Emily Gullikson takes a look at the Oaklawn Park March 4 card and provides her OptixEQ analysis for Race 2 and 5.
#2 SPOTTED BULL has some upside showing up here for Calhoun and should find the right race shape and class to compete this afternoon. He will exit a slightly higher level event last month at San Houston where he was unable to compete given the outside post and extra-wide (X_WIDE) trip as a result. The recent off-the-board finishes could get him overlooked here and given the trips and progression has upside in this third start of the form cycle. Also worth noting in the Past 3 Runlines his 86 OptixFIG back on November 28th at Remington Park fits on the higher side of RANGE today, also in terms of class, that place finish and OptixFIG earned at this $25k N2L condition as well.
Pace is also a positive with Spotted Bull tracking as a Square from Quad II. The “Fire” Contention level with five runners expect to keep the pace honest with Spotted Bull enough tactical speed and the ability save ground with first run on that pair. That seems to give him a pace advantage and value over #6 FLAT OUT AVENGER the second choice on the morning line shown as a Square in Quad IV.
The “Fire” Contention is notable here from a value standpoint with morning line favorite #3 EASTSIDE COOL as part of that first flight of runners. #8 BODE’S LIGHT and #9 PAYSTER are also part of today’s Contention and likely to use for position with those outside posts. In addition to trip, there are some concerns with this trio all coming off career top OptixFIG and with favorable scenarios. Those FIG’s are likely to take public attention and could see some regression here. #7 COPLEY is also part of that Quad I Contention though perhaps positioned most favorably of that set as a Square higher on the y-axis. In addition he should offer the most value of this group and capable to move forward in this spot, his second start of the form cycle.
#8 VERY SPICY is capable to fly under the radar from the trip on January 21st making her second career start. Heading into the debut, she had a limited work tab and little wagering support. Her 15-1 morning line suggested she would need a race. While the running line and 10th place finish does not look like much on paper, she showed run dealing with TRAFFIC TROUBLE when making a move between horses that forced her to steady. With upside from that trip (IMPROVE), she will find some favorable changes here to assist on that front. The class drop to maiden claiming is significant coming out of the Special Weight debut and will race on Lasix here for the first time as well. Very Spicy will have to make up ground on the more forward, logical runners in this field with #3 SMARTY’S ANGEL, #11 RACHIE RACH, #12 FRANKIE’S MOONSHINE and #13 DAIGLE, though with the timing the value opportunity is worth taking advantage of today.