King Cotton Stakes exotics and field analysis for Oaklawn Jan. 28

Profile Picture: Ashley Anderson

January 26th, 2023

Graded stakes hero Gunite will make his four-year-old debut in the $150,000 King Cotton S. at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. The Gun Runner colt will headline a field of eight in the six-furlong sprint for four-year-olds and older.

Below we offer a full field analysis and provide our best exotics plays — including exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets — for the eighth race on Oaklawn’s Saturday card.

King Cotton S. selections

  • #3 Flash of Mischief (9-5)
  • #7 Gunite (7-5)
  • #6 Radical Right (12-1)

King Cotton S. wagers

  • $10 Exacta: 3 with 7 ($10)
  • $5 Trifecta: 3 with 7 with 1, 6 ($10)
  • $1 Superfecta: 3 with 7 with 1, 2, 6 with 1, 2, 5, 6 ($9)

#1 TEJANO TWIST (5-1): The four-year-old Practical Joke gelding has won three straight at today’s distance, including the Steel Valley Sprint S. at Mahoning Valley. He won in his Oaklawn debut last out, posting a 95 Brisnet Speed rating when beating the field by 1 1/2 lengths. He moves up in class today for trainer Chris Hartman, a 37% winner at Oaklawn, and will keep rider Francisco Arrieta, who is 3-for-6 paired with Hartman over the last 14 days. The rail post is winning at a 20% clip, and Tejano Twist owns a 6-3-2-1 record at today’s distance.

#2 MILES AHEAD (6-1): The Paul McGee pupil won by a nose two back at today’s distance when posting a 102 Brisnet Speed rating in the Louisville Thoroughbred Society S. at Churchill Downs in September. He returned about three months later to finish six lengths behind in fifth in the Richard Scherer Memorial S. at Fair Grounds with a 92 Speed rating. McGee is just a 9% winner with horses making their second start off a layoff and a 7% winner in his last 132 sprint starts. Martin Garcia (36-3-6-1 this meet) will stay in the saddle and has won just 8% of his last 252 sprint rides.

#3 FLASH OF MISCHIEF (9-5): By Into Mischief, the five-year-old romped to a 7 3/4-length victory in the six-furlong Ring The Bell S. at this track in December after finishing a distant ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland. Trainer Karl Broberg is a 25% winner with horses that won their last race but just an 8% winner at Oaklawn this meet. Cristian Torres will retain the mount and is 19-9-3-0 over the last seven days. Flash of Mischief is also 3-for-5 at today’s distance with a career-best 110 Speed figure.

#4 LONG RANGE TODDY (20-1): The 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) starter will kick off his seven-year-old season here after going 0-for-11 in 2022. The Take Charge Indy son has never won at today’s distance in nine tries and has just one win in 11 starts at Oaklawn. Last out, the dark bay came home sixth, 12 lengths behind Flash of Mischief, in the Ring The Bell S. and finished with a 76 Speed rating. He’s posted a trio of sharp workouts in January, but his recent Speed figures and record at today’s distance are cause for concern.

#5 GAR HOLE (12-1): The five-year-old gelding is 5-for-8 for his career, all while sprinting six furlongs, and he comes off a three-length win in which he recorded a 95 BRIS figure in a state-bred allowance optional claimer at this track Jan. 1. Trainer John Ortiz is a 19% winner in sprints but has just two wins from 32 starters at Oaklawn this meet. John Velazquez will pick up the mount and wins at a 17% rate with early/presser types.

#6 RADICAL RIGHT (12-1): The First Samurai gelding will make his first start for trainer Peter Miller, a 29% winner this meet who strikes at a 25% rate in non-graded stakes. The dark bay four-year-old won by half a length in his last try at six furlongs, when racing at Laurel Park, and will try the Oaklawn dirt for the first time. He posted a bullet five-furlong workout at the San Luis Rey Training Center on Jan. 21, indicating he’s sharp and ready. Flavien Prat, a 23% winner with sprints, will pick up the mount.

#7 GUNITE (7-5): The Gun Runner colt won a pair of stakes and placed in the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) when sprinting seven furlongs, then stretched out to a route in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and finished fourth by four lengths to Cody’s Wish. He’ll cut back to six furlongs, a distance from which he is 1-for-1 with an 87 BRIS figure when breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs back in June 2021. In his last five starts, he’s earned triple-digit BRIS figures, and he breezed five furlongs in 58 3/4 seconds at Fair Grounds last week in preparation for his four-year-old debut. Trainer Steve Asmussen is a 19% winner with shippers but just a 7% winner at Oaklawn this meet. Ricardo Santana Jr. (18% winner this meet) will inherit the mount.

#8 ULTIMATE (20-1): The Speightstown gelding is 0-for-4 in his last four starts, all at six furlongs, but was a neck second in his most recent outing, an allowance at Oaklawn. He’ll make his second start off a layoff here, just an 8% winning move for trainer Timothy Martin, and will pick up jockey David Cabrera, who is 11-for-125 this meet. The closer has four wins and four seconds from 14 starts at today’s distance, but his recent Speed figures rank poorly against this field.