Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Thursday, January 25, 2018
After a cancellation last week, this will mark the first Thursday of racing at Oaklawn Park! They had a great first week, with handle up 14% compared to the first week of racing in 2017. Here, they’ve got a nine-race card, with a first post time of 1:30 PM CST.
We’re happy to have myself, site managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff), providing picks & analysis of all 9 races! Be sure to check out my analysis of the racing at Oaklawn every Thursday, Friday, and holiday!
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, AR-bred, 6 Furlongs
6- Miss D Irish: Drops into Arkansas-bred company after finishing a respectable fifth on debut at Churchill Downs. Workouts have been sharp, and jockey David Cabrera has been holding a fairly hot hand; he’s got six winners through the first six days of the season.
8- Skylar’s Kiss: First-time starter turned in a flaming three-furlong workout back on January 15, going three furlongs in 37.3 seconds. Trainer Al Cates is a respectable 14% with first-timers, and in a field where no one with experience is all that great, she’s definitely capable of getting the job done first out.
9- Wilburn’s Angel: A bit of a crazy longshot, at 30/1 on the morning line, but not totally impossible. She’s got the best last-out brisnet speed figure, earning a 67 when finishing a closing fifth against similar. Makes her first start since April and cuts back in distance. Not the likeliest winner, but anything near her morning line would make her worth using.
Race 2: Claiming $8,000 (n/w2L), 4yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
2- Showreel: Was scheduled to run last week, but her race was frozen out. Most recently finished a decent second at Delaware Park against similar, and has a lot of early speed with her inside post. Workouts coming into her first race off the layoff are sharp.
5- Indian Oaks: Hawthorne invader has hit the board in her last three versus similar. Improved her form sharply in the fall. Likely to hit the board, but may need to show more of a closing punch to win against these.
9- Crown Royal Queen: Had a rough trip last out when racing wide throughout, finished second versus similar while earning a big figure two races back. Has not raced for almost a year, but if she can come close to recapturing her form from last meet, she’s a threat.
Race 3: Claiming $16,000 (n/w3L), 4yo and up, 6 Furlongs
6- Tentwelvefourteen: NoCal shipper almost always runs figures in the 80s, and was a decent-closing third last out against similar. Makes his first start for the Diodoro barn, which has been hitting the board at almost a 50% clip this meet. Figures to rate mid-pack, and should be able to avoid losing too much ground.
12- Amaze: He does have the far outside post here, but that didn’t deter him in his last race, when he won against n/w2L company from the 13 post at Remington Park. Has been close in all four recent races, with figures in the upper-70s and low-80s. Odds near his 20/1 morning line would make him an appealing play.
7- Bolitar: Makes his third start off the layoff, drops in class, and gets blinkers on for the Miller barn. Has prompted the pace and faded in his last few; getting out of Southern California should improve his chances.
Race 4: Starter Allowance $50,000, 3yo, 1 Mile
9- Eternal Flame: Faces easier after finishing midpack against n/w1x company around one turn eleven days ago. Going around two turns for the first time is a question mark, but he does have good late pace figures, so it bodes well for his appearance here.
3- Nuclear Option: Laid an egg in the aforementioned last race, but was wide throughout in that race while on a very fast pace. Take out that race, and his figures were 90 and 96 in his last two races. Should have an easier time getting to the front in this race, and could possibly wire the group.
5- Pickford: Broke his maiden in game fashion against maiden claiming company at Churchill, improving his figure by 20 points. Had some traffic trouble in that race, but still has the best last-out figure in the field (85). Improvement in his three-year-old debut would likely lead him to the winner’s circle.
Race 5: Starter Allowance $30,000, 4yo and up, 6 Furlongs
7- Pete’s Play Call: Ships in from New York and takes a drop in class. Won a $50,000 claiming race at Saratoga back in August going away.
4- W.B. Smudge: Hard-knocking veteran makes his 9-year-old debut, and his first start since a good second against tougher at this track back in April.
6- El Charro: Fair Grounds shipper turned in a game victory at that track last out. Should be on or near the pace.
Race 6: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
1- Moonlit Garden: If she runs back to her recent figures, it’s her race to lose. She’s never run worse than an 80 in any of her last three races, while the best anyone else has run in their last three was a 79. Only cause for concern is a cutback from two turns, but any value that may come from an 8/1 morning line overrides those concerns.
8- Ettalusive: Had some traffic trouble against maiden claimers at Churchill last out, but managed to punch through to score third and run one of her highest figures ever. It’s not a particularly strong MSW field, so not terribly concerned about the jump up from maiden claimers.
9- Area: One of two firsters in the field, she’s been working very sharply, most recently going four furlongs in 48.2 seconds.
Race 7: Claiming $40,000, 4yo and up, 6 Furlongs
6- While Ye May: Comes in here off a wide trip at Turfway Park, where he still ran third and earned a great figure of 91. Two dirt races ago, back in May, he blew away a field at Pimlico with a figure of 99. Will be the primary early speed.
1- King of Anything/1A- Charlesbrecknridge: Either half of the Diodoro entry has a great chance. The former makes his first start since July 15, after a troubled trip at Belmont Park. Earned a 94 in the race before that. The latter recently won for $20,000 at Churchill after stalking the pace and rushing up, earning a big figure himself.
7- Sharp Art: Takes a drop from the n/w2x level after finishing a solid third there. He’s got the best average late pace figures in the race, and as such figures to be heard from late.
Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 4yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
1- Katalust: Makes her third start off the layoff after some impressive races at Fair Grounds. Last out, she was second after leading briefly while racing wide throughout. Two races ago, she beat a n/w1x allowance field handily. Figures to rate off the lead from the inside, which translates into a perfect trip.
3- Our Majesty: She’s certainly the classiest member of the field, having won a stakes at this track last year, and also finishing second in the Miss Preakness Stakes. She’ll make her first start since then, and will certainly be overbet off those impressive company lines. Worth using in multi-race bets for sure, but can’t take her at near her 8/5 morning line.
7- Stealth Drone: Won her last two races in SoCal, both with figures in the 90s. Trainer Doug O’Neill has been off to a strong start, with four winners from eight starter. This one will be the primary early speed.
Race 9: Maiden Claiming $30,000, 3yo, 6 Furlongs
11- Beat the Heat: Hasn’t been worse than fourth in four races, all of them at Turf Paradise. His figures have improved in all four races, peaking at a 75 last out.
2- Omega: Drops from maiden special weight company at Remington. He finished fourth in that race while racing wide on debut. Has the chance to improve second time out.
8- Desert Domination: Battled for the lead last out and ended up finishing a close second. It was a big effort, and one that inspires confidence today. Major caveat: he’s lost as the favorite three times in his last four races.
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