OptixEQ analysis for Races 1, 3, and 6 at Oaklawn Park on March 1.
#6 SANTA ANA WINDS has some upside making her second start of the meet and a reasonable class drop back into maiden claiming company. She returned to make her first off the claim for Holthus and for the meet in a deep special weight event on February 9. She did not have the most ideal trip with the stumble at the start (TROUBLE_S) and chasing on hold from off the pace in a race won on the front end with the top three finishers forwardly placed throughout. Slow starts (SLOG) have been an issue with her in each starts, though the class drop, and distance here could help to make up for any early lost ground.
#4 RED LINGERIE is hard to make the case for as one of the “more likely” winners, though at a price the case can be made for her being worth a stab. She will be making just her second start of the meet and with changes in terms of both class and distance. She comes out of a relatively productive race back on February 2, a race she should benefit from and showed run in for the first start back. She was part of the early pace and after dropping back after the opening ¼ mile started to show some interest again late. The winner of the race was a very live first time starter for Brad Cox winning on the front end by open lengths. The battle was for the minors with the place finisher coming from off the pace for that award. In the case of the February 2 race being productive, many horses came back out of that race to improve their speed figures. One of those runners was the 7th place finisher AGAVE QUEEN. She came back on February 2 in a similar type move to RED LINGERIE with the added distance and class drop to break her maiden at the $25k level, her races shown below in OptixGRID.
#6 HIDDEN RULER is capable of being overlooked off his most recent start, an 8th place finish at this starter allowance level back on February 9. His trip while WIDE was one of those more subtle “trips” based on his position and the race dynamics. The field bunched up in the early stages which not only kept HIDDEN RULER wide, but also in a stressful, far from ideal racing position. He showed more tactical speed than it looks on paper, a trip that could be favorable here. #7 MAKE NOISE also coming out of that same starter allowance last month and with more “obvious” TROUBLE early on. He was forced to take up and drop back early on before making a late move. The early trouble was obvious in terms of visuals, but also took him out of his typical run style as one that came race closer to the pace – and likely to do so here. This can be seen on the OptixPLOT2020 below comparing the Standard (current form) to their positions on Surface/Distance.
#1 BETTYANN she was given a look in similar spot back on February 13th, however scratched that afternoon. She has upside coming back to make her second start of the meet unable to have a fair start back (EX – EXCUSE) on February 1st with ability to move forward and even compete right back at this level. That afternoon she was unprepared at the start and broke slow and in a tangle right out of the gate. From there she was encouraged to MOVE up (not shown in the running line) before losing ground. With a line through that race and looking to her previous races, she has run races that are on par for this condition.