Emily Gullikson takes a look at the Oaklawn Park March 20 card and provides her OptixEQ analysis.
#6 REPLETE presents upside here as he makes his third start of the form cycle and with a subtle progressive pattern with back numbers that fit in RANGE for today’s claiming race. He returned off the 297-day layoff to make his seasonal debut and was unable to overcome the WIDE trip tracking close to his stablemate at the time, the eventual front-running winner of the Jan. 31 race. He produced a move forward from an OptixFIG standpoint just eight days ago, and noting his seventh-place finish was a blanket for the deeper minors behind an open-length lone winner. Based on his current cycle and prior form, he could present another move forward this afternoon. This will be his first start off the claim as well for Aidan Green, a barn that is quietly sending out live runners in a limited sample this meet. One of those winners, #3 HE’S MEANT TO BE, will return here following the starter allowance win last month. He showed a similar progressive pattern to Replete on Feb. 27 as well as making his first start off the claim and going out third start of the form cycle. His form cycle pattern can be seen in the Past 3 Runlines starting with the first start off the layoff, the Jan. 22 race.
#8 COACH ADAMS was given a look back on March 7 here on Circles and Squares with some hidden form and making his second start of the season. He was able to improve in that second start with the changes in class and distance; however, he suffered a less than ideal trip (TRAFFIC and TROUBLE) forced to settle for show. Some of that trouble was due to rider decision (TACTIC-) and finds a rider change today with De La Cruz taking over. Much like his Plot position two weeks ago, he does not “stand out” on the Plot though capable to get the right trip for the race shape with his tactical speed (Quad I Standard and Quad II Surface/Distance near Par Line) once again.
In an open maiden claiming event for three-year-old fillies, #4 EMERALD PRINCESS could offer value and improvement potential making her second career start with the changes in play returning this afternoon. She debuted just 15 days ago in a higher level special weight event and as shown in OptixNOTES needed the DROP in class from that maiden allowance division. She will find that here running for the maiden claiming tag and should benefit from the fitness dueling early with the eventual winner, Founder’s Day. As shown on OptixPLOT, she could hold a pace advantage over the others with experience based on the Quad I position. She expects to show the same early speed here and capable to present more competitive with that required conditioning and class relief. There is also a notable rider change in play as Canchari will take over from Evans, a strong rider upgrade in this case.
#5 EGO was given a look in a competitive $16k claiming event during the opening weekend and earned a B- OptixGRADE with some TRAFFIC to finish third. There were some class concerns based on his overall effort against others in that field and does make a class change today to run for the $30k tag. That move typically and combined with the DROP OptixPROJECTION is not always the most favorable combination; however, there are some more subtle factors to suggest he can compete in this spot. While the class change is noted, it is actually more of a lateral move as the OptixFIGRANGE (OFR) for that race on Jan. 23 was listed as the same 97-91 as the OFR for today. Pace could play to his strengths and RunStyle based on OptixPLOT. The “Sun” Contention here is paired with the 60 SpeedRate with the majority of the field either above the Par Line or to the left of the y-axis, a scenario that can set up horses from off the pace. That is consistent with the OptixRPM which shows seven of the 10 runners sharing an E or EP RunStyle. This could present the advantage to the P/PC RunStyle horses which includes Ego as the expected price horse and presents as the lone closer seated as a Large Square in Quad IV.
#1 DUNPH is logical here returning to the $30k claiming level after earning a 95 OptixFIG and B- OptixGRADE under these conditions back on Feb. 4. #10 CHARLIE’SARCHANGEL can also be upgraded on the Plot (QuadPct) capable to track as a Square from Quad II and making some changes returning here with some positive progression in his third start of the form cycle. #2 CLEAR THE MINE is also shown as a PC RunStyle; however, he will be tested for stamina and class returning to the route distance today and with his OptixFIG/GRADES this season below today’s RANGE and potentially lacking value based on the morning line.