Hanson: Thoughts on Saturday's middle Pick 4 at Oaklawn

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

April 10th, 2020

Betting opportunities abound on a tremendous 12-race card at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. While there will be plenty of focus on the Late Pick 4 and Pick 5, we'll attempt to get the bankroll padded earlier in the day in the middle Pick 4 which covers races 5-8.

Race 5

Some of the main contenders drew even farther outside than #9 SIGNIFY (15-1) and #10 NASTY (6-1), but those two recent arrivals from Fair Grounds have the potential to move way up off their respective debuts. Signify was well-backed at 9-5 first out, but faded badly to trail after hopping at the start. There's probably more there after two solid breezes over this strip. Nasty ran into the promising Ain't No Elmers on debut but faces no fillies of comparable quality here. Trainer Steve Asmussen has been mired in a cold streak, but could heat up during the course of this sequence. Debut runner #6 CASUAL (6-1) is the result of a union between Curlin and Lady Tak, Grade 1 stars Asmussen both trained, and is a half to a pair of stakes winners.

Race 6

Although not an original Triple Crown nom, #7 PNEUMATIC (7-2) lived up to his upper-class pedigree with a mild 4-1 upset in his debut back in mid-February. The margin was narrow, but looked like a colt who'll be just fine around two turns. #2 CAPTAIN BOMBASTIC (5-2) a clear second to Oaklawn S. candidate Taishan in debut over the track here, and looms a big threat second off the bench. Perhaps wouldn't mind if any rain held off until after this one. #5 SIXTO (12-1) a complete no-show in the Gotham (G3), but that debut was relatively smart and son of Curlin can rebound from that.

Race 7

He was a no-show in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but #13 UNRIGHTEOUS (5-2) looks a must-use if he draws in off the AE list for Pletcher based on his strong runner-up finish in a Gulfstream maiden two back. #11 EARNER (5-2) likely heavily backed if Unrighteous not in. Beaten at even-money first out in January, but that effort is the one to beat if repeated. However, the layoff, distance, and post give a little cause for pause. #6 ABSOLUTE UNIT (4-1) missed narrowly in two-turn debut, which he's probably needed for awhile. Champion sire won several stakes over this track.

Race 8

#3 MO GOTCHA (4-1) faded late in a similar spot last out following a six-month spell and figures stronger second out. Removal of blinkers, too, a potential positive as he might rate more kindly this time with some other speed surrounding him. #9 PROVERB (9-2) stakes-placed over this track and perhaps wasn't a huge fan of the slop when only third in his return to Hot Springs last month. #7 FAST TALKING (12-1) hasn't been able to put two races together until now. Phipps homebred stretches out for the first time and can't be judged too far off the main players here at a price if he takes a forward step off the bench.

The 50-cent ticket:

  • 6,9,10 with 2,5,7 with 6,11,13 with 3,7,9 = $40.50