Oaklawn Park spot plays: 8-1 Lykan is worth a play
The weekend racing action at Oaklawn Park offers plenty of handicapping appeal. The feature race on Saturday is the $90,000 Gazebo S. for 3-year-olds, while the highlight on Sunday is a competitive allowance sprint for sophomores.
Let’s take a look at some spot plays.
Race 9: Gazebo S. (6 furlongs, 6:09 p.m. ET)
#5 Little Menace and #4 Long Weekend are the morning-line favorites after posting fast allowance victories in their 2020 debuts. Long Weekend was a runaway winner dashing 6 furlongs at Sam Houston, where he earned a field-best 102 Brisnet Speed rating, while Little Menace (a $460,000 yearling purchase) threw down a 96 negotiating the same distance at Oaklawn.
But my preference is for #3 Lykan. The son of Congrats is 2-for-3 on fast tracks and rallied to victory in a 6-furlong allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 23, when he won by a head with 95 Brisnet Speed rating. Third-place finisher Echo Town returned to crush a similar race by 3 3/4 lengths.
If you draw a line through Lykan’s two disappointing efforts over wet tracks, his form stacks up just fine in this competitive field. At 8-1 on the morning line, we’ll bet him to win and key him in the exacta with the two favorites.
$8 to win on #3 Lykan
$2 exacta: 3 with 4,5 ($4)
$4 exacta: 4,5 with 3 ($8)
Race 8: Allowance optional claiming (6 furlongs, 5:51 p.m. ET)
Three horses entered in the Gazebo — #3 Nucky, #7 No Shirt No Shoes, and #11 Marvin — have been cross-entered in this allowance sprint. I prefer Marvin, who will cut back in distance off a narrow defeat going a mile at Oaklawn three weeks ago. But Marvin is marooned in post 11 and figures to race wide around the turn, which could give an advantage to #2 Liam’s Pride.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, Liam’s Pride showed flashes of promise in his first three starts, then he put everything together March 7, with a dominating, 6-furlong maiden win at Oaklawn by 2 1/4 lengths. A well-bred son of Liam’s Map, out of an A.P. Indy mare, Liam’s Map has tactical speed and should be prominent from the outset.
In a race packed with frontrunners and pressing/tracking types, Liam’s Pride’s stamina-oriented pedigree should help him survive the duel for supremacy and stay strong down the stretch.
$12 to win on #2 Liam’s Pride
$4 exacta box: 2,11 ($8)