July 3, 2020

Lynq Sports

bet on it

Sadly this was supposed to be the Kentucky Derby today! But I’ll give horse racing credit. They have done a decent job of making lemonade here. The Arkansas Derby was pushed back to May 2nd so that it could be a more realistic Kentucky Derby prep. Also the field size was overdrawn, so Oaklawn park has split the grade 1 race into 2 divisions! That means we the fans get 2 races for the price of 1 :). This is a fantastic card put on by Oaklawn and I am really looking forward to watching the days races. I will be previewing the late pick 5 which includes both legs of the Arkansas Derby.

Optional Claimer $80,000 OP Race 10

Distance/Surface: 8.5 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Life on the Road 20-1
  2. Ginobili 7-2
  3. Strong Tide 50-1
  4. Villainous 15-1
  5. Spanish Kingdom 8-1
  6. Amen Corner 50-1
  7. Candy Tycoon 3-1
  8. Katzarelli 20-1
  9. Special Day 30-1
  10. Prodigious Bay 5-1
  11. **Rushie 5-2
  12. Background 15-1

Initial Thoughts: There is not a lot of depth in this field for the class level. The heavily ran horses in this race do not impress me at all so I’ll be looking for some lightly raced runners that project improvement.

Horses I like:

  • Prodigous Bay: This is a very interesting horse at a pretty good price. First of all, he’s lightly raced, having only run 3 times in his career. Last out he broke his maiden impressively winning by 4 ½ lengths. Notice too what happened there. His first 2 races were running at 6.5 and 6 furlongs. Last out he stretched to 8.5 furlongs and look at the great response!  Clearly this horse loves the extra ground and he has every right to improve 3rd start as a 3-year-old.
  • Rushie: He is a deserving favorite here. Also lightly race, he lost by 10 lengths last out to Charlatan. Clearly there is no shame in losing to that monster. His speed figures have improved in each start and I could see him improving again here.
  • Katzarelli: At 20-1 this is a very interesting horse. He debuts in a 15k Maiden Claimer, then breaks his maiden next out in a 30K Maiden Claimer. Tom Amos claims him out of that race and then steps him up to a 50K Claimer where he wins going away. This is a very confident placement by Amos and if this horse improves at all, he could step up and win at a huge price!

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Candy Tycoon: Sure he’s the classiest horse in the race, but he’s inconsistent. His speed figures do not tower over this field and I suspect he will likely be the post time favorite.
  • Ginobili: I like this horse when he is sprinting, but I think the 8.5 furlongs will be too much for him. Not to mention that he has lost 4 races in a row.

Top Pick:

Prodigious Bay is my top pick here. There is so much to like about this horse. He’s improving, lightly raced, and Flavien Prat takes the mount. His competitors have more questions than he does. He’s also sired by Bayern who I’m starting to really like as an up and coming sire!

Arkansas Derby-G1 D1; OP Race 11

Distance/Surface: 9 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. **Charlatan 1-1
  2. My Friends Beer 20-1
  3. Mo Mosa 30-1
  4. Gouverneur Morris 9-2
  5. Jungle Runner 30-1
  6. Shooters Shoot 8-1
  7. Wrecking Crew 20-1
  8. Anneau d’Or 6-1
  9. Winning Impression 15-1
  10. Crypto Cash 20-1
  11. Basin 8-1

Initial Thoughts: Don’t overthink this race. Charlatan absolutely towers over this field.

Horses I like:

  • Charlatan: He will win this race wire to wire. Lucky for him he also draws the weaker of the Arkansas Derby divisions. In 2 starts he has destroyed the field by a combined 15 lengths. Baffert has given him 2 bullet 6f workouts. This horse will explode through the television screen. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was your eventual Kentucky Derby winner.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Every other mule in this race.

Top Pick:

  • You know who it is

Oaklawn Handicap-G2; OP Race 12

Distance/Surface: 9 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Chess Chief 30-1
  2. Trophy Chaser 12-1
  3. Bravazo 30-1
  4. Mr. Freeze 6-1
  5. Identifier 20-1
  6. Warrior’s Charge 8-1
  7. **Combatant 4-1
  8. Sky Promise 20-1
  9. Tacitus 9-2
  10. Captivating Moon 20-1
  11. Tax 15-1
  12. By My Standards 9-2
  13. Night ops 15-1
  14. Improbable 8-1

Initial Thoughts: Wow this is an excellent race! I could make a case for at least half this field to win the race. There are no standouts, but plenty of depth. My approach here will be to avoid the weak favorites and get a price home.

Horses I like:

  • By My Standards: This horse has come back with a vengeance in his 4 year old season. He has won his last 2 races by a combined 9 lengths! He’s also had 2 bullet workouts in April showing that he should be ready to fire here. Gabriel Saez keeps his mount which shows he still believes the horse has great potential. By My standards has never raced at Oaklawn, but I think he’s talented enough to overcome.
  • Night Ops: He was a very consistent 3 year old but was never great. Last out was his 3rd race as a 4 year old where he got a huge speed figure improvement. He’s right back on schedule for trainer brad cox and Castellano gets the mount. There is no reason this horse cannot improve again here, and if he does, he’s got every chance for the upset.
  • Improbable: His 8-1 morning line is silly. He’ll go off closer to 3-1 or lower. I’ve actually been against this horse since the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but wow was I impressed with his 4 year old debut. He nearly beat Tom’s D’Etat in the Oaklawn mile! If Tom’s D’Etat was in this race, he’d be the heavy, heavy favorite. Trainer Bob Baffert kept Improbable at Oaklawn just for this race. He’s clearly confident so why shouldn’t I be?
  • Trophy Chaser: As a 3 year old, Trophy Caser was a pegged as a pure sprinter. While he was a decent sprinter, he wasn’t spectacular. Then as a 4 year old, his connections decided to send him long and man were they rewarded for their decision. He first destroyed a 9 furlong optional claimer by 8 lengths. He then goes down to a Grade 3 Tampa Bay stakes race where he wins by a neck. I love when horses respond to a clear change like this. Trophy Caser just fired a bullet workout on April 22nd for the cherry on top. If he’s 12-1 or better, I’ll be placing a win bet on him.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Mr. Freeze: If this race was at 8 furlongs, he’d be my pick. But the 9 furlong distance is not his best. His 6-1 ML is silly as he might actually go off as your favorite.
  • Combatant: This horse is progressing well, but I can’t justify betting this horse as the favorite. He’s 3 of 10 for his career. A very good horse, but not dominant.

