by Brian Nadeau
April 30, 2020
With the Stronach 5 on hiatus for the time being, and Oaklawn Park’s Closing Week ripe with stakes and full fields, let’s take a look at their late Pk5 Friday, fresh off a modest score of $191.90 on a $5 investment in last week’s late Pk4 at Gulfstream Park. And, since is the biggest racing weekend in a month, and the last at one of the two majors tracks still running for at least a few weeks, I’ll expand the bankroll a bit (while also offering a budget ticket as well).
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 4pm Friday for an update, as well as on Twitter. ***
Race 6 (4:36 ET): 3yo MSW at 6 furlongs
We start out what looks like a very tough sequence with a race that I think (hope) will play to form, as the two expected favorites—#10 ONAWAY (5-2) and #12 INIS GLUAIRE (3-1)—look better than what looks to be a modest bunch, or a few talented firsters who might need a run, or a bit farther, to shine. Obviously ‘On will be tough off a solid 4th on debut for Cox, especially since the first three finishers all came back to win, and he figures to break a lot better today as well, after breaking last. However, I can’t imagine they paid 825k for ‘Inis without loving what they saw, or not expecting a quick return on investment, and with Asmussen 16% with firsters, and a pair of sharp 5F works on display, he might run to that price tag here.
Pk4 A horses: 10,12 (listed in order of preference)
I’d probably try and get #1 FAST CASH (6-1) on the top line off a useful debut, but the rail in a big field is a concern, so he’ll be relegated to the second level, though I’ll elevate him if one of the top-2 scratch out.
Pk4 B horses: 1
Potential B add ins: #11 Vasariano (10-1), #6 Silardi (10-1), #9 Super Constitution (8-1), #7 Mundacious (12-1)
Race 7: 3up Arkansas-bred Arkansas Breeders’ Championship at 1 1/16 miles
Last year’s runner-up #3 K J’S NOBILITY (5-2) is back to try and one better that run this year, and, judging by two straight easy wins, he’s going to be tough, but they were also at one-turn, so he’s far from a lock either and you’re allowed to look for better price alternatives. I’m going to take a shot on top with #9 BANDIT POINT (10-1), who should get a lot of pace to rally into, and that close 5th in an open two-turn allowance last time gives him an upset chance here. The tactical speed #11 MAN IN THE CAN (6-1) showed in his sprints should set up for a good trip here off all the speed, and he’s got more upside than the rest of these combined, so while he’s not really bred for this trip, he still seems a must-use to me. I’ll use another big price with #6 J.E.’S HANDMEDOWN (15-1), who looks much better routing, wasn’t far behind ‘K J’s in this last year, and is another who will like what looks to be a very energetic pace.
Pk4 A horses: 9,3,11,6
As you can probably tell by now, I’m against the sloppy 3/19 state-bred allowance #4 HAMAZING VISION (9-2) and #1 PROMISING SHOES (5-1) ran 1-2 in, since their fast track from isn’t as sharp, and their runs were far and away better than anything else they’ve done in a while, though they still need to be used as a backup on expansive tickets.
Pk4 B horses: 4,1
Potential B add ins: #8 Prospector Fever (8-1)
Race 8: 3yof Gardenia at 1 1/16 miles
This is my deep spread, as I have no strong convictions about a group that predominantly look all the same on paper in a race that has the “Use one of use them all” feel to it. So, here goes: #9 ICE PRINCESS (10-1), #5 DAPHNE MOON (9-2), #7 STRONG FLAG (9-2), #10 ANTOINETTE (8-1), #2 PIECE OF MY HEART (8-1), #3 GINGHAM (3-1), and #8 COMICAL (15-1). A few asides; I guess Gingham is favored because she’s trained by Baffert (?), but you can make a case she’s no better than anyone here, as her claim to fame was a slow and distant 2nd in an SA GII last time; Piece of My Heart may bounce off her big figure win last time, but is also the most likely winner here if she moves forward off it; Ice Princess is also entered in the Fantasy, but regardless of where she runs, the fact Gargan decided to ship her here is noteworthy.
Pk4 A horses: 9,5,7,10,2,3,8
With seven on the top line, I don’t deserve to make it through if I don’t have the winner somewhere up there, so there will be no backups.
Pk4 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: #6 Quick Decision (12-1), #His Glory (8-1)
Race 9: 3yof Fantasy at 1 1/16 miles
If you’re on a budget (see that ticket below), you can single #2 VENETIAN HARBOR (2-1), since she looks to be the controlling speed, drew perfectly, and has run extremely fast in her last two, while facing a group of gals who haven’t yet checked that box. With that being said, since I’ve expanded the budget here, I’m going to get a little cheeky and use #5 HARVEYS LIL GOIL (12-1) as well, since she’s been nothing short of awesome in her two dirt runs in New York—albeit against tons easier—and off just three starts, she still has a world of upside as well.
Pk4 A horses: 2,5
I’ve never quite come around to champion #10 BRITISH IDIUM (5-2), as she beat a bad field in slow time in the GI Alcibiades at Kee, then was fortunate (in my opinion) to beat Donna Veloce in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Those sentiments were further strengthened when she was a very flat 2nd in her seasonal bow in the GII Rachel Alexandra at FG, and while fans will say Cox had no reason to crank her and she can move forward here, detractors can also say race winner Finite returned and ran off the board at odds-on in a short field in the GII FG Oaks. Point being, I’ll use her, but she can beat me on any my serious tickets.
Pk4 B horses: 10
Potential B add ins: #7 Shedaresthedevil (12-1), #4 Lake Avenue (15-1), #3 Swiss Skydiver (6-1)
Race 10: 3upfm AOC (40k/N2X) at 6 furlongs
Two of the three horses to beat—#6 SPEND SPEND SPEND (7-2) and #8 LA CHANCLA (4-1)—enter off late August and late September layoffs, respectively, so they are question marks, which make this finale that much tougher to solve. I’ll use them both, especially since the former might be a Lone F and the latter is first-time Asmussen (19%), but they are a bit further down the list. My top pick is #10 UNION FACTOR (12-1), who cuts back off a well-beaten 5th in a fast route last time but was a very good 2nd sprinting two-back, and should have plenty of foundation off that two-turn run, and has enough tactical speed to trip out here too. It’s also worth nothing he beat favored #7 WHOLEHEARTED (5-2) in that sprint run, and this runner returned to win a small stakes at WRD, and has been rock solid off the Diordoro claim.
Pk4 A horses: 10,7,6,8 (listed in order of preference)
I’m banking on the top-4 getting it done, as they just look a cut above the rest here, so I’ll have no backups in the closing leg.
Pk4 B horses: NONE
Potential B add ins: #4 Full of Grace (8-1), #1 Miss Imperial (4-1) #3 Sara Sea (15-1)
The suggested tickets:
Main Ticket: 10,12 with 9,3,11,6 with 9,5,7,10,2,3,8 with 2,5 with 10,7,6,8 = $224
Race 6 B backup: 1 with 9,3,11,6 with 9,5,7,10,2,3,8 with 2,5 with 10,7,6,8 = $96
Race 7 B Backup: 10,12 with 4,1 with 9,5,7,10,2,3,8 with 2,5 with 10,7,6,8 = $96
Race 9 B Backup: 10,12 with 9,3,11,6 with 9,5,7,10,2,3,8 with 10 with 10,7,6,8 = $96
*** To limit the price of the backup tickets you can single #2 Venetian Harbor in R9 ***
All A Budget Ticket: 10,12 with 9,3,11 with 9,5,7,10,2,3,8 with 2 with 10,7,6,8 = $84