Oaklawn Park spot plays and Pick 3 ticket for Dec. 17

December 15th, 2022

The 5 1/2-furlong Poinsettia S. for fillies and mares and 1 1/8-mile Tinsel S. for three-year-olds and up highlight Oaklawn Park’s 10-race, holiday-themed Saturday card Dec. 17.

Below we offer spot plays for the above stakes, as well as the 1 1/16-mile allowance race nestled between the two, then we tie it all together neatly with a bow with a Pick 3 ticket covering Races 7-9.

Race 7: Poinsettia S., 5 1/2 furlongs, fillies and mares 

#1 Ari Oakley (5-1) will go for her third straight victory after wiring a five-furlong allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs on Nov. 10. The Gun Runner three-year-old won by a neck two back when wiring a $127,000 allowance at the same track and will now ship to Oaklawn Park, where she is 3-1-1-1 lifetime. The Steve Asmussen pupil posted a 92 Brisnet Speed rating last out, good for the highest last race speed rating among the field, and drew a favorable spot on the inside, with the rail post winning at a 23% clip under these race conditions at Oaklawn. The filly will pick up the services of jockey Isaac Castillo, a 16% winner with pacesetter types.

Race 8: Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, three-year-olds and up

Sixth-place finisher in the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1), #1 Barber Road (4-5) is a heavy morning line favorite in his first start since the Belmont S. (G1) on June 11. The Tapit grandson receives some major class relief and will get Lasix for the first time in his first start off a long layoff. Trainer John Ortiz is a 17% winner with horses making their first start in more than 90 days and a 21% winner when adding Lasix for the first time, while he’s a 19% winner at the allowance level. However, Barber Road has not won at Oaklawn in four tries, finishing second three times and third once, all against stakes company. The drop down in class should help him get back to the winner’s circle.

If you want to take a stand against the three-year-old in your horizontal wagers, Karl Broberg trainee #3 U S Navy Cross (6-1), #9 Disc Jockey (9-2) out of Robertino Diodoro’s barn, and longshot #10 Stormy Pattern (20-1) in his first start for Michael Maker all look capable of pulling off an upset. 

Race 9: Tinsel S., 1 1/8 miles, three-year-olds and up

#4 Bal Harbour (5-2) will drop in class after coming home a distant third in the 1 5/8-mile Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance S. (G2) on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard at Keeneland while recording a 105 Brisnet Speed rating and 108 Late Pace rating. Two back, the seven-year-old wired a 1 1/8-mile claiming race over a sloppy track, winning by 8 3/4 lengths while posting a 103 BRIS figure. Trainer Robertino Diodoro is a 22% winner second after the claim and a 21% winner in non-graded stakes, while he’s 12-for-30 paired with jockey Cristian Torres (20-7-1-5 at Oaklawn this meet) over the last two months.

Bal Harbour can pull off a slight upset of morning line favorite #3 Run Classic (8-5), who finished a head second as the favorite in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs, where he recorded a 94 Brisnet Speed rating.

  • $1 Pick 3 ticket: 1, 3 with 1 with 1, 2, 4 ($6)
  • Alternate .50-cent Pick 3 ticket fading #1 Barber Road: 1, 3 with 3, 9, 10 with 1, 2, 4 ($9)