Hanson's mid-card Pick 4 on Arkansas Derby Day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 1st, 2020

The 2020 Oaklawn Park meet ends Saturday with a tremendous bang, a 14-race card that includes two divisions of the Arkansas Derby (G1) and a potentially stellar renewal of the Oaklawn H. (G2) for older horses. Before the stakes action heats up, a little mid-card Pick 4 action is in order.

Race 6

The California shippers #4 FRIAR'S ROAD (7-2) and #14 DIVINE ARMOR (7-2) both are major threats on paper. The former exits a runner-up try against subsequent Oaklawn allowance winner Shooters Shoot, while latter looks to snap a case of seconditis if he draws in from the AE list.

Will also use #6 WHAT A COUNTRY (10-1), a clear second to "maiden" Blackberry Wine in his debut two back. Perhaps capable of much better as he likely gets a fast track for the first time here.

Race 7

#8 GAMINE (7-2) will take some beating for trainer Bob Baffert if she runs back to or improves off her debut score at Santa Anita. #10 SPEECH (2-1) was second best to Donna Veloce in the Santa Ysabel (G3) last time, while the AE #13 AIN'T NO ELMERS (5-2) highly impressive in two open-length victories at Fair Grounds going short. The stretch-out today should be within her scope.

Race 8

Although beaten as an odds-on choice in his last three, Laurel shipper #1 BENINTENDI (8-1) looks plenty fast to contend while trying two turns for the first time. Addition of Florent Geroux adds to his appeal.

Race 9

Plenty of speed in the field could set things up for a stalker or closer. #6 PROVERB (8-1) has some back class being multiple stakes-placed last season, and should benefit from the longer stretch compared to latest when he was just up in a short-stretch mile. Super Derby (G3) winner #7 ROTATION (9-2) another relatively classy type hard to dismiss. Had a pretty solid comeback prep missing by only a half-length. #8 LORD GUINNESS (15-1) an absolute no-show in the Oaklawn Mile against much tougher. Rebound candidate fits on best over a fast track.

If one or both the also-eligibles used fail to draw in, the total price on this 50-cent ticket will come down. As it stands at this writing:


  • 4,6,14 with 8,10,13 with 1 with 6,7,8 = $13.50