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Friday, May 1: Oaklawn Park Wagering Strategies

by Jeff Siegel

May 1, 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 1:05 CT. Grade: B
Use: 6-C P Quality; 9-Destiny’s Love

Forecast: Destiny’s Love and C P Quality finished one-two in a $6,250 sprint last month and are the main players right back on the one-level raise, with ‘Love looking likely as a repeat winner off the claim by R. Diodoro (31% with a massive flat-bet profit with this angle). The daughter of Even the Score projects to be on near the lead throughout with regular rider T. Baze staying aboard and as the winner of four of eight career starts she’s certainly been genuine and consistent. Additionally, she’s the recipient of a four pound break in the weights from C P Quality, who was favored when they met three weeks ago but was simply second best when trying to rally from off the pace, as is her usual style. We’ll have tickets using both in our rolling exotics with the main push going to Destiny’s Love.

RACE 2: Post 1:35 CT. Grade: B-
Use: 1-So Alive; 5-Praetorian; 11-Tez

Forecast: Restricted (nw-3) $16,000 routing claimers meet in a race that appears fairly wide open. We’ll go three-deep and hope to survive and advance. Praetorian is another first-off-the-claim for R. Diodoro and therefore can be expected to produce significant improvement after finishing second vs. similar last month. The son of Tiznow has shown a preference to finish second (seven times) rather than win (twice) but is fresh from earning a career top speed figure, one that is better than par for this class and one good enough to beat this field. The Keeneland-based Tez drops to his lowest level ever and isn’t quite as fast on numbers as Praetorian but was a closing third in his first local appearance last month, and with a bit more ground to work with against this softer group the T. Amoss-trained colt appears the one to fear most. So Alive is another tackling considerably easier foes after finishing a distant fourth behind By My Standards in a tough allowance race Fair Grounds in early February. The recent work tab looks healthy for high percentage trainer B. Cox and his speed figures make him a contender, so with the switch to J. Castellano the son of Super Saver should be quite competitive, especially from his good inside draw. We’ll include all three in our rolling exotics with a slight edge on top to Praetorian.

RACE 3: Post 2:05 CT. Grade: C+
Use: 7-The Mary Rose; 8-Too Pretty; 10-Little Tater

Forecast: We’ll use three in the third race, an Arkansas-bred first-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares while preferring The Mary Rose on top. Second in her last pair, most recently when earning a career-top speed figure in the Rainbow Miss Stakes for state-bred runners, the daughter of Macho Uno is lightly-raced with further improvement probable, has a good stalking style, and retains M. Garcia. If there’s a concern, it’s that this will be her third start in a month and she laid her body down in both of her last two. Too Pretty handled a group of Arkansas-bred maidens convincingly two weeks ago and returns off short rest to take advantage of the state-bred restriction. Her numbers are climbing, and with another forward move she could give The Mary Rose a bit of a run. Lil Tater found her best stride too late when a closing fifth after a sluggish start at this level last month (finishing a length behind The Mary Rose) and not much more will be needed to put her in the fray once again.

RACE 4: Post 2:35 CT. Grade: C+
Use: 1-Bubbas Dixie; 6-Hinton; 8-Dapper Jack

Forecast: Here’s another modest affair requiring a spread, this one an open event for $8,000 claiming routers. Bubbas Dixie is in sharp form and should fire another big shot while returning to his winning level after a solid third place performance for $10,000 over a sloppy track last month. He’s just as capable on dry land, gets the good rail, and should be able to settle somewhere in mid-pack and then produce his run from the quarter pole to the wire for the Borel brothers. Hinton, a well-beaten second at odds-on behind Bubbas Dixie two races back, most recently finished sixth in the same race ‘Dixie was third in so he’ll need to step it up a bit today to turn the tables. The Candy Ride gelding should inherit a nice stalking position in a race that projects to have soft early splits. Dapper Jack is another capable of displaying dangerous early speed in a field without much of it and while his recent form is suspect the veteran gelding will appreciate the return to a dry surface. He should at least get a piece of it.

RACE 5: Post 3:06 CT. Grade: B
Use: 3-Malibu Pro; 12-Degrom

Forecast: We’ve got this $32,000 claiming router down to two main contenders, and both should be included in your rolling exotics. Malibu Pro, yet another first-off-the-claim play for R. Diodoro (see today’s first and second races), returns at the same level and switches to O. Mojica after finishing in the frame in his last two starts with solid figures. The son of Malibu Moon has a good stalking style and is likely to improve as most horses do in their first start since being taken over by this stable. The dangerous class-dropper Degrom must overcome his extreme outside draw but if the son of Congrats can negotiate a decent trip he should be right there. First or second in 16 of 36 career outings, the D. Fawkes-trained gelding always has been fairly consistent and dependable and is plenty fast on numbers but this post position obviously does him no favors. Both should be used in rolling exotics; based on his preferable draw we’ll put Malibu Pro slightly on top.

