The racing week at Oaklawn Park concludes on Sunday with a nine-race card that commences at 1:05 p.m. local time in Hot Springs. As usual, there is a Pick 5 sequence conducted over the final five races.
Things get rolling with a non-winners of three event conducted at 6 furlongs. #7 Sweet Carli is the 5-2-morning line favorite for trainer Brad Cox. The Brilliant Speed filly was claimed for $30,000 and was quickly dropped in for $12,500, suggesting that the connections were not in love with their new acquisition. The 4-year-old gal has won 2 of 3 in 2020, but has done so against some very weak competition. I expect her to be over bet on Sunday, so I will take a shot against the Steve Landers Racing runner with #1 She’s a Dime for the red-hot Doug O’Neill barn and #9 True Castle who returns quickly off a wire-to-wire score for trainer Norman McKnight.
I understand why #4 Kasilof is listed as the 5-2-choice and am not willing to leave him off of my tickets on the class drop, but I also do not completely trust this son of Bodemeister as he tries two turns for the initial time. Therefore, I will also include #2 Quana Dude, who has faced much, much better in Louisiana, and #3 Proud Nation, who moves up in class off the claim for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen.
5-2-morning line favorite #2 Golden Notion has burnt a lot of money in his first four tries for trainer Brad Cox, including last time out when he got a clean outside stalking trip at 8-5, but was empty late. You could argue the son of Goldencents needed the race off the bench, but at a short price I am willing to let him beat me. I prefer two horses that should provide much better value.
#4 Bank makes his first start since last October after facing stronger groups in two starts as a 2-year-old for former trainer Ron Moquett. Now the son of Bernardini lands in the Steve Asmussen barn and comes in off a strong series of drills in New Orleans. He is eligible to take a big step forward. #7 Major Attraction was caught wide throughout in his debut at Fair Grounds for trainer Wayne Catalano. He finished well, but was no match for gate-to-wire winner Picasso. With the race under his belt and a better trip he has a big chance to graduate from the maiden ranks on Sunday afternoon.
There are a number of runners that like to be prominently placed in this high-level optional claimer at one-mile, so it will be a challenge for any of them to take this group all the way on the engine. I will lean on two 4-year-old fillies that can come from off the pace and get the job done.
#3 Motion Emotion drops out of graded stakes company for the first time since last November for trainer Richard Baltas. The daughter of Take Charge Indy has performed well over this racetrack and could find a perfect spot just off the early pacesetters if Tyler Baze can get her out of the gates cleaner than she did when last seen in the Bayakoa (G3). #8 Blessed Again moves up in class after a narrow victory on Mar. 6. The bargain Keeneland 2017 purchase also has shown an affinity for the Oaklawn Park surface and should benefit from the probable raceshape.
This 6-furlong dash for 3-year-olds came up strong given the presence of several colts that have been competitive against stakes company. I will use several.
#3 Ginobili is the deserving 5-2-morning line choice after losing to undefeated Nadal by less than a length in the San Vicente (G2) on Feb 9. A repeat of that effort would make him tough to beat, but he ships out of Southern California for the initial time and moves to an inside draw making a short price difficult to swallow.
#2 Sycamore Run and #11 Tumbling Sky are quick from the gate and dangerous if they can shake loose early. #9 Marvin has just one victory, but has hit the board in all five tries and should get the right trip under jockey Alex Canchari. #7 The Great Dansky is an intriguing longshot on the class hike. The son of Majesticperfection was claimed for $75,000 by John Sadler and Hronis Racing. When these connections move their runners up in class, it usually signifies their horse is doing extremely well.
- 1,9 with 2,3,4 with 4,7 with 3,8 with 2,3,7,9,11
Ticket Cost: $60