The pace scenario here shows one with a “Sun” Contention and solid 67 SpeedRate; and still the majority of the runners in that Quad I position tend to prefer running more as a “P /Presser” than a true “E” run style. That could play out as such on the track and allow for #1 DR. HIPP from the rail to create the pace and perhaps sneak away in that role on the lead. He is coming into this race out of some similar level/par races over at Fair Grounds and with form that stacks up here with him running his top race. On the opposite end of the PLOT down in Quad IV, #11 ALTITO will make his second start of the meet here for Amoss and with a bit of class relief from the claiming event he ran in earlier this meet. In that February 1st race he took up his spot off the pace and without much early pace to run (S/Slow rated opening half and six-furlong race shape) at combined with a WIDE trip found himself unable to compete on the day. Since that race he was shipped out to Fair Grounds and does account for the time off since that race, including a scratch back on March 11th when entered as an MTO/Main Track Only. He expects to find a more favorable pace scenario (Contention/SpeedRate) for his run style and the change in class looks helpful as well to compete here.
Pace looks to be a major factor in the outcome of this Allowance event for older horses. Looking at OptixPLOT2020 the “Fire” Contention paired with the high 78 SpeedRate jumps off the page and stands out visually just by looking at the PLOT. There is heavy contention on Standard with six of the nine runners sharing a Quad I position with some subtle changes to Surface/Distance. In addition, there are six runners positioned over the “Par Line” a factor in today’s 78 SpeedRate; which also matches up with the OptixRPM, the horses run style. This being the case the race looks to set up well for #6 LAUGHING FOX and #9 RATED R SUPERSTAR.
#6 LAUGHING FOX will make his third start of the meet for Steve Asmussen and on a positive form cycle pattern coming into this race. He made his 2020 Oaklawn debut in a similar allowance condition back in February turning in an even effort (C+ OptixGRADE) that afternoon, compromised with the slow start and slow opening ½ mile in that race. The race shape (VS/Very Slow opening half-mile) was similar in the Essex Stakes last month, and also similar for LAUGHING FOX breaking slow (SLOG.) That said, it was encouraging to see him make a solid MOVE outside (WIDE) from off the pace and a good run against a profile favoring horses to the inside. Not only should he find a more favorable pace scenario this afternoon for his run style, but also carries sound form, and will show up with the blinkers here, a change that seems to be in place to help get out of the gate with the quickness.
#9 RATED R SUPERSTAR also coming into this race with positive form coming out of some solid stakes events earlier this meet. He seems to be improving with the racing and should find the class relief helpful this afternoon. Distance is another factor that should help as well returning to the 8.5-furlong distance from the marathon distance in the Temperance Hill Stakes (OptixPROJECTION SHORTER?) three weeks ago.
#8 KURILOV is a slight mismatch on the Plot and a worth exploring based on his Quad III Square position. Since joining the barn of Brad Cox, he has been able to show a versatility in terms of run style and trip to a level of success. He will put that on display this afternoon stepping up in class following the two wins this meet. He will need to show an improved effort off those races taking on “classier” type this afternoon though does have some back class of his own to run back to. There are some challenges in place, though seems reasonable connections would take a shot here, and not with out reason to see him competitive as well.