September 25, 2022

OptixPLOT for Oaklawn Park March 13

Oaklawn Park
Oaklawn Park (Vance Hanson photo)

RACE 5:

#7 C P QUALITY was listed as a vulnerable favorite here when making her first start of the meet back on January 31. While “soft” that afternoon, she was claimed out of that race by Timothy Martin and will make her second start for those connections here. She ran in a tougher open claiming event last month and overall an even effort for the level. She is rather common, and with that noted the drop should be favorable this afternoon and current form along with trip (Quad II Square) fits with today’s field.

#8 WESTLODGE INTRIGUE has intrigue looking at the 15-1 morning line as she makes her second start of the meet this afternoon. She went off as a longshot for McKnight in the starter allowance event back on February 6. The race should be a useful one for her as she was not asked for much that afternoon. She will find significant class relief here coming out of that starter allowance event and back to a level she has won at in the past. Trip will be something for Mojica to overcome from Quad IV, though should find compensation on the tote.

OptixPLOT Race 5

RACE 6:

#7 HOUSE DRUNK brings a positive form cycle as she makes her third career start this afternoon for Holthus. She made her debut back on February 8 running a very solid race (BTL – Better Than Looked) that afternoon finishing second behind the perfect trip winner. Off that effort it was not too surprising to see connections try a tougher class for her second start, the most recent run on February 27. Despite finishing fifth (a blanket finish for show) she still turned in a solid effort for the level earning a B- OptixGRADE. The pair of races should help to provide some foundation as she stretches out to a route this afternoon; and does so favorably at the $25K maiden level she ran at first out.

#5 CONGRATS GIRL, similar to HOUSE DRUNK, comes into this race with a positive form cycle making her third start of the meet this afternoon for Milligan. She has improved in each race, and from the visuals (TACTICS, IMPROVE) she has another move forward from her most recent start back on February 21. Moving off the rail, more assertive handling and with the additional distance she looks to have more speed (Quad I)  and could see her engaged in the early pace.

OptixPLOT Race 6

RACE 8 – Temperence Hill Stakes:

#10 CAMPAIGN makes his second start here at Oaklawn Park and deserves a serious look following the fifth-place finish in the Razorback (G3) last month. He was coming into the race following a poor performance Breeders’ Cup weekend and able to redeem himself on the track. Compromised by the slow start, he put in a massive wide late run closing ground to the wire. He was one of the horses to follow out of that graded stakes event. With that said, his running style can be problematic coming from well off the pace though a slow start might benefit him given this outside post and with the gate positioned right into the first turn. He has the recency and experience at the distance to make him a legit contender; it just comes down to trip.

#5 TONE BROKE, making his third start off the layoff, will look to regain some form this afternoon for the connections. Some excuses can be made in his two starts at the Fair Grounds. Coming off the layoff into graded stakes he seemed to benefit from the race and ran against the dynamics chasing wide from off the pace. He had a similar run last out on the turf, though showing a bit more tactical speed, and ran in the outer lanes (the less favorable part of the turf course). From a form cycle perspective, it is encouraging to see him return to the stakes condition as well as on a quicker turnaround, some signals that could side with positive intent.

#8 UCANTHANKMELATER‘s stamina is not an issue, for this Matthews trainee is already proven at these marathon distances. That experience also extends over this course having run here the last two seasons, as well as a pair of races this meet with some potential upside. The poor starts on both occasions kept him further back than he is capable of running, and likely with a better start, he can find himself in a more tactical racing position for this distance.

OptixPLOT Race 8