Homeracing

Oaklawn Park spot plays: 8-1 Lykan is worth a play

Profile Picture: Keeler Johnson

March 20th, 2020

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.

Saturday

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)

Sunday

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.

Article Image

Liam's Pride winning an allowance race at Oaklawn Park. (Coady Photography)

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)

Good luck!

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