Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort
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Free Thursday horse racing pick using SmartCap for the first race at Oaklawn Racing


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Hot Springs, Arkansas is the focus of today’s race o’ the day. We’re looking at race one, a $50K starter allowance being contested at 1.0625 miles for three year old, and greater, boys, which have started for a claiming price of $50K or less, or which have broken their maiden in a state bred race and which have never won two races.

Looking at the SmartCap results, we have the #6 Channel Crossing (5/2) as best last. That was a turf race and we know that turf races are all determined at higher ratings. However, this Jerry Hollendorfer trainee has been on the bench since December 19th and has had solid workouts since to wit: January 11th 6f in 1:12.6 from the gate and February 3rd, 5f in 1:01. Hollendorfer 19% winners in turf to dirt and 21% when moving his horses down in class. Could be a contender.

Best overall class goes to #2 Gangly (5/1), a new horse in the barn of Ron Moquette. Oddly, his last race was January 11th and the connections moved barns shortly thereafter and Moquette has not worked this colt out.

Best overall speed goes to #4 Mutineer (9/5), the odds-on favorite. This is a stretch out race for him and his propensity to fade has me passing.

#1 Sonny Smack (3/1) gets the best last on dirt for this group and jockey Walter De La Cruz gets his second ride on him. Trainer Don Van Hemel winning at 17% with horses running their second race after being sat for two to six months

#3 Hard To Park (15/1) hasn’t been on form for a long time. Pass.

I’m going with Channel Crossing. Jerry Hollendorfer, after being nixed from California tracks, has moved his barn to Oaklawn and is finally starting to get some wins under his belt. This looks like a solid training job from him and he’s well placed here.

SmartCap looks at the first race at Oaklawn Racing on 2/13/2020
SmartCap looks at the first race at Oaklawn Racing on 2/13/2020


SmartCap is an algorithm-based system that helps the horse player identify key contenders in a race.

Developed by a math prodigy from West Point, you will receive a graph like the one below, per race, when you order SmartCap.

The figures along the left represent each entrants’ best last race, with the top number being the speed and the bottom number is its class. In this example, #10 comes out clearly ahead in class and speed which gives him an edge. Why is that number important? It identifies the horse that is in shape and like human sports competitions, the person(s) in the best shape has the advantage.

The graph on the right represents a horses’ overall rating. When you look at this graph, you will notice on the top far left, the track and race number. This is from Penn National, race two. To the right of this is this races’ class rating and its money – money being the separator for class. So, in this example, we have a $5K race and the class rating is 73. The 73 is the rating set by Equibase. At Penn 2 for this, you have a horse who raced a 62.9 overall versus a 106.2 overall. Now, #7 has a slightly better speed rating yet has been racing against lesser competition. The #10 has the best last, close speed rating, and by far best class, it would be a play. It won going away.

If you are unfamiliar with Equibase, they are the most reliable source for PP’s in the industry. Additionally, one reason why you may see us posting picks to the same tracks is Equibase installed their own GPS technology at Mahoning Valley, Penn National and is the official timer at Golden Gate, Laurel, Woodbine and Pimlico.


  • You must consult your PP’s regardless of what this graph tells you – especially in routes because this is where jockey skill makes the paramount difference. You can have the best horse in a certain race and if the jockey cannot work out a solid trip, it’s done.

  • Steer clear from an off track. Always check the weather before placing your order.

  • We are only providing you with a tool to identify potential horses in a race. You are directly responsible for your own wagering.

  • Pick your spots. It is a losing proposition to bet every race.

  • We rarely handicap maiden races and two-year-old races can be daunting – again, consult your pp’s before indulging.

For subscription information, email SmartCap@bettorsinsider.com.

A sample SmartCap race chart.
A sample SmartCap race chart.
Bettors Insider