RT's Saturday Oaklawn Picks for the Fantasy Stakes and Arkansas Derby, plus the big races at Gulfstream Park
RT’s Spot Plays
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Stakes Saturday and in focus are three-year-olds with serious Derby points in the balance. We are focusing on the Arkansas Derby, and Oaklawn’s Fantasy Stakes. In addition to those two races, the Florida Derby, the Gulfstream Park Oaks, the Bourbonette Oaks, and Turfways’ Jeff Ruby Stakes. has 100 points to the winner, 40 to second place, 20 to third and 10 to fourth place finishers.
Oaklawn Park Race 10 – The Grade 3, $400K Fantasy Stakes
3yo fillies going 8.5 furlongs
Ever since watching 5-Eda (2/1) battled tooth and nail in the stretch with Elm Drive in the Sorrento Stakes, I have been a fan. Eda has turned in one poor effort since and that was her next after the Sorrento. That race took a lot out the entire field as every other filly came out of that to a poor effort next. She has won four in a row since, including an incredible, gritty effort in the Starlet Stakes where she was passed by Tonito’s in deep stretch, dug in and dispensed with her to win going away. A daughter of Munnings, she is as game of a horse that I have seen all year. Eda is the best 3yo filly in training and it is disappointing that Bob Baffert trains, taking out o/f contention for the first Friday in May.
(Editor's Note: After RT filed, Eda scratched.)
Oaklawn Park Race 12 – The Grade 1, $1.25M Arkansas Derby
3yo’s going nine furlongs
As much as we all love the story of 5-Un Ojo (6/1) and the notion of 6-Secret Oath (5/2) beating the boys, I believe both will have to watch 3-Barber Road (8/1) get to the wire first. Secret Oath has yet to run against anywhere close to this level of competition and whereas her victories have been impressive, she just is not worth backing with her low Equibase scores. Unlike Swiss Skydiver who put up an impressive 108, 102 and 102 before first facing the boys in The Blue Grass Stakes, Secret Oath just hit 100 in her last, so much improvement would be needed to win today, and she does not have the IT factor for this kid. Un Ojo got a dream trip and an excellent late move by Roman Vasquez in The Rebel as three horses were crowded into each other looking for space. One of those was Barber Road, who got a poor trip last out as Rey Gutierrez had his feet in the dashboard coming into the turn while waiting patiently for a spot to open in the stretch, found an opening and was throttling through when he had to mildly check. Then, Barber Road was full of run to the wire, finishing a deceivingly good 4th place finish by ½ length. You will likely see a more forwardly placed effort today and the stretch out being in his wheelhouse.
For the rest:
Gulfstream Park Oaks – Catiche
Florida Derby – Classic Causeway
Bourbonette Oaks – Mrs. Barbara
Jeff Ruby Stakes – Tiz The Bomb