Oaklawn Park begins another week of racing on Thursday with a nine-race program that features the return of graded stakes winner Warrior's Charge. Our in-house handicapper has taken the liberty of providing picks for the entire card, as well as select analysis of the races.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Thursday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: Warrior’s Charge (Race 8) - It could be perceived as a negative sign that graded stakes winner Warrior’s Charge reappears in an allowance race after a lengthy absence, however when the purse of said allowance race is 100k+, I don’t believe it is. This horse is obviously capable of handling much tougher assignments and is coming off of an uncharacteristically poor showing in the G3 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs, but I’m fully expecting him to return to form in this spot. He’s probably never going to be a true G1 type, so why not try to pick off a purse of this size and at the same time try to set him up for a fruitful 2021 campaign. Anything close to his best here and the others are running for second.
Best Value: Causeway Jones (Race 7) - Mystic Guide’s little brother Gershwin is intriguing in this spot, however I have to give the nod to another stretch-out sprinter that’s going to get far less love from bettors. Causeway Jones was a private purchase following a debut romp at Remington Park late last year, and though that money seemed ill-spent at first he really turned a corner in his second start for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Last out he pressed a very fast pace going six furlongs and held well to be second, but this horse is bred to handle more ground. This is not an intimidating group he’s facing and if he does handle this trip I think he’s going to be tough to beat.
Other Races of Interest: Race 3 - This is a tricky maiden race to get a read on, with none of the seven entrants running anywhere near par for the level. Saqeel (#5) appears to be the horse to beat following a strong late run in a maiden race on March 6, but while he did unleash a solid rally in the stretch it was very much of the belated variety. I prefer a horse with a bit more tactical speed that should appreciate stretching out in distance. Enid (#4) turned in an even debut here on March 7, but he’s bred for two-turn racing and it’s not as if he needs to improve much to win. Depending on how this race gets bet he could offer solid value.
Race 5 - Sir Brahms (#4) was very much in the running to be the day’s ‘Most Likely Winner.’ While I ultimately sided with Warrior’s Charge in that capacity, this horse remains a strong contender in Race 5. Although he’s prone to picking up minor awards, Sir Brahms is coming out of a very live Arkansas-bred race and should benefit from the additional ground he gets in this spot. I’ve been singing trainer Cipriano Contreras’ praises all meet long, and I suspect he’s going to have this one ready to fire again.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*