A 10-race card headlined by the $100,000 Purple Martin S. offers horseplayers several attractive wagering opportunities on Saturday at Oaklawn Park, including a Pick 4 over the final four events. Here are my thoughts on a challenging sequence that should pay well.
7-2-morning line favorite #3 Maryanorginger beat stakes company on debut last June for trainer Jeremiah Englehart, but has not been seen since. Clearly the $190,000 daughter of Strong Mandate has talent, but one must wonder where she has been since crossing the wire first in the Astoria S. at Belmont Park. I am willing to fade her as she encounters older fillies and mares in her 3-year-old debut.
#2 Inthemidstofbiz returns quickly after dueling early and hanging on for second against similar on Mar. 21. If this Fed Biz filly can avoid another battle on the front end, she has a big shot to earn career victory number three.
#9 Cardamon and #10 Super Wonder Girl both make the first start of their 4-year-old campaigns. If they take a step forward off the bench, they have a chance to beat this bunch. So does #11 Georgia Clay after a solid second over a wet/fast surface two months ago. The Matt Shirer trainee could benefit from a perfect outside stalking voyage.
#5 Answer In finished third in the Southwest (G3) and is likely to get bet down off of his 3-1-morning line in this competitive high-level optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles. The son of Dialed In has hit the board in all four lifetime tries, but his lone win came at 7-furlongs last October at Churchill Downs. The Brad Cox runner is the class of this group, but I still have concerns about him a true two-turn horse.
#6 Winning Impression and #7 Fort Knox make their first start in Arkansas after racing on Risen Star Day at Fair Grounds. Winning Impression got the best of the other speed in his third-place effort against three rivals who came back to compete in the Louisiana Derby (G2), and I like the way this Paynter gelding dug in despite racing against the flow. Fort Knox has taken a big step forward since stretching out to two turns for trainer Keith Desormeaux. He is trending in the right direction and could make it two straight. #3 General Trev showed professionalism and talent on debut for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. He could benefit from a perfect pocket trip as he takes on winners for the initial time.
Race 9: Purple Martin S.
The featured Purple Martin. S is loaded with 3-year-old fillies that like to be on the front end. This should set things up for #6 Lexi On the Move. The $150,000 OBS June 2019 purchase has won for fun in each of her first two starts, including an under wraps score in her initial try versus winners on Mar. 8. With a similar voyage in Saturday’s feature she can make it a perfect 3 for 3 to start her career.
#8 Frank’s Rockette took advantage of a moderate early tempo in her gate-to-wire victory in the Any Limit S. at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22, but I do not think she needs the lead to be at her best. With an outside draw and a race under her belt in 2020, the Frank Fletcher Racing filly will be tough to beat if veteran rider Martin Garcia can avoid getting caught up in an early tussle.
This two-turn event for protected maidens has upset written all over it. 7-2-morning line favorite #5 Wild Union has had eight chances to break his maiden and lacks a will to win. I am against him, as well as #4 Aztec Empire, who like many of his rivals exits a weak special weight event on Mar. 20.
#8 Mo and Go, #11 Tiz the Journey, and #2 Great Faces take on older rivals for the initial time in the Saturday finale, but they all have shown talent and have the upside to best this bunch. If #13 Time Is Now draws in, he is also worth including.
- R7: 2+9+10+11
- R8: 3+5+6+7
- R9: 6+8
- R10: 2+8+11
Ticket Cost: $48