SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Graded Stakes Selections & Analysis - 5/2 - Oaklawn Park - Arkansas Derby ( split divisions ) & Oaklawn Handicap


Only one winner here yesterday, but it was a biggie at $46, and went along with a $194 Rolling Double & a successful Beatable Favorite.

Just a reminder that for today's complete Gulfstream Park selections & analysis, merely go back one page.

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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Graded Stakes - 5/2 - Oaklawn Park - Arkansas Derby (split divisions) & Oaklawn Handicap


Race 11 Arkansas Derby (D1) 



3.Wrecking Crew

On our first draft of this race, we only give two a shot at winning, and both of them have decent DRF Formulator stats, so let's get right to it. #11 BASIN has been just so so in both 2020 starts, but encountered a bit of trouble in the first, and never looked completely comfortable in the followup. That being said, The As-Man has a crisp 3 for 7 mark with 3rd off the L/O graded routers right here ridden by Ricardo ( 16-1 or less ), w/ mutuels of $22 & $3 x 2. This one is a half to Rise up, who was 5-28 in dirt routes, banking more than $914K. The race clearly goes through #1 CHARLATAN, who is an "omnifig" ( " rare as the ivory billed woodpecker." ), in that all ( both ) of his outings ( by far ) supersede anything that anyone in the race has posted. Bob Baffert's Baked Beans has won with three of his five graded dirt stayers who won 48-50 days ago ( 6-1 or undah ), and while obviously if Garcia breaks on top, the race is essentially over, we'll be hoping the horse gets caught napping in the gate a bit. We like to be forgiving of pre & post layoff running lines ( in an effort to find value ), and in the case of #7 WRECKING CREW, if we did just that, what we have is an adjusted 89.1 in the BC Juvenile. May be nuts to think the ridgling can win, but could drop in late for a share.   NOTE: AS OF 3:15 P.M. FRIDAY, DUE TO AN EARLY SCRATCH THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


     Race 12     Oaklawn Hcp.


2.Chess Chief

3.Captivating Moon

Extremely competitive rendition of this year's Oaklawn Handicap, and for some history on the event, go right here .  #5 IDENTIFIER rallied nicely to get up in time down in Hallandale Beach on March 28th, and did such at a whopping 61-1 offering. This one may be overlooked once more, but we have absolutely no problem with taking a shot on a runner who's 9:4-4-0 in 2X tries. #1 CHESS CHIEF has partaken in the super in 8 of 9, and owns a 3:1-1-1 record when breaking from the pine; colt totes the lightest impost of his career & may sit a perfect trip. #10 CAPTIVATING MOON shed five pounds off a career best effort & can land a share. 


    Race 13           Arkansas     Derby (D2)


2.Finnick the Fierce

3.Fast Enough

Unlike the first division of this race where we eliminated all but two with our first draft, here we kept in all but ONE.  #2 SARATOGIAN ( Dig it ) only beat home one horse and the chase ambulance when tackling winners for the first time at GP, but that's never an easy task, and the adjusted speed figure did improve a bit. Although this one is quite light from a Beyer perspective, the 377 Tomlinson figure tells us there's room for some improvement here ( especially as we like to give a horse two opportunities under a particular set of circumstances ), we're assuaged that this one is a half to a 1 for 4 dirt router, was sired by a fella who was 7:3-3-1 doing the same ( earning nearly two mil ), and has other exceptional routing pedigree in the genealogy. Need more? 14% trainer has won with those going two turns for the 1st time that finished out of the money < 70 days ago ( $6 x 2 & $10 ). #1 FINNICK THE FIERCE was moved up to first via DQ right here two fortnights ago, but we're actually more enamored with the troubled start two back. Mat be rolling late. #8 FAST ENOUGH got the job done in his only "first of the break" scenario, and it came when going long for the first time as well. Finished just two lengths behind Nadal in the San Vincente, but was carrying four more pounds that day while breaking from a disadvantageous slot. Proportionally speaking, this one should offer better value than that likely favorite.  NOTE: AS OF 4:12 P.M. MONDAY, DUE TO AN EARLY SCRATCH, THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.  NOTE: AS OF 3:23 P.M. FRIDAY, DUE TO TWO LATE SCRACHES, OUR SELECTIONS ARE NOW 1-9-10.

Gulfstream      ( Spring ):      27-183     ( $397.30 )   Beatable  Favorites   1-11  ( 9.1% )    Favorites Win %     59-183   ( 32.2% )(As of Sat. morning)

Gulfstream      ( Winter ):        8-76       ( $141.00 )   Beatable Favorites    0-3    ( 0% )       Favorites Win %     23-76     ( 39.1% ) 

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )    Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       2-8        ( $25.60 )    Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     2-8       ( 25.0% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587      ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-20 (All Final):2511-12426 ($21,132.80)  Beatable Favorites : 343-1222( 28.1% )Favorite's Win %: 4751-12529 ( 37.9% ) +/-: -15.3%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats      (All Final): 2596-12994 ($21,953.00)  Beatable Favorites : 358-1290( 27.8% )Favorite's Win %: 4913-13116 ( 37.5% ) +/-: -15.4%  against a 16.6% takeout