In a competitive claiming event, #7 DON’T FORGET about this runner returning to Oaklawn Park for Robertino Diodoro. His current form has not been as strong as it was here earlier this season, something that has impacted his shape (Circle) on the Plot, but he looks capable to get back on track today. The return to Oaklawn Park is a positive as well as the class relief. Don’t Forget ran in a higher OptixFIGRANGE (OFR) claiming event back in October at Keeneland and that continued in the starter allowance last month at Churchill Downs. He will return to claiming level and steps down in distance as well as reuniting with Ramon Vazquez, his key rider here earlier this year.
#10 DRENA’S STAR projects to be a heavy favorite in this race and while capable does have some challenges in this full field. He is most effective when able to establish an EASY_LEAD and LONE lead, a trip that could become tougher today given the complexion of this race shape and his outside post. Other E or EP types like #8 LONELY PRIVATE also have first call (furthest left of the Plot) and are drawn inside to keep Drena’s Star from making the easy lead. Some hidden early speed could also be present on #1 RIVERBOARD GAMBLER and #2 YODEL E. A. WHO, horses that will find some subtle changes from post to rider that could change up their running style today as they are drawn inside.
The “Yellow” PlotFit is respected with changes from Standard (current form) and Surface/Distance. Standard is key in this case as many in this field, including DON’ T FORGET, will be looking to get back to top form and their preferred running style. The Surface/Distance suggests the pace could be more contentious with more than half of the field to the left of the y-axis and four runners above the Par Line to suggest an honest pace, supported by the 37 SpeedRate. This is a scenario where positional speed to the second call, horses positioned higher on the y-axis when looking at the Plot from top to bottom, could have an edge. That Plot position upgrades Don’t Forget today and could go further as one that up until this race has been a Quad II Square.
In terms of speed figures (OptixFIG) #4 MATAREYA has consistently run some of the faster races in this field to support her as the favorite. However, she does not hold much of an edge in that department at the route distance, nor in terms of pace according to OptixPLOT. Matareya finds herself as part of a contentious (Fire) Quad I with an honest 34 SpeedRate. That position is shared with #1 HYPERSPORT and #3 BENEDICT CANYON, the two that could be seen from the public perception as her two biggest rivals and therefore the wagering alternatives to open value on others in the field.
#6 SECRET OATH has a solid position for today’s race shape as a Large stalking Square near the center of the Plot. In terms of OptixFIG she must improve, though from a visual, race-to-race standpoint projects to have a move forward and most importantly in this case should find the right compensation in terms of playable odds. As a lightly raced type that stepped forward in her second start with a professional open length win, she still projects to hold a move forward and a case can be made that Secret Oath has yet to show her best. The also-ran horses that ran back from that Oct. 31 Special Weight race were able to step forward on OptixFIG and Secret Oath looks capable for the move forward exiting the Golden Rod (G2) last month at Churchill Downs. Her trip was a little more subtle and capable to improve off that race. She is one that prefers an outside stalking trip and should find that here with her main speed drawn inside and taking up that “Fire” Contention. She showed class breaking her maiden around two turns and finds herself in the right spot at this allowance condition to regain some confidence heading into 2022.