Oaklawn Park spot plays: Pick 3 for April 4

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 3rd, 2020

The highlight of the Saturday card at Oaklawn Park is the $100,000 Purple Martin S., which serves as the middle leg of a competitive Pick 3.

Let’s tackle the sequence of a $30 budget and see if we can’t come up with a winning play.

Race 8: Allowance/optional claiming (5:38 p.m. ET)

#5 Answer In brings the fastest Brisnet Speed ratings to this 1 1/16-mile route for 3-year-olds. A Triple Crown nominee, Answer In is dropping in class, after he hit the board in the Remington Springboard Mile and Southwest (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The son of Dialed In has the tactical speed to stay within striking distance, coupled with the ability to rate behind the leaders and finish strong. Hot jockey Joe Talamo accepts the mount for trainer Brad Cox, a 25% winner at Oaklawn this winter.

We’ll emphasize Answer In on our tickets, but we’ll also play a small backup, with the improving #7 Fort Knox, who crushed a 1 1/8-mile maiden race at Fair Gronds by 8 3/4 lengths. The son of Goldencents has been cranking out fast workouts and could take another step forward on Saturday.

Race 9: Purple Martin S. (6:09 p.m. ET)

In this 6-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies, #1 Kimari and #8 Frank’s Rockette figure to put on a good show. Both are stakes winners, proven against good company. Kimari was beaten a head in the Queen Mary (G2) at Royal Ascot in England last summer, while Frank’s Rockette placed in the Adirondack (G2), Spinaway (G1), and Frizette (G1) during a productive juvenile season.

Both Kimari and Frank’s Rockette have posted triple-digit Brisnet Speed ratings, but we’ll take a stand with Frank’s Rockette, who has more experience racing on dirt. She has also drawn a better post than Kimari and is sharper at the break, two factors that figure to give Frank’s Rockette a tactical advantage.

Race 10: Maiden special weight (6:38 p.m. ET)

The finale is a tough race that features 3-year-olds against older rivals going 1 1/16 miles.

#5 Wild Union is a logical contender for Talamo and Cox. The son of Bayern has cracked the trifecta in seven of his eight starts. But Wild Union was beaten Feb. 17 by the stretch-running #11 Tiz the Journey, a newly gelded son of Tiznow who will try to maintain an upward trajectory for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.

Keep in mind Wild Union and Tiz the Journey are 3-year-olds facing their elders for the first time. Their formidable older opponents include #12 On d’Oro, #4 Aztec Empire, and #7 Copper King, who finished second, third, and fourth over this track and distance two weeks ago. The first-time starter #6 Don Vito Corleone also offers appeal, with several sharp workouts at Oaklawn.

We’ll spread deep and hope to catch a price in this competitive heat.

$3.50 Pick 3: 5 with 8 with 4,5,6,7,11,12 ($21)
$1.50 Pick 3: 7 with 8 with 4,5,6,7,11,12 ($9)

Good luck!