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We ended last weekend going 4-of-5 once again, making that 9 of my 17 attempted Pick 5s this meet (53%). Thursday’s sequence is one of the most difficult that I have seen in quite a long time. This ticket might not be big enough, but I am very confident in the selections that I have kept within my budget.
Best of luck!
Race 5: Claiming $20,000-$16,000 for 4-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $25,000
#2 Parade Field loves to come from the clouds to nab the front-runners in the stretch. He ran at the starter allowance $50,000 level on a muddy track and never closed, but in his two previous starts, he was running against better and closed willingly. A fast track plus softer competition should result in a better performance. #3 Frost Or Frippery has been the definition of consistency in 2020, finishing first or secon in all four starts. He has an uncanny ability to sit mid-pack and slowly gain on the leaders. He does step up slightly in class for Chris Hartman, but the addition of Martin Garcia aboard makes him tough to beat. #4 Ucanthankmelater takes a major drop in class for Randy Matthews. The last time that we saw this 6-year-old by Hard Spun, he beat just one horse in the 1 1/2-mile Temperence Hill Stakes. He will likely race toward the back of the pack here, but the drop in class and the early pace setup makes him an interesting horse in this field. My top choice in this spot is #9 Matrooh for Robertino Diodoro. Last time out, he was overmatched at the claiming $50,000 level. Prior to that, he showed early speed, which should make it tough for his competition to catch him in the stretch.
Race 6: Claiming $40,000-$35,000 for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $28,000
#1 Aggressivity fits perfectly into this race. Most of the other runners fit these conditions based on not winning in the last 365 days, but Aggressivity is here because he has not won three times in his lifetime. He has looked much better in 2020 and drawing the rail is not a hindrance, as his best running style is to close from deep. #2 The Red Dude makes his second start of the year for Robertino Diodoro. Like Aggressivity, he is a deep closer hoping for a fast early pace. He has had past success against other claiming competition and should fare well in this field. #7 C Z Rocket takes an enormous drop for Al Stall, Jr., after facing much better in the past. He won a 7-furlong stakes in 2018 and has the class to beat this field. #8 Scoring is my top choice due to his gate speed. Earlier this year, he faced the likes of Authentic, Azul Coast, and Little Menace before falling down the ranks and getting claimed. He has since run much better, and though he is not as talented as the rest of this group, I question if anyone will be able to go with him.
Race 7: Claiming $40,000-$35,000 for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $27,000
#1 Flash of Silver comes into this spot after romping at the waiver maiden claiming level and makes his first start for Norm McKnight. He won an-furlong sloppy race, but he cuts back here and will be on a fast track. Will he like the distance and the surface? I did not want to chance him beating me. It took #4 Reelfoot 10 races to cross the wire first, and he was subsequently claimed. He ran well in his first start for new trainer Steve Asmussen, finishing second at the claiming $30,000 level, and having the meet’s leading rider Ricardo Santana, Jr., aboard makes him a logical choice. #8 Sacred Oath will run on a fast track for the first time here. After breaking his maiden at the start of 2020, Wayne Catalano brought him back against much better runners. This horse belongs in the claiming ranks and is in a good position to get his win in his fourth career start. #12 The Great Dansky was claimed after winning his debut on March 5 at the maiden claiming $75,000 level. In his first start for new trainer John Sadler, he failed to fire while facing Shashashakemeup and Marvin. He most likely belongs in lower-level allowance company, which makes him a tough competitor in this field.
Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000 for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt. Purse $62,000
I thought that this was the toughest race of the Pick 5 sequence; I was forced to go five-deep. I do not have a real strong opinion for this race, but #1 Vault makes a lot of sense. #4 Letruska and #8 Blamed will all likely duel for the early lead, and all three are likely a little more talented than Vault, but how much damage will they do to each other? Vault makes her debut both at Oaklawn Park and for Brad Cox, who has a knack for bringing runners back off of long layoffs (24% win rate). Also, Vault has finished in the money 10 of 13 times. I will also use #2 Vexatious.
Race 9: Allowance for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt. Purse $61,000
With plenty of coverage throughout the rest of this Pick 5 sequence, the last race is where I take my big stand with #11 Marvin, who has finished in the money in all six of his starts for McLean Robertson. Last time out, Shashashakemeup caught him after Alex Canchari moved perhaps a little too early, but Marvin is much more talented than the rest of this field and should find it relatively easy to get his second victory.
$.50 PICK 5 (Races 5-9) – 2,3,4,9 / 1,2,7,8 / 1,4,8,12 / 1,2,4,8,9 / 11 – $160
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