Oaklawn Park stakes trifecta plays for Jan. 30

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

January 29th, 2021

A pair of stakes races for the ladies are on the slate at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. In the first affair on the card, sophomore fillies with hopes of progressing to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) will square off in a one-mile contest. I see the race being mostly formful with the pair of morning-line choices appearing to have a bit of an edge on their foes, but the second stakes race of the afternoon looks to be a tough handicapping puzzle that will offer excellent value in the vertical wagers.

Race 5 -- Martha Washington S.

The $200,000 event is led by Rags to Riches S. queen #3 Coach (7-5) and three-time stakes heroine #1 Joy’s Rocket (5-2), and it’s hard to look past the duo. The former capped her 2020 campaign with a solid third in the Golden Rod (G2) and has trained forwardly in the interim. Commissioner filly has improved with each start for Brad Cox, and she doesn’t need the lead to be successful, either. She will get a perfect trip just off the early tempo.

Joy’s Rocket is a high-level performer with fine form for Asmussen. Anthony’s Cross filly is a bit of a question mark at the distance from a pedigree standpoint, but her raw talent might make up for her breeding.

The Dallas Stewart-trained #4 Will’s Secret (6-1) is the filly that I will key under the aforementioned pair. Dark bay lass graduated at Fair Grounds in her sophomore bow, and she will be moving best in the stretch behind an honest early pace.


  • $20 Trifecta: 3 with 1 with 4 ($20)
  • $10 Trifecta: 1 with 3 with 4 ($10)
  • $1 Trifecta Box: 1,3,4 ($6)

Race 8 -- American Beauty S.

The 6-furlong dash attracted a very good field of nine fillies and mares. I have a lot of respect for each of the three main contenders in the cast -- #6 Amy’s Challenge (3-1), #7 Frank’s Rockette (2-1), and #9 Lady’s Island (9-2) -- but a speed duel occurring among the trio seems very likely. I am going to tab a pair of talented late runners to make a big impact in the race at square odds.

#1 French Empire (10-1) has been in fine form of late for Contreras. The 6-year-old mare is not proven at the level, but she figures to receive a fine trip from off the pace while saving ground early on. An upset tally is not out of the question.

Scott Becker’s #5 Wildwood's Beauty (6-1) has given a fine account of herself with top sprinters in the past, and she comes in fresh for her seasonal debut. The multiple graded stakes-placed daughter of Kantharos will be motoring home with energy late under Joe Rocco.


  • $1 Trifecta: 1,5 with 1,5,6,7,9 with 1,5,6,7,9 ($24)
  • 50-cent Trifecta: 6,7,9 with 1,5 with 1,5,6,7,9 ($9)