Emily Gullikson takes a look at the Oaklawn Park March 6 card and provides her OptixEQ analysis.
#2 GREEN LIGHT GO has shown ability throughout his career (lacking Red Keywords and consistent OptixFIG/GRADE) with the biggest challenge so far maintaining consistency to stay on the track forced to deal with multiple setbacks since his juvenile season. It is encouraging given that layoff history to see him return here in 28-days from his seasonal debut on Feb. 6 coming off the 266-day layoff. His fourth-place finish was a competitive race for the level (B- OptixGRADE) and gaining ground with the top three finishers of that race in a blanket finish at the wire. Green Light Go projects a move forward from the effort and visuals as shown in OptixNOTES with the Prep Projection. With the ability to step forward along with the GALLOP+ from the recent sprint, he will make his first start around two turns and should be ready for today’s mile distance. Normally, this distance change could be a seen as a concern and “experimental” with the series of one-turn races, though given his layoff history it is tough to know for certain the full distance intention with him. Given the competitive nature of this field, value should hold this afternoon and present as nothing shorter than the third wagering choice at post time. Hollendorfer runners started off the meet needing the start and overall have shown improvement in the recent weeks with an Oaklawn Park race under their belt.
RACE 9 – HONEYBEE STAKES (G3):
#2 WILL’S SECRET is a secret no more after a dominant performance (B+ OptixGRADE) in the Martha Washington S. here last month. Heading into that event, she had shown a level of class based on her form lines from the special weight races at Churchill Downs as well as the OptixFIG progression as she has stepped forward race to race. That gives her the edge this afternoon coming into this race as an improving type in solid form, the right timing for her graded stakes debut.
#8 COACH was favored and finished second behind Will’s Secret in the Martha Washington, and while it was a solid effort for place, she was still second on the day. Stablemate #4 SUN PATH will ship in from Fair Grounds and based on her Quad I position on OptixPLOT should be using her speed to set the pace this afternoon. Along with Coach, she has run some OptixFIG in RANGE for this stakes race; however, visually still struggles to finish races. That was clear back on Dec. 18 with the allowance win even with the open-length (four-horse field) victory. She was losing focus and drifting out, something she showed in the Silverbulletday S., lacking a finish (NO_FINISH) at the same time.
#5 PAULINE’S PEARL has some upside shipping in for Asmussen to make her Oaklawn Park debut. It seems likely he ships her in to keep her separated from stablemate, Clairiere, the recent Rachel Alexandra S. (G2) winner. Pauline’s Pearl showed some ability in her debut and has improved with each start and with the added distance. This will be her first start against winners and an ambitious placement; however, she does come into this race with the B+ OptixGRADE suggesting she can compete with the rise in class. Asmussen will also send out #3 WILLFUL WOMAN, another that has improved in terms of OptixFIG with each start and will also make her first start against winners following the special weight win here on Jan. 24. By contrast to Pauline’s Pearl, Willful Woman earned a B OptixGRADE for the overall effort, nothing to knock with her, though class-wise could find this graded stakes level a greater challenge.