Friends and readers, please let us remember our fallen stars and as I ponder the races today at Oaklawn Park I think about a Southwest Stakes winner, Lawyer Ron. A Woodward and Whitney Stakes winner, winner of the Rebel Stakes, Risen Star Stakes, The Southwest Stakes and the Arkansas Derby, he died tragically from colic less then a year ago. Rest in Peace Lawyer Ron.
The Turk is enjoying a Padron Family Reserve from the confines of his office in snow covered Western new York. A new year's resolution of mine was to attend this year's Arkansas Derby, but with Rachel and Zenyatta racing a day before, I now wonder how I will gain access to the track for less then the insane prices I'm seeing tickets be offered for. If any of my readers have a suggestion, please let me know.
Today I'm thinking about a sensible Pick Four that centers around the Southwest. These bets can get expensive so never bet more then you are prepared to lose. As I tell my non horse racing fans, compared to the s**t that is offered as entertainment these days, I'm OK with moderately priced gambling activity as my main source of pleasure. We all make our own choices!
Let's get it on! As always, follow procedure: Weather, Scratches/Changes and Tote Board.
Oaklawn Park races 7-10 including the Southwest Grade III
In the featured Southwest I'm backing Conveyance. Trained by Hall of Fame b. Baffert with Go-Go Gomez up, comes to his first dirt race off Grade III San Rafael and the fake dirt. A key race, his second effort off 45-180 layoff for the son of Indian Charlie. I'm not a big fan of taking horses on a new surface and betting them on top but I'm taking a chance on current form and ability and I think he's catching some of the others at a good time in the season.
Dryfly comes in off a pedestrian yet driving win in the Smarty Jones. Borel is up on the gelding for trainer Whiting who has pedestrian trainer stats but a win over the surface and looks very good right now.
I have Pleasant Storm and Dublin rated about equal here but only because of the long layoff and trouble that Dublin has had since his Grade I Hopeful. A very key race for Dublin to show some improvement but a win isn't an overwhelming need. Pleasant Storm is training well and goes over Oaklawn surface for second time in a month.
There is a solid middle tier of runners with Mission Impazible, Cardiff Giant and Kitty's Turn that could all hit the final ticket. Pletcher's Mission Impazible is winless on dirt, beaten by a head at GP and returns with J. Velaquez up. Cardiff Giant is the field leader with 10 starts but his first on dirt for trainer Periban with Santiago Reyes up. I like this gelding but not to win here.
I'm looking at a 2 X 2 X 3 X 2 pick four for a reasonably priced ticket of $24. Some pretty tough races make up the pick four, with a nice field in a Maiden Special Weight in race 7 that contains four Triple Crown nominees. I have two in the race but I really Madrid, running for Tim Ice who could use some good karma and I may insert Madrid later which would increase my bet to $36. That may be outside what I'm willing to lose today so I reserve the right to single Race 10 with Hayn Dawg.
Race 8 is a 5.5 furlong OC40K/N2X that I liked four horses in and I'm excluded Praderoso and Hidden Bay at my peril and Race 10 is a Maiden 15K affair with a 12 horse field and three pretty solid runners with the previously mentioned Hayn Dawg, Kygar and Stormin J D.
OK friends, have fun and Turk Out!