Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, April 4: Best Value Bets for Oaklawn Park
The racing at Oaklawn Park gets underway at 2:05 p.m. ET but my focus will be on the late Pick 4 sequence and the $100K Purple Martin Stakes in Race 9.
Time: 5:06 p.m. ET
The first leg of the late Pick 4 is a $61K allowance race for non-winners of one. It’s for fillies and mares three years old and up and features a field of 12 horses.
We are going to go towards the outside with No. 11 Georgia Clay (8-1) as the top pick in here. After trying the turf unsuccessfully in her first two career starts, she has been competitive in all three races over the main track, finishing second, first and second.
Georgia Clay has early pace that will put her in the mix and her speed figures are good enough to win in this spot. She’s also shown versatility being able to run on an off track, which is notable since we may have rain in at Oaklawn today.
Next, is No. 3 Maryanorginger (7-2), who is trained by Jeremiah Englehart and ridden by David Cohen. This filly had an interesting start to her career. She broke her maiden at first asking in a non-graded stakes event at Belmont last June and hasn’t been seen since.
It’s not very often that you see a horse break his or her maiden against tougher competition, especially at first asking. Maryanorginger was also able to overcome stumbling badly at the start of that race. While she’s training well leading up to this spot, the long layoff is a bit concerning. She showcased her talent in that lone start so I’m going to include her here.
No. 9 Cardamon (9-2) is also coming in off a long layoff. She is trained by Bill Mott and will have Martin Garcia aboard. She broke her maiden in her career debut back in September at Churchill Downs. She then stepped up to allowance company finishing fifth after a poor start and being four-wide on the turn.
Cadamon’s most recent start was back in November where she led most of the race until yielding late to finish third. That race was a route, run at a mile so she should appreciate the cut back in distance here. She’s another one that I’m going to use.
The last horse is No. 6 Dulce Ride (6-1). Unlike the previous two, she is not coming in off a layoff. This will be her second start off the layoff and second start for trainer Brad Cox. She seemed to need that last race as she pressed the pace early and then was tired coming for home, finishing fifth by 15 lengths.
That was also a route race, so she should appreciate cutting back in distance to a sprint. Cox wins 34% of the time when going from route to sprint, 29% in the second race off the layoff and 23% in a horse’s second start with him. Cox and jockey Joe Talamo have teamed up 39 times in the last 60 days and won 26% of the time.
For all of these factors, she’s one that you must include at a decent price.
Time: 5:38 p.m. ET
Next up we have an optional claiming $80K non-winners of one for three year olds run at 1 1/16 miles. It’s another deep field of 12 with four of the entries being Triple Crown nominated.
Let’s start with the lukewarm morning-line favorite No. 5 Answer In (3-1). He is one of the Triple Crown nominated horses and the son of Dialed In was purchased for $175K as a weanling at the Keeneland September 2017 sale.
The Brad cox trainee has never missed the board in four career starts with a win, two seconds and a third. His most recent start came in the G3 Southwest where he finished third behind Silver Prospector and eventual Louisiana Derby winner, Welles Bayou, who is also trained by Cox.
Answer In’s best speed figure is by far the strongest in this race and his running style should put him in a great spot sitting just off the pace. Joe Talamo will be up and as we previously stated the team of Cox and Talamo has been hot recently. Because of his competitiveness, the drop in class and his speed figures, Answer is going to be my top choice in this race.
The other horse to consider in here is No. 3 General Trev (9-2). Trained by Steve Asmussen, General Trev won his debut making a strong move four-wide to take over and never look back. The son of Constitution is a home bred for Jerry Durant. Asmussen wins at a 22% clip when his horse broke its maiden last time out and wins at 20% in route races. General Trev has trained over an off track multiple times and his breeding also suggests that he should like it so he’s one that I’m including.
Race 9: The Purple Martin Stakes
Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
The feature on today’s card, and the only stakes race in the country on Saturday, is the $100K Purple Martin Stakes. It’s for three-year-old fillies and will be run at a distance of six furlongs and is set for a field of 10 horses.
No. 8 Frank’s Rockette (5-2) is the morning-line favorite for the Purple Martin. The daughter of Into Mischief is a home bred for Frank Fletcher and is trained by Bill Mott. She has never missed the board in five career starts, with two wins and three seconds. She is also the classiest horse in the race with all of her second-place finishes coming against graded stakes competition. In her most recent start, which was her first off a layoff, she romped the field in a non-graded stakes event at Gulfstream by seven lengths with little asking.
