Horse Racing Picks for Sunday, April 26: Best Value Bets for Oaklawn Park
Photo credit: Wesley Hitt, Getty Images
Sunday’s racing will begin at Oaklawn Park at 2:05 p.m. ET, which starts the early $0.50 Pick 4.
However, I’m going to focus on the $0.50 Pick 5, which begins with Race 6 at 4:36 p.m. ET, followed by the late $0.50 Pick 4, which goes off with Race 7 at 5:06 p.m. ET.
Each of the final five races at Oaklawn today is set for a distance of six furlongs (six-eighths of a mile) for female horses.
Track conditions appear fast, and the weather forecast is clear in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Let’s get into some afternoon racing.
Race 6 (Pick 5)
Time: 4:36 p.m. ET
I’ll have a single later in Race 9 within this Pick 5 sequence, so I will look to spread a bit both before and key on that one favorite.
The Pick 5 begins with a $16K claimer, and the favorite is the No. 11 Sweet Carli (3-1) for trainer Brad Cox, who is 49-for-182 (27%) at the claimer level. He has the horse with the highest last-out Beyer speed figure (69) in the field. Sweet Carli has landed in the money five times (1-2-2) in seven starts over fast dirt.
Her primary contention will come in the form of the No. 5 Leading Indicator (7-2), first off the claim for trainer Peter Eurton, who is 5-for-31 at this level (16%) with a slightly positive ROI ($2.07). Her speed figures have gradually improved over her past five races (61, 62, 64, 66), and she has hit the board six times (1-3-2) in seven starts over fast dirt.
Lastly, I’ll include the No. 9 Italian Justice (7-2), who ran a 68 Beyer figure two starts back when she romped by more than six lengths. Trainer Bill Martin is 21-for-117 (18%) at the claimer level with a positive ROI ($2.27).
Picks: 5, over 11, 9, 4
Race 7 (Late Pick 4)
Time: 5:06 p.m. ET
This $20K claimer offers a pretty competitive field, so this could be a difficult race to trim down.
You should use the No. 5 Final Form (2-1), who owns the highest last-out Beyer in the field (80) and has won three of four starts. Additionally, this is her second start off of a long layoff (180+ days) for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, who has won 25% of the time in this spot (6-for-24) with a $2.78 ROI. This horse is 3-for-4 on fast dirt while placing in that other start.
The No. 6 Madison Way (3-1) is 1-for-2 on fast dirt (1-0-1) but needs to improve off of 69-speed figure after finishing third on April 11. Trainer Norman McKnight should have her ready; he’s 110-for-396 (28%) at the claimer level.
The No. 4 True Castle (4-1) owned the second-highest last-out figure (78) when she hung on to win by a nose at this distance on April 5. However, new trainer Chris Hartman is just 1-for-34 off of the claim.
I would also consider the No. 12 Shaharazad (10-1), first off the claim for Federico Villafranco, who is 14-for-110 (13%) in such situations with a 17% win rate at the claimer level. She has hit the board seven times in 14 starts over fast dirt.
The No. 3 Fairwaygreen (30-1) has a lot of back class, and I wouldn’t be shocked if she hit the board — something she’s done 25 times (8-11-6) in 36 starts on fast dirt. That said, her speed figures have declined (avg. 47 in her last four starts), and she hasn’t been able to maintain her early positioning.
Picks: 5, over 12, 6, 4
Time: 5:38 p.m. ET
This appears to be a two-horse race in a maiden special weight, and one ripe for exacta-box betting between the No. 3 Lil Miss Moppet (5-2) and No. 11 Tipsy Gal (2-1).
The question is whether the former can dart away from the latter.
Four-year-old Lil Miss Moppet was second by just a neck after setting the fractions in her first start on fast dirt on April 10 at Oaklawn, where she set a 73 Beyer.
Tipsy Gal steps up to face older horses for the first time, after running third twice at Oaklawn on February 17 and March 14. She comes in off of a four-furlong bullet work (just over 46 seconds) just five days ago and should be ready to fire.
These two appear to be the class of the field, though I do like No. 13 Soothing (10-1), who has hit the board four times in five starts, if she can draw into the field.
Picks: 3, over 11, 4, 8
Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
The No. 11 Edgeway (9-5) should clearly layover this field on her best day, even though she’ll take on four stakes winners in this race.
Edgeway has earned Beyer figures of 83 and 94 in her two starts, while the No. 3 Misty Blue (7-2) is the only other contender in the field to surpass 80.
Edgeway couldn’t quite match her debut effort in the Purple Mountain Stakes at Oaklawn on April 4, when she weakened after getting into an early pace duel, ultimately finishing third. However, she has posted strong works for trainer John Sadler in the interim. Sadler has won 24% of the time on dirt (67-for-279) with a positive ROI ($2.37).
That said, Misty Blue also turned in a four-furlong bullet (1st of 71) on April 17 — and you might want to consider her as a “B” option in the event she is ready to take another step forward.
Picks: 11, over 3, 1, 2
Time: 6:38 p.m. ET
We’ll begin with the No. 5 Inthemidstofbiz (3-1), who leads the field with a 79 last-out Beyer and is the only horse in the field to run three-consecutive Beyer figures over 70 besides the No. 8 Shilah Baby, who hasn’t raced since November. But that race also saw multiple next-out winners, trainer James DiVito is 7-for-26 off of such layoffs and Shilah has a bullet work back from April 10. She’s my top selection.
That said, the No. 12 Gold Credit (7-2) is an interesting choice, cutting back to one turn where she ran a 74 Beyer in February, and she might have ample speed to target with her late kick.
I’m also finding it difficult to leave off the No. 10 Shocking Fast (10-1) or No. 11 Portal Creek (6-1), but that pair is grouped as my “B” horses.
Picks: 8, over 12, 5, 11
Bets for Oaklawn Park, April 26
Favorite Win Bets
- Race 9: No. 11 Edgeway (9-5)
Sample Daily Double
- Race 8: 3,11 / 11 ($2 Daily Double = $4 Ticket)
Sample Pick 3
- Race 7: 5 / 3,11 / 11 ($2 Pick 3 = $4 Ticket)
Sample Pick 5 Wagers
Sample Pick 4 Wagers