Emily Gullikson takes a look at the Oaklawn Park March 5 card and provides her OptixEQ analysis for Race 6 and 8.
#2 RIPTIDE ROCK has the look of a legit favorite this afternoon, checking all the prime handicapping factors with speed, class, pace, and form. He made his debut a winning one over a good-rated turf course at Woodbine back in October. He earned a solid B+ OptixGRADE, a grade that suggests a horse can compete with a step up in class. Freshened for his sophomore season connections pointed him towards the Oaklawn meet and landed in a contentious allowance event on February 11th. The OptixFIGRANGE for that event was 90-84, a much higher RANGE than today’s 86-80, which puts Riptide Rock above today’s par based on his OptixFIG. Class is also shown with the B OptixGRADE recorded for his place finish, a place finish that was a three-horse blanket finish at the wire. In terms of pace, he carries the ability to show tactical speed and finish, the Large Square in Quad I, another positive for Riptide Rock with that likely pace advantage.
#4 PIECE OF MY HEART looks to have a solid pace advantage as the OptixPLOT lone Quad I Square coming back this afternoon for Robertson. It should be noted that the pace here is a bit on the “fuzzy” side which is noted by “Red” PlotFit. has the challenge coming back off the 216-day layoff though should be compensated in terms of price given the morning line. In addition to the potential pace advantage, Piece of My Heart holds OptixFIG in RANGE for this race as well as class to compete which is shown in the ClassCompetition V-Bar above the Past 3 Runlines. Along with the class and speed edge, she holds experience over this course and distance posting a 98 OptixFIG with the B OptixGRADE from the Gardenia Stakes win last season. #6 VAULT is worth mentioning here as she expects to be favored and certainly has the ability to improve after failing to leave the gate in the Pippin Stakes. With that said, that gate behavior should be at the least concerning given the expected short price today. Outside of that she has races that can compete here, though many of those races that are also flattered in terms of the wins and speed figures given the level of competition and trips – the overall assessment with Vault is a soft to vulnerable favorite and lacks value. Similar value concerns for #7 LUNA FORTIS and #8 MUCHO AMOR lacking an edge this afternoon based on OptixPLOT and especially for today’s 8.5-furlong route distance.