Oaklawn Park has rearranged its schedule a bit for the week of the Kentucky Derby and gets off and running on Wednesday with a solid nine races. Our in-house handicapper is on hand with picks for the whole card, as well as analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Wednesday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: Toil and Trouble (Race 1) - You’re not going to get any semblance of a price on this horse since he’s part of a coupled entry, but that’s not the point of this selection, and if anything his stablemate could serve as a minor insurance policy as he’s not completely hopeless in this spot. Toil and Trouble, however, is a very likely winner coming off a 66 Beyer Speed Figure on April 9. It looks as though that race came out of nowhere, but he had a right to improve in his first start with blinkers and I expect him to run another strong race in his first start trainer Jason Barkley.
Best Value: Hissy Missy (Race 8) - Bye Bye J is the horse to beat in the day’s featured eighth race, but man was she disappointing last out in the Downthedustyroad, wet track or not. If the good version of Bye Bye J fails to show up, which to a certain extent I’m counting on, this race becomes a wide-open affair. It looks like Hissy Missy may prefer longer distances, and while that could be the case she’s run some big sprint races in the past and just seems to be rounding into career form. If she can keep the momentum going here I think she may even give the good Bye Bye J a run for her money; either way, at 10-1 on the morning line she should offer plenty of value.
Other Races of Interest: Race 4 - Lil Tater (#2) looks like she’s going to be tough to beat in this conditioned claimer, however I believe she’s completely dressed up off her last race, in which she got a dream trip sitting just off a leisurely pace. I’m expecting sharp regression from her in this spot, which should leave the door open for Tiger Bait (#5) at a nice price. This mare has been a pretty big disappointment at the meet, but she had real trouble in her last race and is a good fit at this level. I think trainer Tom Vance can keep her going for at least one more start, and at 12-1 on the morning line I can’t resist taking a shot with her.
Race 5 - My first impression of Making Progress (#3) was not a favorable one. Despite what her name would have you believe, this filly’s development looked to have stagnated, and she appeared to be one destined to be a career maiden. Upon watching her last race, however, I’m not convinced such a fate is in the cards for her, especially given the lack of talent around her. That race, which was her first equipped with blinkers, is much better than it looks as she was shuffled early and held up in traffic around the turn, and it also came at a higher class level. I’m hoping she’s ridden more aggressively this time around so as to avoid any traffic trouble, and with a clean trip I believe she’s a very likely winner.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*