Homeracing

Making the Most of Oaklawn Park Wagering Opportunities

Profile Picture: Ed DeRosa

January 11th, 2017

One of my wagering resolutions in 2017 is to pay more attention to Oaklawn Park with the thought being that I’ve been missing opportunities there over the years (for another opportunity, check out the 20x promo on losing win bets!).

It’s a popular wagering option but not too popular. The pools are big, but they’re also not artificially inflated by money that’s admittedly smarter than mine is (i.e. the rebate players stick more to Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, and Tampa Bay, which are the top four tracks by handle January-April with Oaklawn ranking fifth).

Still, with an average daily handle of $3,168,896 (up 5.4% from the previous year), there’s plenty of money to go after, and what’s more: a higher percentage of that money is on-track versus other well-bet venues this time of year.

Those opportunities paired with average winning odds last year of 6.39-to-1 and $0.50 payouts in the Pick 3 of $265.90 and Pick 4 of $3,156.74 gives me the confidence that I’ll get paid if my opinions are right.

OAKLAWN PARK AT A GLANCE

Avg. Winning Odds: 6.39 - 1

Favorite Win%: 30%, Favorite Itm%: 66%

EXOTICS

PAYOFF

Exacta

122.20

Daily Double

94.21

Trifecta

1,034.87

Pick 3

1,063.62

Superfecta

8,440.44

Pick 4

12,626.98

Classix

3,791.15

Of course I’ve played Oaklawn before, but I’ve never played it every day, so I expect a learning curve, though information found in things like Brisnet.com’s At-A-Glance, the Ultimate Past Performances’ summary page, and my ALLWAYS database should help me get prepared.

In addition to those handy average odds and payouts referenced above, the Oaklawn At-A-Glance also tells us that the rail/inside and speed was good sprinting, BUT only about 30% of horses won gate to wire. I.e., you can stalk and pounce.

TRACK BIAS MEET(01/15 - 04/16)

Distance

#
Race

%
Wire

Best
Style

Best
Posts

 

5.5fDirt

17

29%

E/P

Rail/Ins

 

6.0fDirt

284

30%

E

Rail/Ins

 

1 MileDirt

80

19%

E/P

Middle

 

1 1/16mDirt

120

17%

E/P

Rail

 

The numbers are even grimmer on the front end going two turns, but E/P is still preferred versus “P” or “S”. Overall, it’s a fair racetrack, but whereas most places I’d say I’d rather have a gate-to-wire type than a deep closer, at Oaklawn—especially going two turns—that’s a toss up.

When it comes to using Brisnet.com’s proprietary data and ratings—like Speed and Prime Power—the numbers are more predictive in routes and sprints. When looking for a standout—for the purpose of wagering defined as a strong single candidate in multi-race players—maiden route races offer a high chance of confidence with additional optimism reserved for Arkansas-bred races. You won’t get rich betting some of these favorites, BUT in races that often draw full fields that can be some value in sticking your neck out on the favorite in a race whose condition often scares people into using more horses than necessary.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any races like that on opening day, but we’ll be watching. It’s a three-month long meeting, and we’re expecting a lot of opportunity.

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