by Tim Holland
Today’s picks hold value, vulnerable favorites, barns heating up and tactical speed. What angle will you choose to focus on while playing racing on April 20th?
Will Rogers Downs
Trainer Nolen wins with 16% of his first-time starters and saddles newcomer #3 Zipped (12-1), who has a decent win-early pedigree being by 12% debut sire Notional and out of a mare by Birdonthewire, whose offspring win 11% of their first outing. 4-year-old is a half-sister to three winners and has been working forwardly for Nolen, who wins with 25% overall in maiden claiming events. Filly may offer value with an Asmussen runner likely the strong favorite.
#4 She’s All Wolfe (5-2) ships from Oaklawn where she was last seen fading to finish unplaced last month in her second start after a near 6-month break. Dark bay finished second in a stakes at Prairie Meadows last year for trainer Von Hemel, who wins with 13% of his runners third off a layoff. Daughter of Magna Graduate can be in good position throughout with Wethey in the saddle.
Stakes over 6 furlongs includes #7 Ye Be Judged (5-2), who chased the leader from the start when second as the favorite over the track and distance last month. Trainer Black wins with 16% of her runners that were beaten as the favorite last time out and has won with 20% of starters this meet. Gelding has won one of three starts on this oval and with tactical speed can be in good position throughout with Olesiak retaining the mount.
Early speed is dangerous on this oval and #5 Giant Gamble (6-1) used his to good effect when leading from the start to win his latest over the track and distance last month. Trainer Donlin wins with a solid 27% of runners that won last time out and gelding has a record of 8-1-1-3 here. 8-year-old figures to be the one to catch again with Martinez remaining aboard.
#1 Big Guy Ian (9-2) overcame a wide post and slow start when winning his latest at Will Rogers just under two weeks ago. Chestnut finished third in one of three previous tries on this track and trainer Compton wins with 26% of his runners in claiming events. Son of Birdstone can be forwardly placed early breaking from the rail under Fackler, who has won with two of last 12 rides for this barn.