Handicapper Emily Gullikson examines the plot diagrams from OptixEQ for Oaklawn Park on April 2nd and provides pick analysis based on what the data says.
OAKLAWN PARK – April 2, 2020
#2 MS BIG SPRING will make her return for David Fawkes and with the ability to threaten as the “speed of the speed” in this event. She is positioned as a Circle in Quad I, and noted the Circle representing the lack of finish in relationship to the other runners in the field. With that said, she has upside off that “shape” as it appears on the Plot. Positioned in Quad I, she carries legit speed to the first call (to the left) and second call (high on y-axis) and preferred from that perspective over the other runners in Quad I/III. The lack of finish is worth addressing and, using OptixNOTES and RaceShapes, it is noted she has been on contested paces (X_FLOW) and that often signals lack of finish given the race dynamics. It is also worth considering as she comes back this afternoon after 145 days she will be making her first start as a 3-year-old, and upside off her juvenile speed figures (OptixFIG) from last season; and that 87 OptixFIG earned when breaking her maiden stands out of the series and is a competitive number in this group.
A competitive claiming race and with some value alternatives to the more obvious runners in this field.
#11 LEWY’S VAPORIZOR is listed as the morning line favorite and could be vulnerable this afternoon based on today’s race shape. He is shown high up prominently placed in Quad I. However, he finds himself in a contested Quad I as well. The key with him looking at the “Past 3 Runlines” is the need for a LONE trip. Given the “sun” Contention and honest 42 SpeedRate that could see him falter late.
#7 ROCKSHAW makes sense as the second choice on the morning line coming out of a solid race at this level back on February 6. The race came up strong for the level (higher than normal OptixFIGRANGE) and his 91 OptixFIG and B- OptixGRADE put him right back in the mix here.
#1/1A LEROY and CONTROL STRIKE for Diodoro fit at this level, though have some potential value concerns. Trip will be a factor for LEROY positioned deep in Quad IV; and even with the Contention and SpeedRate to assist he still has a lot of ground to make up on this course. #1 CONTROL STRIKE, on the other hand, looks positioned to sit a favorable trip as a Square tracking right behind the Quad I/III flight. The drop in class here could be helpful as well running OptixFIG and GRADES below the level of competition in his previous two starts this meet. With that said, he ran as the BOS “best of the speed” back on February 8 and lacked finish (NO_FINISH) that day, perhaps trying a similar tactic here rather than the “stalk and pounce” run might have him tiring late trying to get in the fold early with those Quad I types.
#3 FACILITATOR presents value in this with some upside coming back at this similar claiming level and with the B OptixGRADE already from earlier in the meet. This will be his first start off the claim for Asmussen, which is actually a re-claim as this gelding began his career with this barn and has had success when re-claimed by these connections last season. Granted he could have a similar challenge in terms of trip from Quad IV, however in terms of trip he has shown the ability to run races closer to the past in the past especially when running for this trainer.
#4 SHARP ART he was given a “longshot” look last month at this level coming off the EX – Excuse race back on February 6. He seemed to have upside with that EX as well as making his second start of the form cycle. With that said, his effort two weeks ago still came up short (C OptixGRADE) with the eighth-place result. There could be some consideration to the WIDE trip as well as the “sloppy” rated main track a course condition he has not run well over historically. A faster track this afternoon could yield improvement, and what expects to be another big number on the board is worth playing around with.