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Another nine race card is on tap for us at Oaklawn Park. I’m very confident in today’s Pick 5 as we look to close out the weekend! It’s been a rough stretch as of late, but today’s ticket has the chance to be massive!
Best of luck!
Race 5: Waiver Claiming $16,000 for 3-years-old and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $17,700
Let’s start with the Diodoro trainee #8 Spendaholic. David Cohen is back aboard after he road this 4-year-old gelding last time out to a fifth-place finish. He drops into this spot today from the Waiver Claiming $25,000 level to the $16,000 level. The other dangerous runner comes from the Tom Amoss barn, #12 His Giant. It’s a little concerning he hasn’t found the winners’ circle since 2018, but he’s been facing much better. He has early speed and lost by 3/4 lengths to Scoring, who was a game second to Carpe Victoriam here at Oaklawn yesterday. A cut below these two is #2 Dubnation. Like His Giant, he failed to catch Scoring in the stretch, but he closed from way out. I expect His Giant and Spendaholic to battle early which should help set up Dubnation late in the stretch. He will need some pace up front, but he is the best closer in the field.
Race 6: Claiming $30,000 for 3-years-old and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $24,000
I had a tough time separating this group as the top contenders are dropping in class. The longshot who I think is worthy of consideration is #1 Executive Branch. Two starts back, he won as a short favorite in a Waiver Maiden Claiming race by a length. Last time out, he never got his footing and struggled the entire way at the Starter Allowance level. He’s trained well in the mornings and is trending upward. #7 Bump Bailey is my top choice in here due to his early gate speed. He’s well-traveled as he’s made an appearance at eight different tracks throughout his career. After being very competitive on February 9 here at Oaklawn in a much tougher field, he makes a lot of sense today. He has a very different running style from the other top contender, #5 Wicked Indeed. David Cohen needs Bump Bailey to be pressed early on, otherwise it will make it very difficult for Wicked Indeed to close. If any of these runners were to catch Bump Bailey, Wicked Indeed would be the most likely to do so.
Race 7: Maiden Claiming $30,000-$25,000 for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $23,000
There’s only one horse I focused on as we look at the middle leg of this Pick 5 sequence. Brad Cox started his 3-year-old filly by Wicked Strong at Keeneland back on October 25, 2019. After failing to finish in the money in three straight starts, #5 One Step still finds herself looking to cross the finish line first. In her defense, she was in much tougher competition then what she will face today. Her last workout on March 21, was very impressive going 4 furlongs in :48.20. She has elite early speed compared to the rest of the group and if she runs her race, she will get the illustrious win she’s been searching for.
Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming $100,000 for 4-years-old and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $63,000
This is one of the most difficult AOC races that I’ve ever handicapped here at Oaklawn Park. #2 Awesome Anywhere sparkled for Jerry Holendorfer last time out, albeit against much weaker competition. Look for Martin Garcia to try and establish an early lead and hold off the rest of this group late as he looks to make it two in a row. #3 Mojo Man also won his last race but needed every stride to clip fellow competitor Manny Wah at the wire. Martin Garcia had a choice to make between these two as he had winning trips on both of them last time out. Mojo Man’s best chance would be a speed duel up front. #4 Manny Wah is my top choice in here as he was very game in his last start. Prior to his loss to Mojo Man, he finished third behind Omaha Beach and Roadster. Channing Hill has a ton of experience with this colt and his best effort will blow this field away. #6 Wilbo comes into this race after sputtering in the King Cotton Stakes this past February at Oaklawn Park. Prior to that race, he’s been in the money in seven straight starts and impressed on multiple occasions. Look for this 8-year-old by Candy Ride to hit double-digit odds at post-time. #8 Nero comes into this spot looking for revenge against Mojo Man and Manny Wah. He took the lead late in the stretch, but when the lights shined brightest, he lost failed to hold on. Tyler Baze is a very solid rider, but he made his move too early with Nero and paid the price for it. Baze will not make the same mistake twice and will put Nero in a good position to win his first race for Steve Asmussen.
Race 9: Allowance for 3-years-old and upward going 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt
#2 New Colossus made his debut for Karl Broberg just 8 days ago. Luis Quinonez was forced to take him five-wide at the top of the turn. The one concern would be the slight cutback to 5 1/2 furlongs. If he doesn’t get an incredibly quick pace up front, he might struggle to pass horses. In saying that, he is the best closer in the group and is too talented to be left off the ticket. #10 Impressed has been running well as of late since he won his first career race at Hawthorne back in November 2019. His last race at Oaklawn was impressive as he took the lead in the stretch but could not hold off Augie. My top choice is the Diodoro trained, #11 Strike That was claimed in his debut out of the Peter Miller barn at Del Mar back in August 2019. Since Diodoro has gotten his hands on him, he’s gotten better and better. If not for the post position, he would be a single on the ticket. On paper he is the horse to beat as he looks for his third win in four career starts.
THE TICKET –
50¢ Pick 5 (67.50) – 2,8,12 / 1,5,7 / 5 / 2,3,4,6,8 / 2,10,11
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