Homeracing

How to bet the Oaklawn Mile Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 9th, 2021

A well-matched cast of nine will go postward in Saturday’s $400,000 Oaklawn Mile. I feel that every contestant in the field has questions to answer, which makes it a very intriguing betting event.

There appears to be a plethora of runners in the group that prefer to do their running on or close to the pace in the early stages. I don’t expect any horse to clear by all that much at any stage of the contest, and I also feel that the winner will have to make a well-timed move from off the tempo.

#4 Rushie (3-1) fits the profile of a horse who will sit the right trip, and one who has the ability to beat this battle-tested group. Trained by Mike McCarthy, the four-year-old son of Liam’s Map had a fine sophomore season and could be set for a big 2021 with expected improvement. An allowance winner in his lone previous start on the course, the colt was a Grade 3 winner at three, with additional placings in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Blue Grass S. (G2).

The Florida-bred gray has run some of his best races at the distance, and he has been training in rapid fashion in preparation of his return as well. Joel Rosario will ride and employ a stalk-and-pounce voyage atop the colt.

I acknowledge that #6 By My Standards (5-2) has class and is the one to beat for Bret Calhoun. Goldencents five-year-old ran some huge races last campaign before tailing off in a pair of deep Grade 1 tilts to close out the year. If the multiple Grade 2 winner is on his game off the layoff, then he will be tough. But I would prefer to watch one prior to getting in his corner to win. He has bigger goals this season.

A pair of horses that I am tabbing for the gimmicks will offer great value to the return. #8 Home Base (15-1) is winless in 10 straight, and has also been upended in each of his three tries on the surface. But the six-year-old was a very good third in a strong allowance field here off the bench in his first following the claim by Contreras. Ontario-bred draws outside of the other pace in the field, and I envision him taking a step forward second time back.

#5 Blackberry Wine (5-1) has come up short when facing stakes foes in the past, but will break through at some point. The Joe Sharp trainee has done some of his best work at Oaklawn with a 3-2-1-0 line, which includes a powerful allowance tally on the oval most recently. If I had more confidence that the Oxbow could rate comfortably in the early stages, he might have been the top pick. David Cabrera will be in the irons.

Oaklawn Mile Wagers

  • $10 exacta 4 with 5,6,8 ($30)
  • $3 trifecta 4 with 5,6,8 with 5,6,8 ($18)
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