It’s been two days in a row that I’ve hit 4/5 legs in the Pick 5 sequence at Oaklawn Park. While it’s easy to get discouraged, I know I’m extremely close to getting one of these home! Friday’s sequence is pretty straightforward and I will use my picks to play Pick 3’s and the late Pick 4 (Races 7-10) as well!
Best of luck!
Race 6: Claiming $30,000 for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $24,000
I’ll start with my top choice in a deep field a 10, #3 Oro de Tejano. He’s finished second on three straight occasions and has been in form as of late. He ran second at the $30,000 claiming level at the Fair Grounds on January 19. He’s a logical choice and will vie for favoritism at post-time.
Race 7: Claiming $30,000 for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $25,000
Joe Sharp has been pushing all of the right buttons here at Oaklawn Park as of late. #1 Dunph ran a great race last time out finishing second to Impact Player. He doesn’t have the best early speed so stretching out might work perfectly for this 4-year-old by Temple City. He drops in class as well for Sharp and should be a popular betting choice at post-time. My top choice is #5 Tight Ten for Steve Asmussen. Early in his career, he was one of the best 2-year-olds in the country running against Game Winner. His 3-year-old campaign was not the best to say the least. In 2020, he’s come on strong and is looking better than ever. He had been running shorter distances in 2019 but got the extra distance he needed in his last start to get back to the winners’ circle. #11 Lighthawk will have his work cut out for him with the outside post position. Two starts back on February 27, Lighthawk broke through the gate prior to the race. He was keyed up and ready to go forcing David Cohen’s hand. Look for Cohen to hold him back a touch and try to grind out a victory from the far outside.
Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming $80,000 for 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $61,000
#2 Strong Flag looked the best she’s looked for Steve Asmussen in her third career start. She was able to wear down Cherokee Maiden who faltered late. She clearly has the ability to run at the distance but she’s not the only speed in this group. Her talent jumps off the page, but Ricardo Santana Jr. will need to rate her early on to have enough in the tank at the end. #6 Sebs Princess will make her Oaklawn Park debut for Steven Duke, who also will make his Oaklawn Park debut as a trainer. The toughest fillies in this race also possess early speed while Sebs Princess doesn’t. Her running-style makes her attractive in this spot as she’s the best closer in a field full of speed. My top choice is #7 Dreamalildreamofu for Brad Cox. She didn’t run as a 2-year-old but her 3-year-old campaign looks awfully bright. Her first two starts were on turf, but Brad Cox has won with runners at 30% when going from turf to dirt. The other Brad Cox runner in this field is #9 Evil Lyn. In her eight career starts, her first six were on the dirt. Her two most recent efforts were on turf where she’s thrived. Her preferred surface may be the turf but on form alone, she will be tough to beat.
Race 9: Allowance Optional Claiming $50,000 for 4-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $62,000
#2 Nifty has been running against much better in the past and will certainly enjoy the class drop. She ran extremely well off the long layoff finishing second by a length to K Choice. It wouldn’t be surprising to see her run much better in her second start off the extended layoff, making her tough to beat. My top choice is #4 Candy Cornell for Robertino Diodoro. Since Diodoro has gotten his hands on him, he’s shown great speed out of the gate. He’s also proven that he likes the track finishing in the money 2/3 times here in 2020. There is some early speed spread throughout this field, but no one can match what Candy Cornell can put down. He will be close to even money at post-time. Like Nifty, #9 Principe Guilherme has the ability to storm home late. He beat Pete’s Play Call who won his last start on April 2 here at Oaklawn Park. Orlando Mojica has been hot of late but getting Joe Talamo is no downgrade. Principe Guilhereme needs pace to run into, but a speed duel up front would not be surprising as Candy Cornell has the ability to put up quick fractions allowing the 5-year-old to claim his fifth career win.
Race 10: Maiden Special Weight for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $60,000
One of the first timers that I’m leaning towards is #1 Ready and Waiting for Steve Asmussen. This is one of the two Asmussen trained runners in this group, and this filly has trained beautifully. She was purchased for only $35,000 as a yearling in 2018 and has the makings of a strong 3-year-old campaign down the road. My top choice is #2 Inshannity for Bob Baffert. Baffert doesn’t have much stock here at Oaklawn, so when he has a filly make her debut here in Arkansas, she instantly becomes a noteworthy contender. She posted a :49.40 4-furlong workout on a sloppy track here in Arkansas, telling us all we need to know. The other Asmussen runner that needs to be included is #8 Offering. She makes her way from the Fair Grounds where she has trained in the mornings. She has not had an official workout on the Oaklawn Park track but being by Distorted Humor gives her the pedigree she needs to win first time out.
$0.50 PICK 5 (Races 6-10) – 3,7 / 1,5,11 / 2,6,7,9 / 2,4,9 / 1,2,8 – $108