Four races for three-year-olds — the Southwest (G3), two allowances, and a maiden — plus the Razorback H. (G3) for older horses comprise Monday’s intriguing Late Pick 5 sequence at Oaklawn Park.
Race 6 — #3 LIONITE (5-2) placed twice at Saratoga last summer and was fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) behind Free Drop Billy and eventual Risen Star (G2) hero Bravazo. If the Quality Road colt is a little short, first-time starter #6 YELLOW WOLF (6-1) could be a danger from the hot Brad Cox barn. By Malibu Moon, his dam has reared Grade 2-winning juvenile Bashart, stakes winner Squallcreek, and a Group 3-placed colt who won first out in Italy.
Race 7 — #1 BO PEEP (6-1) was up in time to take her debut opening weekend, then ran into a little trouble on the far turn when racing along the inside. Drew the rail again here, but hoping for better luck and moisture in the track helps her chances. Regally-bred #5 MIZ K (3-1) is a daughter of Tapit and Grade 1 winner Tiz Miz Sue. Won second out at Churchill after a disappointing fade in her debut.
Race 8 — #5 LEOFRIC (9-2) had to work a bit to take an allowance last month to extend his local win streak to four, but flattered by Thirstforlife’s runner-up placing in Saturday’s Mineshaft H. (G3) and Warrior’s Club subsequent allowance win. #6 SONNETEER (4-1) much improved since adding blinkers two back, including upset of $125,000 Fifth Season over several of these. A much improved effort from #3 HAWAAKOM (10-1) last month at Fair Grounds. Clear second to Gun Runner in this race last year, and would need something similar to upset. #11 THE LIEUTENANT (15-1) an all-or-nothing type who’s flopped in both stakes tries. Los Alamitos allowance score two was very good, though, and Van Dyke is back in the saddle.
Race 9 — Thinking Hopeful (G1) winner #2 SPORTING CHANCE will be in need of a race, we’ll stick with the top two from the $150,000 Smarty Jones. #4 MOURINHO (2-1) had everything his own way in that race and should see additional pace pressure here. Nonetheless, he might still be better than these. Smarty Jones runner-up #10 COMBATANT (6-1) can benefit if Mourniho is softened up more. #8 ZING ZANG (15-1) is a stone-cold closer along the lines of fellow Asmussen trainee Creator, the 2016 Belmont (G1) winner. Needs a complete meltdown up front to get up, but his predecessor did well here and perhaps this one might, too.
Race 10 — Tough spot to single, but #8 ZULFIKHAR (5-2) looks well-meant by Baffert, who has always enjoyed enormous success shipping in to Hot Springs. Sire won the Arkansas Derby (G1) in a gallop.
Here’s the 50-cent ticket:
3,6 with 1,5 with 3,5,6,11 with 4,8,10 with 8 = $24.