Oaklawn Park Returns: Friday Analysis From Hot Springs

By | December 1, 2021

Oaklawn Park has become a favorite meet for horsemen and horseplayers alike. The all dirt meet includes massive purses and Kentucky Derby prep races.

Derby Preps

Oaklawn Park will host 4 Kentucky Derby points races. Early in the meet the Smarty Jones Stakes and the Southwest Stakes will offer points on a 10-4-2-1 scale. Very rarely do these races have significant implications on the Derby because of how early in the trail they occur

Rebel Stakes

In February things start heating up and the Derby picture starts to crystalize a bit more. On February 26, Oaklawn Park will run its third stakes on the Derby trail known as the Rebel Stakes. This race will offer 50 points to the winner. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers will receive 20, 10, and 5 points respectively.

In 2015 American Pharoah used this race as a prep for the Arkansas Derby before winning the Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown.

Arkansas Derby

The highlight of the Oaklawn Park meet is the Arkansas Derby which takes place this year on April 2. The race has produced three Kentucky Derby winners in Sunny’s Halo (1983), Smarty Jones (2004) and American Pharoah (2015).

Baffert’s Limbo

One of the hallmarks of the Oaklawn Park meet is that Bob Baffert frequently sends at least one of his top prospects to prep in Hot Springs. From American Pharoah, Concert Tour, Nadal, and Charlatan are just some of his most recent runners to grace the Oaklawn dirt.

However, based on the events of last year where Baffert’s Derby winner tested positive for Betamethasone his horses are currently ineligible to receive Kentucky Derby points. This effectively bans Baffert from the Kentucky Oaks and Derby and could impact his desire to prep in Arkansas. It should be noted that previous actions taken against Baffert have been thrown out by courts. A legal battle is likely to play out here as well.

Friday Opening Day Analysis

Oaklawn Park Race 1

Post: 12:30 PM CT; Purse: $26,000 Claiming, 5 1/2 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#1 TAKE CHARGE ERICA (7-2) is a major player in today’s race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed & form. #3 HONEY PARADE (5-2) is in with a great chance based on the horse’s advantages in stamina & pace numbers. #5 ARROWSPHERE (10-1) could get a perfect pace scenario today. #4 LIL MISS HOT MESS (3-1) should be competitive based on the overall power rating which has it tops in the group.

Selections: 1-3-5-4 (Best Bet #1)

Oaklawn Park Race 2

Post: 12:58 PM CT; Purse: $35,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 12

#1 SPEND AGAIN (6-1) should be competitive today based on the horse’s advantages in speed & power rating. #9 REQUISITION (3-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in stamina & form. #5 BEACH HOLIDAY (2-1) looks like a strong prospect based on the connections and recent form. #11 BIG PETE (8-1) is proven as a good bet to at least hit the board under today’s distance and surface conditions.

Selections: 1-9-5-11

Oaklawn Park Race 3

Post: 1:26 PM CT; Purse: $42,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#2 YODEL E. A. WHO (3-1) is a major player in today’s race with superior speed figures & power rating. #4 WILD BEHAVIOR (7-2) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. #7 THE QUEENS JULES (10-1) is worth a look here given edges in class & connections. #5 EAGLE PASS (5-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in stamina & record at the distance.

Selections: 2-4-7-5

Oaklawn Park Race 4

Post: 1:55 PM CT; Purse: $25,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 12

#6 VIOLENT PASS (2-1) is a major player based on speed figures alone. #2 CHICKEN HAWK (4-1) should be competitive in this spot #4 WISE KHOZAN (9-2) is worth a look here given the connections & pace numbers. #8 RUBIGINOUS (20-1) is interesting at the price.

Selections: 6-2-4-8

Oaklawn Park Race 5

Post: 2:21 PM CT; Purse: $84,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

#4 CHOCTAW CHARLIE (3-1) has a great shot in the race given the advantages in speed & power rating. #6 MY DAMS ATITUDE (5-1) should be competitive and the price looks like it will offer plenty of value. #3 LITTLE BURRITO (5-2) looks to have to have kept the best company in the previous starts. #11 SWEETNESS TO (30-1) could add value to the vertical exotics.

Selections: 4-6-3-11

Oaklawn Park Race 6

Post: 2:51 PM CT; Purse: $26,000 Starter Allowance, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 9

#9 EXEMPLAR (5-2) could get a perfect pace scenario today. #6 TEZ (7-2) is a major player in today’s race edging the field in several key handicapping factors including speed figures and form. #1 ISTILLGOTIT (10-1) is worth a look here given edges in record at the distance & power rating. #2 RYE HUMOR (20-1) will need pace up front but is coming off of 2 consecutive wins for trainer Randy Morse who was on fire at Churchill.

Selections: 9-6-1-2

Oaklawn Park Race 7

Post: 3:19 PM CT; Purse: $84,000 Maiden Special Weight, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 9

#7 HYPERSPORT (2-1) should be competitive today based on the horse’s advantages in speed & form. #5 ROLL BABY (5-1) is a major player in today’s race based on power rating. #8 LITTLE MOMBO (10-1) should be in the right spot early to give this horse a chance to get the job done. #4 SWEET BEAUTY (12-1) is worth a look if the horse stays around the 10-1 price.

Selections: 7-5-8-4

Oaklawn Park Race 8

Post: 3:46 PM CT; Purse: $150,000 Advent S., 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

#10 HIGHER STANDARD (3-1) is worth a look here given edges in connections & form. #6 B SUDD (6-1) should be competitive today based on the horse’s advantages in speed & race flow. #9 CAIRAMA (5-2) will be in with a shot, but just might be a bit too short on the tote board. #4 RUGGS (10-1) should be competitive based on the overall power rating which has it tops in the group.

Selections: 10-6-9-4

Oaklawn Park Race 9

Post: 4:13 PM CT; Purse: $100,000 Allowance, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 11

#5 MIZ BLUE (6-1) has to be respected today edging the field in several key handicapping factors including class & power rating. #10 JETS A GINNIN (6-1) looks to have to have kept the best company in the previous starts. #11 FLASH MAGIC (3-1) merits consideration in this spot given edges in speed & form. #1 SHEZ STUCK UP (12-1) is worth a look here given the connections

Selections: 5-10-11-1

Betting News Coverage of Oaklawn Park

For handicapping data and selections for Friday and throughout the Oaklawn Park meet, check out the Betting News free handicapping tools. There you will find speed, class, and pace numbers, win and in the money percentages, and even track bias tools that can help confirm all of your handicapping opinions.

The post Oaklawn Park Returns: Friday Analysis From Hot Springs first appeared on Betting News.

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