Oaklawn Park is a tough place to win and this race will be no exception. It is a small field but Horny isn’t completely outclassed here. It’s an interesting mix of horses competing for the $28,000 purse in the $12,500 claiming race going six furlongs in tomorrow’s third race (estimate post time 2:25 PM CT).
For those of you new to the Club, before each race we try and give an overview of the race and thoughts on how we can win. Here is the field:
Wildcat Shoals (Chleborad/Loveberry) – Horse is 0-11 at Oaklawn and the last pair of races at this level have been even but non-threatening. Best efforts have been just off the pace.
Smart Spree (McKnight/Mojica) – This guy is tumbling in class from $32,000 to $12,500 – begging to be claimed. The question in races like this is: is he dropping to get a win or because he can’t compete? We won’t know until we see him run! He should be forwardly placed and try and outclass the field home.
Channel Won (Young/Quinones) – Making his seasonal debut after a 2018 that found him in the money over half the time. Trainer Scott Young is 20% off the layoff and here is another one that will likely be pushing the pace early.
DOS CUERNOS (LTFIN/SHEPHERD)
Family Code (Hartman/Elliot) – Picked up his first win in his third race after a year and a half layoff and his first off the claim from Robertino Diodoro to Chris Hartman. He’s moving up from $8000 after a stalk and pounce win last out. Likely to settle in behind the speedsters inside.
Coleman Rocky (Garcia/Lara) – He hasn’t shown much since coming to Oaklawn and immediately showing in a $6250 Starter Allowance. He has certainly been trying much tougher company in allowance, starter and optional company. Back into a straight claimer here for the first time since being claimed for $10,000 at Churchill Downs. He should be coming late.
Iter (Mason/Bridgmohan) – Another big class dropper coming in from $25,000 last out. Managed a couple of Oaklawn Park scores last season but finished out of the money in two start this year. Today drops to the lowest claiming price we can see in his PPs and should be trying to stalk the early pace and pounce late.
This is the part where we like to outline how we can win the race. Horny will need some racing luck for sure and will have to step up a bit. I can see him at Canterbury flourishing at 6.5 furlongs – six may be just a bit short while a mile might be too long. That said, that’s not what we’re facing here.
He’s not a pacesetter but he does have the race speed inside of him. They should be able to clear and we should be able to settle in behind them. He likes to come from relatively far out of it, but I’m hoping we don’t lose touch with the field early.
A potential wild card will be the weather. Hot Springs is expecting storms tonight and rain tomorrow. Horney does have a win over a wet track as well as a pair of thirds in 5 attempts. Smart Spree on the inside (2 out of 3) and Iter (1 for 6) are the only others in the field with wet track wins.
If we can stay in striking distance of the leaders and have something left in the tank late, it should be an exciting finish. Frankly, at this level I’d be happy to hit the board and take down 10 – 20% of the purse and pay for shipping and some training costs before the barn heads north after the Kentucky Derby.
Though I am on the road this week, I will be watching from a rest stop somewhere. Many of you, though, can watch and wager at Canterbury Park if you can get away from work in the afternoon!