Top Pick:

Trophy Caser is the pick. I love his progression and I love the price even more.

Arkansas Derby G-1 D2; OP Race 13

Distance/Surface: 9 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Finnick the Fierce 15-1
  2. Saratogian 50-1
  3. Storm the Court 6-1
  4. King Guillermo 3-1
  5. **Nadal 5-2
  6. Code Runner 50-1
  7. Silver Prospector 10-1
  8. Fast Enough 12-1
  9. Taishan 15-1
  10. Farmington Road 12-1
  11. Wells Bayou 7-2

Initial Thoughts: Unlike the first division of this race, this will be a very competitive race. Other than the 50-1 shots, I wouldn’t be surprised with anyone else winning this race. There are great early speed horses combined with very capable closers.

Horses I like:

  • Nadal: I’m hearing a lot of people saying that Nadal is a bad favorite. I couldn’t disagree more. Although he’s a need the lead type of horse, he clearly has the most speed of anyone in this race.  Not only that, he’s shown the ability to handle fast fractions and hang on for the win. He’s fired 3 bullet workouts in a row, and I don’t see the extra half furlong bothering him that much. The Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario combination is always dangerous. I’m also a huge fan of tennis which I’ve played my whole life. The fact the horse’s name is Nadal is an extra bonus!
  • Silver Prospector: This is one of those horses that is just feast or famine. Last race was famine for Silver Prospector. But 2 races back he won very impressively in the G3 Southwest Stakes. The pace scenario clearly favors his running style. Notice his workout patterns as well. He fires a bullet workout on April 18th followed by a slow workout on April 26th. This tells me that his Asmussen has seen enough and didn’t want to push him. This one is ready to fire at 10-1
  • Farmington Road: This is likely the best closer in the field. He’s shown great progression as his speed figures have improved after every single race. Last out he nearly won the Oaklawn stakes despite being in 13th at 1st call. If Farmington road can not get too far behind early, expect him to be charging home late at Wells Bayou and Nadal.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • King Guillermo: His Tampa Bay Derby win was impressive, but he beat a pretty weak field. Not a single horse from that race has come back to win. He’s off a long layoff at a low price. I’m certainly trying to beat.
  • Wells Bayou: He’s a very good horse, but he needs the lead to win the race. He’s not as fast as Nadal…. It’s really that simple. Of the 2 speed horses in the race, Nadal clearly has more early speed. Wells Bayou will either have to learn how to stalk or he has no shot.

Top Pick:

Farmington Road is my top pick. Although I love Nadal, he will be challenged by Wells Bayou. If anyone can run Nadal down at the end, I think Farmington road is the one to do it. He is an improving 3 year old that tries hard every race. I think his connections have learned their lesson to not get way out of it early. If he can sit midpack, expect a strong closing kick out of this one.

$100,000 Allowance; OP Race 14

Distance/Surface: 14 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. Dangerfield 6-1
  2. Hard to Impress 50-1
  3. Stuart Hall 20-1
  4. Magic Vow 5-1
  5. **Carlos Sixes 4-1
  6. Whole Lotta Luck 20-1
  7. Wickets Way 8-1
  8. Ghostly Who 12-1
  9. Take Charge d’Oro 10-1
  10. Wild About You 10-1
  11. The Rouge Diesel 15-1
  12. She Might Tell 10-1
  13. Curlin Grey 10-1
  14. River Echo 8-1

Initial Thoughts: This is a weird race to end the card. It’s a nearly 2 mile race for 3 year olds which have started for a claiming price for $10,000 or less in 2019-2020. Not sure what to make of it.

Horses I like:

  • Carlos Sixes: Broberg claimed this guy back in March and has raced him 3 times. Since the claim, Carlos Sixes has won 2 of the 3 races and only lost by a head in the other one.  The horse is clearly healthy and is sired by Quality Road so the extra distance should not be a problem.
  • Curlin Grey: Like the name suggests this son of Curlin is a hard knocker that can run all day. Joe Sharp trains and owns this horse who has been steadily improving in his 4-year-old season. Curlin horses famously improve as they get older.
  • Ghostly Who: This is a classic Diodoro move where he claims a horse from the dumps just to win next out. Its also worth noting that David Cohen rode this horse in his last 2 races and chooses to keep the mount here. Love him at a high price.

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Everyone Else: Based on the condition, you know this is not a strong field. I don’t see anyone outside my top 3 picks that will run away with this one.

Top Pick:

Carlos Sixes is the deserving favorite here and is worth a win bet if  you can get anywhere close to 4-1 on him.

Final Recommended Ticket:

$0.50; 8,10,11/1/2,12,13,14/5,10,7/5,8,13; $54 Total