This is an interesting race from a pace scenario as according to OptixPLOT should set up for a horse from off the pace. There is Contention (Sun) with runners in Quad I, as well as a high 75 SpeedRate, shown with the majority of the field above the ParLine. This scenario is unique as the OptixRPM (RunStyleMatch) does not show a lot of E or EP types and looking at running lines alone the race looks to “lack pace” when in fact the opposite may be true. The SpeedRate combined with the Contention shows the horses in this field “bunched” and capable to run a fast early pace for this class/distance without necessarily requiring front runners. The off the pace runners #3 DETERMINANT and #6 BOBBY BABY are upgraded in this case and capable to fly under the radar in this event.
Determinant will make his second start of the meet and a quick turnaround from the claiming event last Sunday. In that January 31st race, he was making his first start back in 214-days and was eligible to run protected (waive claim) that afternoon. His trip was not the most ideal racing wide throughout and running off the pace while the race was won on the front end. That wide trip should put some fitness into Determinant and shows some positive intent by Holthus to return with this quick turnaround (7-days) as well as the blinkers going back on. Looking at his Oaklawn Park (races here from last season in the OptixGRID below), his collective OptixFIG fit in RANGE for today’s claiming event putting him on par as a contender.
Bobby Baby will also make his second start of the meet and presents upside from his trip on January 22nd according to OptixNOTES. He had trouble at the start (TROUBLE_S) which forced the rider to take hold early (TACTIC-) and running in hand throughout, started to move up late and continued to run on (GALLOP+) after the wire. The OptixFIGRANGE (OFR) from that race two weeks ago was a higher 95-89 than today’s 89-83 OFR, making today’s class drop a better fit for Bobby Baby to compete.
This starter allowance is another example of a race shape that looks to set up runners from off the pace. The dynamics are a bit different as Race 2 holds the “Sun” Contention and high 75 SpeedRate, whereas Race 6 holds a “Fire” Contention and lower 17 SpeedRate. The Race 6 OptixRPM takes a dramatic shift as well with the majority of the runners, six of the nine, sharing the “EP” RunStyle and “bunched” on the Plot. This scenario allows for #5 TRASHTALKINYANKEE and #9 ORO DE TEJANO to be upgraded in terms of pace and the duo should offer square value, value required with off-the-pace runners. Trashtalkingyankee and Oro de Tejano fit as contenders here in terms of speed, class, and form according to the Past 3 Runlines holding OptixFIG in RANGE and lacking those “red” Keywords. Trashtalkinyankee will make his second start of the meet coming out of the starter allowance on January 24th where he had some adversity in terms of his trip according to OptixNOTES and capable to “Improve” off that show finish. It is also worth mentioning #8 KATZARELLI as he shares a similar Plot position sitting in Quad IV. Given the connections and exiting the Peter Pan (G3) in his most recent start, the public can be expected to gravitate in his direction creating an underlay scenario. At a short price Katzarelli will have to overcome the 206-day layoff and holds value concerns given dramatic change in class and distance coming back to the races this afternoon. #1 EARNER also worth a mention as he projects to be favored coming off the win two weeks ago when sitting a perfect trip. Things change for Earner here as steps up in class and potentially vulnerable with this pace scenario. He draws the rail this afternoon and while his Quad I/III Square position alone is tough to knock, in terms of trip, the inside post could force him to use early for position and get caught up in that “Fire” Contention.