Player Quick Pick: Oaklawn Park 3/14/2015

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

March 13th, 2015

American Pharaoh returns in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Untapable returns in the Azeri Stakes at Oaklwan. Due to the presence of those champions, horseplayers are going to find it difficult to make money in either the Rebel Stakes or the Azeri Stakes Saturday. One race that appears wide open at Oaklawn is the Grade 3 Razorback where 4 out of 7 runners look like serious contenders.

Oaklawn Park 8 at 5:57 pm ET

G3 Razorback Hcp for 4&Up going 1-1/16 mi.

6 – Carve – 3/1 – Although there’s a 50% chance of rain tomorrow, none of the entrants should be bothered by the mud. That includes Carve, a 5-year-old gelded son of First Samurai trained by underrated horseman Brian Cox. With Tapiture, Ride On Curlin, and Race Day also signed up for this, Carve’s odds figure to drift up from the morning line. As good as Cox is, many horseplayers are going to see the names Steve Asmussen, who trains Tapiture, and Todd Pletcher, who trains Race Day, and automatically jump on those horses. That would be a huge mistake. Cox wins 25% with horses coming back to the races off of a 46 to 90 day layoff. He wins 24% with horses who won their last race and he wins 29% with his route runners. Carve has won 4 races out of 7 tries over Oaklawn’s dirt track. His lone race in the mud was a victory at 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows. Anything above the 3/1 morning line on Carve makes him an overlay.

5 – Race Day – 7/2 – It’s doubtful that the Todd Pletcher trainee doesn’t go off the favorite in this event. Race Day went off as the $1.70 favorite in the Grade 3 Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream in his last. He lost by only half a length to Valid and Grand Shores. Valid is an extremely talented runner and Gulfstream Park usually favors speed. Race Day can either go to the lead or lie right off. He’s also been working lights out in the a.m. and anything that Pletcher sends the track has to be considered live. Race Day is definitely a must use, but the prediction is that his odds are going to be too short to put him on top in the Razorback on Saturday.

1 – Tapiture – 5/2 – This classy four-year-old colt sired by Tapit just couldn’t get by Goldencents in the BC Dirt Mile as a $4.90 overlay. Tapiture lost by 1.25 lengths. 1 1/16 miles might be the perfect distance for the Steve Asmussen trainee based on his record of 3-1-1 from 5 starts at the distance. Ricardo Santana Jr. rode Tapiture to a win in the Grade 3 Southwest and a second place finish in the Grade 2 Rebel in 2014. Santana Jr. taking over for the retired Rosie Napravnik won’t hurt Tapiture’s chances of winning this. He’s likely to fight with Race Day for favoritism in the race, though, and could even be odds on. Using on top may not be possible even though he’s got a shot to win it.