RACE 6: Post 3:36 CT. Grade: B
Use: 6-Silardi; 10-Onaway; 12-Inis Gluaire

Forecast: This is an intriguing straight maiden sprint for 3-year-olds that appears to contain some nice prospects. Silardi, a City Zip colt from the P. Miller barn, was ready to run earlier this year but missed the entire month of March and finally makes it to the post on the first day of May. The work tab is impressive for a barn that doesn’t breeze its maidens fast, so we suspect this $160,000 Keeneland yearling buy has plenty of ability. The S. Asmussen-trained Inis Gluaire is a first-timer out of two-time Canadian filly and mare turf champion Inish Glora, who was 19-years old when she foaled this colt. A half-brother to Woodbine Oaks winner Roan Inish, the son of Bernardini certainly is bred to run farther than shorter but brought $850,00 in the OBS March Sale primarily because he breezed the fastest furlong in the entire auction – :09 4/5 – and did so without undue urging. He carries his head a bit higher than we’d prefer but certainly has plenty speed and from his outside draw should have clear sailing and every chance to win at first asking after vanning down from Keeneland following two noteworthy gate works. The best of the known element clearly is Onaway, a closing fourth after lacking early speed in a hot maiden sprint in mid-February that already has produced three exceptional next out winners, Pneumatic, Skol Factor, and Liam’s Pride. The B. Cox-trained colt doesn’t strike us as a quick type - he was last of nine during the early stages of the race and didn’t really break badly – but with a race over the track he certainly has a right to step forward. These are the three we’ll be using in our rolling exotics; due to price considerations we’ll put Silardi slightly on top.

RACE 7: Post 4:06 CT. Grade: B+
Single: 3-K J’s Nobility

Forecast: There’s really no reason why K J’s Nobility won’t continue to clean up on Arkansas-bred stakes company and the genuine and consistent gelding appears well-placed again in this state-bred middle distance stakes event. A nine-time winner in his career, six of which have been earned at Oaklawn Park, the son of Primary Suspect has won three of his last four starts against essentially this same level of competition, and while he’s been primarily a sprinter throughout his career the two-turn trip is well within his range, Drawn nicely inside for the Borel brothers, he’s like to settle in the second flight while saving ground and then move when called upon. We’ll make him a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 8: Post 4:38 CT. Grade: B-
Use: 3-Gingham; 5-Daphne Moon; 10-Antoinette

Forecast: This listed middle distance affair for 3-year-old fillies takes on a different look than original expected due to several late scratches, including major contenders Quick Decision and Ice Princess. Antoinette, a stakes winner at the Big A in December and then third in the Fair Grounds Oaks-G2 in her sophomore debut, earned a career top speed figure in her most recent outing and should continue to improve with added experience and distance. Johnny V. takes the call for W. Mott and should have this daughter of Hard Spun within striking range throughout. Gingham isn’t particular fast on numbers but the B. Baffert shipper is being re-equipped with blinkers, switches to M. Garcia, continues to impress in the a.m., and most recently finished a distant second to Venetian Harbor in the Las Virgenes S.-G2, and its fairly obvious that there isn’t anybody even remotely as good Venetian Harbor in this race. Daphne Moon is fresh from a big figure score over this track and distance in late March and while these are tougher the daughter of Cairo Prince appear to be a much better 3-year-old than she was as a juvenile and could easily continue her improving pattern today.

RACE 9: Post 5:09 CT. Grade: X
Single: 2-Venetian Harbor

Forecast: Venetian Harbor is simply way too fast for this group if she duplicates her California form in the featured Fantasy S.-G3 for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Munnings, a runaway nine length winner in La Virgenes S.-G3 after breaking her maiden by almost 11 lengths in a sprint, draws a lovely inside post and seems certain to employ gate-to-wire tactics. F. Prat, who hasn’t ridden since the third week in March, flies in to keep the mount on the R. Baltas-trained filly, who has been kept in steady training since her win in early February and has looked nothing short of sensational in her a.m. preps in recent weeks. She’ll most likely be far too short to play in the win pool but we can use her as a slam dunk, no-value rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post 5:38 CT. Grade: B+
Single: 6-Spend Spend Spend

Forecast: The nightcap is a good second-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares. Though she hasn’t been out since last summer at Del Mar, the R. Baltas-trained Spend Spend Spend arrives from California fit and ready following a string of visually pleasing workouts for a trainer that has a superior record with layoff runners. Claimed for $40,000 but being protected by her new connections off the bench in a sign of confidence, the daughter of Majestic Warrior has a history of firing fresh, and the speed figure earned in her most recent outing jumps off the page. Likely to employ her usual pace-stalking tactics that should keep her trouble free under the barn’s go-to rider F. Prat, she’s a strong straight play and rolling exotic single.