Frank’s Rockette also put up her best speed figure in her last start, which is also the best speed figure among any in this field. She’s my top pick.
Next, we will go down towards the inside with No. 2 Ring Leader (6-1). She is coming in off her first career loss, a fifth-place finish in the G3 Honeybee. That was her first try at a route distance and it seemed to be too much for her.
Prior to that, Ring Leader had three consecutive wins for trainer McLean Robertson. She’s a horse who wants the lead, but it’s not going to be as easy with others in here who also are gunning for the front. Joe Talamo will be back aboard after she had David Cohen in the irons in her last start. Talamo piloted Ring Leader to a win two starts back against similar competition in a non-graded stakes event. I’m going to include her in my ticket.
No. 6 Lexi On the Move (8-1) is coming in a perfect 2-for-2 lifetime. Trained by Robertino Diodoro and ridden by David Cohen, the daughter of Fast Anna was purchased for $160K at the OBS June 2019 sale. Both of her wins came right here at Oaklawn and both took place at this distance.
Lexi On the Move sat just off the pace in both of her starts and won going away after kicking clear late. Diodoro is having an excellent meet sending out winners 28% of the time and is winning at a 27% clip when his horse is coming off a win. Cohen is Diodoro’s go-to rider as the two have teamed up 70 times in the last 60 days winning an astonishing 30% of the time. With her running style she’s one that stands a big chance at a great price. You must include her.
Another one in here to consider is No. 4 Edgeway (3-1). The daughter of Competitive Edge was purchased for $275K at the OBS April 2019 sale.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Tyler Baze, Edgeway won impressively in her debut by five lengths. That win came right here at Oaklawn at the same distance of six furlongs. Since that win, she has recorded two good workouts. Sadler is winning at 20% in non-graded stakes races and he has a 20% win rate when he teams up with Baze.
While I don’t like her odds, she’s one that I’m going to include in my ticket.
The other horse that we need to talk about is No. 1 Kimari (4-1). She’s trained by Wesley Ward and hall of famer Mike Smith flies in from California for the mount. After an extremely impressive maiden score by 15 lengths back in April 2019 at Keeneland over the main track, she was moved to the turf for her next four starts. She won two of those races and finished second once, all against stakes competition.
In her most recent start, she faced graded-stakes company for the first time and finished fourth by two lengths. While she has Mike Smith aboard and should like the added distance here, I’m playing against her.
Time: 6:38 p.m. ET
The last race of the day is a $60K Maiden Special Weight for three-year-old horses and features a distance of 1 1/16 mile with a full field of 12.
No. 5 Wild Union (7-2) is the morning-line favorite. He is 0-for-8 lifetime, but is always competitive with five seconds and two thirds. The son of Bayern was purchased for $265K at the OBS March 2019 sale. He is trained by Brad Cox and will have Joe Talamo in the irons.
While he always seems to be competitive and in the mix, he hasn’t shown the drive or fire to win. This isn’t a strong field and because he’s shown a competitive spirit and being trained by Brad Cox, I’m going to include him.
My top pick in here is No. 8 Mo and Go (6-1). The son of Uncle Mo is coming in second of a layoff for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. He sat just off the pace in his last start, but didn’t have the necessary kick coming for home. Englehart is winning 25% of the time in his second race of the layoff and Mo and Go is bred to like an off track. With this being his second start off the layoff and putting in three good workouts since his last start, Mo and Go should be fit and ready to run in this spot.
The last horse to consider is No. 4 Aztec Empire (4-1), who is coming back after just 15 days for trainer Ron Moquett. The son of Tapit is getting blinkers for the first time to help him concentrate and stay focused on the task at hand.
In that last start, Aztec Empire finished third after sitting just off the pace and slowly gaining on the second-place finisher. That start was also over an off track, which shows that he can handle a wet surface.
While I normally don’t like horses coming back on such short rest, the addition of blinkers should help him stay focused. I’m going to include him.
Bets for Oaklawn Park, April 4
- Win: 11
- Exacta: 6,11/3,6,9,11
- Trifecta: 6,11/3,6,9,11/3,6,9,11
- Pick 4: 3,6,9,11/3,5/2,4,6,8/4,5,8
- Win: 5
- Exacta: 8/2,4,6
- Trifecta: 8/2,4,6/1,2,4,6