wire tactics from his good inside draw, and with a nice three-furlong blowout over the local main track six days ago the P. Eurton-trained colt appears on edge for another top performance. We’ll take anything near his morning line of 7/2 if we can get it. Blackberry Wine “returned” to the maiden ranks and crushed his overmatched rivals by 13 lengths over a sloppy track last month with a big figure (he had been disqualified from two previous wins due to medication issues). The race really should boil down the these two, and on pure numbers they’re hard to separate, so we’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have extra tickets keying Shooters Shoot on top.

RACE 5: Post 2:41 CT. Grade: B+
Use: 2-Millennium Force; 10-Nasty; 12-Cynical Girl

Forecast: Nasty ran much better than the line will show when fourth after an extremely difficult trip in a strong maiden-special-weight sprint in her debut at Fair Grounds in mid-February. She was boxed in behind runners most of the way and was forced to check repeatedly before finishing as best she could when clear in the final furlong. If she leaves cleanly and gets into proper rhythm, the daughter of Street Sense should be able to display her true ability, and at 6-1 on the morning offers a reasonable gamble in a fairly competitive six furlong sprint. The B. Cox barn hits at a powerful 26% with second-time starts and the Cox-Geroux combo is even stronger at 28%. Cynical Girl adds blinkers after flashing speed and then weakening in a sloppy track maiden sprint here last month. Her fast track effort two runs back – she was a distant second to the talented Edgeway while nine lengths clear of the rest – charts well here and with the switch to J. Rosario and leaving from an outside draw the daughter of Strong Mandate should have clear sailing and every chance. Millennium Force, a second-time starter from the T. Amoss barn, finished a solid runner-up while four lengths clear of the others on turf. Her pedigree suggest she’ll act on dirt just as well, so if she can produce a forward move for a trainer than hits at a very good 24% with second-timers she’ll likely have a say in the matter. These are the three we’ll be including in our rolling exotics; we’ll have extra tickets keying Nasty on top.

RACE 6: Post 3:12 CT. Grade: B+
Use: 7-Pneumatic; 9-Ancient Warrior

Forecast: Pneumatic won at first asking despite a terrible trip – he missed the break, was forced wide and then produced an extended rally from the 3/8ths pole to the wire – while earning a strong speed figure in a race that already has produced a next-out winner. The son of Uncle Mo tackles winners today and stretches out to a mile, but this could be a high quality colt and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the S. Asmussen-trained 3-year-old come right back and win again. He’s 7/2 on the morning and we’ll take that if we can get it. Rolling exotic player should also take a close look at Ancient Warrior, who picks up J. Rosario and stretches out for the first time. He’s the likely pace-setter if he wants to be, and as a son of Constitution certainly is bred to improve as the distances increase. The J. Hollendorfer-trained colt also is a fit on speed figures.

RACE 7: Post 3:42 CT. Grade: B
Use: 1-Pit Boss; 11-Earner

Forecast: Earner displayed good ability when a strong runner-up in his debut at Fair Grounds in January, pressing the pace throughout and then winding up six lengths clear of a next-out winner while earning an excellent speed figure. The son of Carpe Diem has done very well in the a.m. since for a barn that is quite solid with second-timers (18%), and while we would have preferred to see another sprint under his belt before stretching out to two-turns, this colt has the pedigree to handle the extra ground and on paper simply should be better than these. Worth watching and perhaps including on a ticket or two as a back-up is the promising first-timer Pit Boss, who’ll leave from the rail under T. Baze. Yes, the W. Catalano barn has terrible stats with first-timer starters - this colt will be trying to break a 41-race losing streak with this angle - but the work tab indicates real ability so we’re expecting the son of Union Rags to run well, if not actually win.

RACE 8: Post 4:12 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-All West; 4-Gallant Plunger; 3-Mo Gotcha; 9-Proverb

Forecast: All West is listed at 20-1 on the morning line and we’re pretty much convinced that the lightly-raced four-year-old colt is a whole lot better than that. After being given a run in a troubled debut sprint in February, the son of Flashback stretched out successfully 20 days later when pressing an easy pace and then kicking clear with complete authority to register a very strong speed figure. Today, he moves up into a first-level allowance race and obviously is tackling a tougher group, but this colt is a progressive sort, and from where he’s drawn he’s very likely to enjoy an ideal ground-saving, pace stalking trip. J. Talamo, aboard for both his starts, stays aboard, so if you’re looking for a blowout horse in your rolling exotics, he’s the one. This race is not without other contenders, though. Mo Gotcha, drawn right alongside All West, sports the always-popular blinkers off angle and though having been stuck at this condition after four tries, the Uncle Mo gelding is fairly solid in the speed figure department and should be prominent throughout. Gallant Plunger, a son of Candy Spots stretching out for the first time, was awarded his maiden win via disqualification but continues to progress in the speed figure department and is bred to continue to improve with maturity and distance. He’s 8-1 on the morning line and is worth including at that price. Proverb switches to J. Rosario, and while he’s been a money burner in all three of his outings since joining the R. Baltas barn, the son of Flatter ran well when taken off the pace last time out over a sloppy track and finished willingly, a tactic that probably will be employed again.

