Emily Shield's previews the top quality races from Saturday's card at Oaklawn. Scroll down for race-by-race picks from Oddschecker's experts too!
BEST BET - Race 7 - Gamine Click here to bet with TVG
Race 5 – A salty allowance for older horses going 1 1/16-miles includes 2019 Rebel Stakes winner Long Range Toddy (12-1) and recent allowance winner over the trip, Pirate’s Punch (3-1). #5 Lombo (15-1) was a winner here March 21 by four lengths under Tyler Baze, who will be back again for this. #8 Two Thirty Five (8-1) has come a long way since his humble beginnings in $18,000 claiming company, and is now a California stakes winner and recently won an allowance over this trip here April 19. That was on a wet track.
Race 7 - #8 Gamine (7-5) was a $1.8 million purchase who could be any kind. She won on debut at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert, scoring by more than six lengths. She worked a bullet five furlongs at that track April 24 before shipping in here.
Race 9 - #1 Popular Kid (4-1) drew the rail but has won two of three starts this meet with a second-place finish. He steps up in class today but has strong speed figures to support the move. Jason Barkley trains, Joel Rosario will ride. #3 Fearless (3-1) has won two of three starts and drops in out of Grade 2 company for trainer Todd Pletcher. #6 Proverb (8-1) won here over a mile April 11, and has never been worse than fourth for new trainer Richard Baltas.
Race 10 – #10 Prodigious Bay (5-1) broke his maiden here on a sloppy track April 11 around two turns after a poor finish sprinting March 21. Ron Moquett trains the son of Bayern, who will take on #11 Rushie (5-2) and #2 Ginobili (7-2), both well-regarded, class horses.
Race 11 – The first division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) sees #1 Charlatan (even) as the talk of the racing world after being unbeaten in his first two starts for trainer Bob Baffert. He has worked two bullets at Santa Anita in the last month, and will be tough to beat when sent on the rail. A possible upset could come from #4 Gouverneur Morris (9-2); a Grade 1-placed juvenile who has won two of four starts, he was fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) last out.
Race 12 – This is a phenomenal edition of the Oaklawn Handicap (G2). #6 Warrior’s Charge (8-1) has won his last two starts off a long layoff, won the local prep for this in the Razorback Handicap (G3), and is three for five over the course. #7 Combatant is coming off a win in the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) for trainer John Sadler, and is a winner here. #12 By My Standards (9-2) is unbeaten in two starts since returning from a long layoff. He will have to prove he can ship as his four wins have all come in Louisiana.
Race 13 – The second division of the Arkansas Derby is very strong, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court seeking to make amends. The favorite is #5 Nadal (5-2) for trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Rebel Stakes (G2) here in March and is unbeaten in three tries. #4 King Guillermo (3-1) was ultra-impressive winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 7. #11 Wells Bayou (7-2) drew outside but the Brad Cox trainee has won over the track this year and was graded stakes placed here before winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) in March.
We asked our racing experts at Oddschecker to provides picks on every race at Oaklawn also, here's their recommended wagers:
Race 1 - PICK: Miss Imperial
Race 2 - PICK: She's The Boss
Race 3 - PICK: Bebop Shoes
Race 4 - PICK: Uncle Addouma
Race 5 - PICK: Pirate's Punch
Race 6 - PICK: Friar's Road
Race 7 - PICK: Gamine
Race 8 - PICK: Benintendi
Race 9 - PICK: Rotation
Race 10 - PICK: Rushie
Race 11 - PICK: Charlatan
Race 12 - PICK: Improbable
Race 13 - PICK: Nadal
Race 14 - PICK: River Echo