Quad I Square, #1 HEADLAND figures to hold a pace advantage in this starter allowance sprint. The race features a “Sun” Contention with Headland and #5 CANADIAN GINGER positioned in Quad I. The finishing ability sides with Headland as a Square over Canadian Ginger as a Large Circle. Those two hold a tactical advantage with the lower SpeedRate over rivals, #2 ROCK STAR PARKING and #3 GHAALEB THE GREAT; those two are logical stalking types but could have their work cut out trying to run down Headland in this pace scenario.
In terms of form cycle, Headland has OptixFIG in today’s OptixFIGRANGE (OFR) here at Oaklawn Park going back through the last three racing seasons. This will be her second start of the form cycle where she was recently flattered by the March 11 race winner, Acting Out, returning to win the Carousel Stakes last weekend. As far as that March 11 race, the track was listed as Fast, however, the WEATHER conditions had the race running during a snowstorm. Rider TACTIC- were also against Headland last month as she was forced to rate even after breaking on top with the early lead. Off that ride, she will return with a rider change to Luis Contreras as well as an equipment change as the blinkers will go back on. Those signals suggest that she will be ridden more assertively today and in line with the Plot.
#6 CAIRAMA will find some changes today looking to get back on track for Steve Asmussen. The connections showed intent here this season to run in the local Kentucky Derby prep races, starting off the season in the Advent Stakes. Cairama showed progress with the BTL effort in the Smarty Jones Stakes, though was unable to get into the running (X_FLOW) in the Rebel Stakes (G2) on March 26. He will return to a one-turn, sprint distance and picking up Lasix as well, some changes going forward as the Run for the Roses is in the rearview mirror. Along with the changes in distance and class, a rider change will also be made as David Cabrera takes over and that change suggests some intent that they will be looking to show a different RunStyle, perhaps more tactical speed as suggested in the OptixRPM.
Looking at the OptixPLOT, Cairama showing more tactical speed could be necessary to compete in today’s event from a potential pace standpoint. The “Yellow” PlotFit should be respected in this case and with the changes from Standard to Surface/Distance. Should the race play out as if this were a “Green” PlotFit, Cairama’s stablemate #1 CHARCO could hold a pace advantage as a Quad I Square. That said, the Contention here could be higher with #4 PHILO BEDDOE also in Quad I and shifting to a Square on Surface/Distance along with #3 PENETRATOR, who is also sharing the E RunStyle. Class should also be factored for Charco as he will be stepping up in class to a higher OFR from the races at the Fair Grounds. Charco has run OptixFIG in today’s OFR, though has been at his most competitive racing at the Louisiana-statebred level. Charco, potentially favored here off of those recent races, has the challenge here at Oaklawn Park taking on open company, a new circuit and racing surface.