RACE 9: Post 4:43 PT. Grade: B
Use: 2-Mr. Money; 3-Tom’s d’Etat; 14-Improbable

Forecast: If Tom’s d’Etat returns as well as he left, he’ll most likely win the Oaklawn Mile, a $200,000 listed stakes that strongly resembles a Grade 2 event and perhaps even a Grade 1. The now 7-year-old son of Smart Strike closed out 2019 with victories in the Fayette S.-G2 and Clark S.-G1 with complete authority, and with a history of running well fresh he’s likely to return as a fit horse even though the work tab isn’t flashy. Another talented comebacker, Improbable, ships from California after registering a series of highly impressive workouts for his first start since finishing unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, looking very much like the colt that was so promising as a 2-year-old and then early in his 3-year-old campaign. The extreme outside post 14 might be a deal breaker, but the B. Baffert-trained son of City Zip seems ready to fire his best shot. Mr. Money a non-factor in the BC Dirt Mile, returns for W. Calhoun, who hits at a very strong 23% with a flat-bet profit with his layoff runners. The 4-year-old colt has been burning up the track at Fair Grounds preparing for his 4-year-old debut and is drawn quite well inside. With his kind of tactical speed, the son of Goldencents should draft into an ideal pace-prompting position and be a strong factor throughout.

RACE 10: Post 5:14 CT. Grade: C+
Use: 7-Oxide; 9-Eddy Forever; 10-Dean Martini; 12-Hunt the Front

Forecast: On paper this looks like a below standard race for straight maiden 3-year-olds. Those that are likely to receive most of the action have below par speed figures for the level, a handicapping model that often produces a chaotic result. Therefore, we’ll go four-deep in our rolling exotics without any true conviction.Dean Martini, the lukewarm morning line favorite at 7/2, is a six-race maiden with numbers that have stagnated but he’s fairly reliable, having hit the board in five of six career starts, most recently when closing wide to be a runner-up in a similar spot over this track in late February. That type of effort might be good enough today. Oxide, a close third in his last pair, has middling numbers but is lightly-race and has yet to have chance over a dry, fast track. The E. Kenneally-trained son of Golden Lad should be prominent throughout and have every chance to seal the deal. His morning line of 5-1 seems about right. Hunt the Front picks up J. Rosario but must leave from the extreme outside 12-post position. Second in his last three with numbers that fit, the son of Revolutionary will be running on strongly through the lane and with some help up front might tag the speed. Eddy Forever always trained better than he ran when in the B. Baffert stable in California and today will make his first start since joining the R. Diodoro stable. The son of Medaglia d’Oro had a sharp recent half mile drill (:47 3/5, second fastest 54), so maybe he’ll improve, but who knows? We’ll toss him in.

RACE 11: Post 5:48 CT. Grade: B+
Use: 1-Basin; 5-Sir Rick; 9-Digital

Forecast: Basin did well to finish as close as he did (third, beaten almost eight lengths) in his seasonal debut in the Rebel S.-G2 behind unbeaten Nadal and seems certain to improve dramatically with that effort under his belt. Last year’s Hopeful S.-G1 winner was bottled up behind horses most of the way and in heavy traffic when trying to rally at the top of the lane but was forced to lose all of his momentum and whatever chance he may have had. To his credit he stayed on gamely to secure third money. If he leaves cleanly form the rail, the son of Liam’s Map should be within striking distance while saving ground and then have the opportunity to produce a winning late kick. Sir Rick gets tested for class after successive wins at Sam Houston and Sunland Park, the most recent in the Mine That Bird Derby. He’s not where he needs to be on speed figures but the son of Paynter continues to improve in every race and may be better than his morning line of 15-1. We’ll have a ticket or two using him as saver, as we will with Digital, fifth in the Risen Star S.-G2 last time out with a less than ideal trip but with numbers that give him an outside look at 8-1.

RACE 12: Post 6:19 PT. Grade: B-
Use: 5-Popular Kid; 6-Exulting; 10-Sonny Smack

Forecast: Exulting exits a series of much tougher races and is realistically spotted in this allowance optional $50,000 claimer over a main track he’s won on in the past. The Tapit gelding is a one-paced grinder whose style doesn’t translate well on grass, but under these conditions the M. Maker-trained gelding should show his best stuff. Popular Kid won a pair of recent races from softer in a breeze, but both wins were accomplished over a wet track. How he’ll do on fast ground remains to be seen (and regular jockey M. Garcia jumps off to ride Exulting) but with J. Rosario taking the call we’ll include him in rolling exotic play on the chance that he really has improved since joining this stable. Hunka Burning Love should produce a forward move in his third start off a layoff after a troubled trip on a wet track vs. tougher last month. If he can make the lead, the Into Mischief gelding could get brave on the front end at 15-1 on the morning line. At that price, you have to use him.