by EMILY GULLIKSON
Emily Gullikson of OptixEQ gives insights into Saturday’s 6TH-8TH races at Oaklawn Park.
Oaklawn Park Race 6 – Martha Washington S.
#3 TARAZ – not that she will be any secret here – to this point has put herself in a position to be a major threat in the 3-year-old filly division. This will be her first start around two turns, and physically she carries herself as one that will handle the distance.
Oaklawn Park Race 7
#6 ALKHAATAM is a fair number on the morning line (6-1) and capable to sneak away in this wide-open allowance event. He will come into this race fresh coming out of the common race with today’s morning line favorite #8 CURATE back on November 20. CURATE finished third in that event; however, he was pressed by the top two finishers both at much longer odds and without much excuse. ALKHAATAM did not have a real chance to run that afternoon following the slow start. With the rider holding him up along inside and stuck behind horses in the lane, he was not asked for his best finish. Overall he seems to have upside off that race based on his prior form especially when isolating his main track races around one turn, as shown in the OptixGRID graphic below.
Trip/Pace is also a bit of a concern for CURATE as he again projects to be one of the pacesetters and does expect to find pressure as noted on OptixPLOT by the “fire” Contention. That scenario could upgrade #7 JUNGLE WARFARE, #9 PRINCIPE GUILHERME and assist ALKHAATAM putting in a late run.
Oaklawn Park Race 8 – American Beauty S.
#3 AMY’S CHALLENGE, with the potential pace advantage coming into this race, looks solid in her return for Robertson. A dominant winner of this event last year will look to repeat with a similar type trip on the front end. As shown below on OptixPLOT, she has the tactical speed to clear, and a Square shape indicates her ability to finish. Following the results for opening week, Quad I runners performed very well and are worth noting (and monitoring) heading into week two.
#1 TALBEYA, despite the win last out at Churchill Downs, could still get overlooked here based on her overall form. That form seems to be “dirtied” up with turf and two-turn races. When eliminating those races (shown in the graphic below) with the filters on OptixGRID for one-turn main track races she has the speed figures (OptixFIG) to compete at this level, on par (OFR) for this event.