Emily Gullikson takes a look at the Oaklawn Park March 11 card and provides her OptixEQ analysis.
#8 TOO PRETTY made her seasonal return back on Jan. 30 in what should be a useful prep race following the 274-day layoff to step forward this afternoon. All around she looked to need the race (PREP) and should benefit from that start and gain fitness from the wide (X_WIDE) trip that afternoon from a far outside post. She showed a bit more tactical speed there stalking outside the pacesetters keeping in mind the ground loss and sprint distance looking at the running line alone. As projected with the PREP the STRETCH OptixKEYWORDS is in play as she returns to the route distance here. As shown on OptixPLOT she holds tactical speed positioned in Quad I and finishing ability as a Square.
#2 TOUGH LOVE has been scratched twice since the Jan. 22 race with the first during the weather cancellation and more recently with the sloppy track conditions on Feb. 26 to make his belated second start of the meet. Tough Love has been chased by this author in each of those spots and will get a look here given that effort in the first part of the meet. He showed more run than the running line and ninth place indicates with the ability to IMPROVE as suggested by OptixNOTES. The slow start (SLOG) and stumble soon after (TROUBLE_S) had him chasing further off the pace than his ideal and capable to running. He is shown today in Quad IV, though higher up in that quadrant closer to Quad II, a position he seems likely to run from as suggested with the EP RunStyle. There is noted Contention (Sun) with more than half of the field above the Par Line and to the left of the Y-Axis. That is contributes to the 43 SpeedRate, a scenario that can set up stalker this afternoon. #3 SEVEN NATION ARMY sits in a similar position and capable to find the same off-the-pace trip as Tough Love, though in terms of value Tough Love finds that role over the expected morning line favorite Seven Nation Army without much overall between the two runners.
The Thursday finale with the “Red” PlotFit features an evenly matched full field of runners, which could open the door for the lightly-raced #2 SHE’S MY RIDE. She does have the challenge making her first start against older as one of the few three-year-old fillies in the field. This will be her second start of the meet and will stretch out in distance getting over a faster surface today. It should be noted while the track conditions were listed as muddy when she broke her maiden at Hawthorne back on Dec. 13, the course that day was visually more dry than that surface rating. She had shown some run in previous starts in Special Weight company and trainer Ingrid Mason finding some class relief overcame the inside trip (traffic against the profile) for the first career win. She showed up in a competitive claiming race on Feb. 11 showing run (MOVE) that afternoon though left with too much to do following the slow (SLOG) start. She has the route experience and some intent with the sprint-to-route placement in the past. She does not PLOT on Surface/Distance as this will be her first main track route, though does Plot favorably on Surface/Distance as a Square in Quad I.