Friday race pick at Oaklawn Park

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April 3rd, 2020

Friday’s eighth race at Oaklawn features horses who recently shipped to Hot Springs and several veterans of graded stakes, including #6 Laughing Fox, who was a contender in the 2019 Preakness (G1) and Travers (G1), and #9 Rated R Superstar, who notched a victory in last year’s Essex Handicap at Oaklawn.

Here are some competitors to consider in the 1 1/16-mile optional-claiming allowance.

#4 Gato Guapo (9-2 on the morning line)

He missed crossing the wire first by three-quarters of a length his last two starts and has the highest last-out Brisnet Speed rating. Although the gelding is untested at Oaklawn, trainer Robertino Diodoro currently leads the standings at the Arkansas track and has been in the money 57% this meet.

#5 Pirate’s Punch (3-1)

He is also trying this oval for the first time. The son of Shanghai Bobby has finished in the top three his last seven races, and jockey Tyler Baze has the call.

#8 Kurilov’s (4-1)

His most recent races yielded a pair of wins at Oaklawn and by a pair of seconds at Churchill Downs. Although his speed figures do not rank as highly as his foes, the jockey/trainer pairing of Joe Talamo, who is currently tied for first in the meet standings, and Brad Cox is a winning combination.

The wagers

$5 to win on #8 Kurilov

$2 exacta box on 4, 5, 8