May 20, 2022

Oaklawn Circles & Squares Analysis for Dec. 11

OptixEQ Circles and Squares
OptixEQ Circles and Squares

RACE 2:

It takes some creativity (and the right price!) to make a case for a Quad IV Circle, as the case will be made for #5 SACRED OATH in this race. His Plot position and shape is due to placement, timing, surface/distance, and class this season. That carries with his current form cycle where Sacred Oath has been running at the higher level allowance conditioned races at Woodbine.

With class a factor, Sacred Oath has been holding his form shown in the Past 3 Runlines lacking “Red” Keywords. His edge in that category is shown on the V-Bar Class Competition Graph. When McKnight made the class change, Sacred Oath responded positively and ran competitive races. His P RunStyle is highlighted in Red as it is a mismatch in terms of RunStyle and Plot position which could suggest he is not a “true” Quad IV type runner. In terms of speed, some of his stronger OptixFIG have been recorded over conventional dirt with those numbers stacking up in today’s FIGRANGE, returning to those efforts along with his hidden current form can compete today. 

RACE 3:

Similar creativity will be used to get to #5 THE FEATURE, one that is not overly appealing at first glance as a Quad II Circle. His form cycle is key in this case and looking for hidden form to suggest he can rebound and compete under today’s condition. This will be his third start of the current cycle, a pattern that has been successful in the past. He is a slight flow upgrade from his recent race at Churchill Downs and that factor plays a role in that Circle shape. The trip and race flow back is especially noted, keying on November 7th his first start off the layoff, moving early into a very-fast (VF O4S) after stumbling at the start. The visuals on the track will be also required as the front wraps were added on November 26th (perhaps a result of the gate stumble 19-days earlier) and removal today could signal positive intent. The rider assignment today also suggests some positive intent as Arrieta has been leading the pack in the jockey standings after opening week and picks up the call here for Williamson.

RACE 9 – POINSETTA STAKES:

#4 SUPER STOCK looks super-strong on the Plot as Large Quad I Square, though keeping up the theme of finding hidden form, Super Stock demands a deeper dive. While capable in today’s race he has benefited from favorable trips going back to last season the Arkansas Derby (G1) and more recently with the “Red” Keywords in the Ellis Park and Zia Park Derby. Asmussen will wheel back Super Stock in 18-days from the Zia Park Derby win where he met only three others and finds a new rider today in Contreras. In addition to the questionable timing of this race for him, Super Stock does not hold much of an edge in this race and as the favorite, value can be found elsewhere.  

Santana had been a regular rider aboard Super Stock and picked up the call for Amoss aboard #2 DEFEATER. Similar to Super Stock, he sits favorably for today’s race dynamic as a Quad II Square with his OptixFIG stack up in FIGRANGE; the big test for him will be class returning to the stakes level. In addition, Defeater figures to be the “obvious” alternative to Super Stock with still value possibilities elsewhere.  

A hidden class edge could be found on #1 LAST SAMURAI and fits as a contender at this stakes level. He has run some of the stronger OptixFIG in this field and holds current form coming into this race. Some upside can be projected following the Traffic and Trouble on November 6th, a higher level allowance for older horses that has already produced two next out winners. One of those runners, Taishan, won an allowance race here at Oaklawn Park last Saturday, with the RANGE for that allowance race (97-91) similar to today’s stakes event. The “Sun” Contention kept honest by the EP RunStyle horses #3 FLASH OF MISCHIEF and #5 MYOPIC as well as Quad II #6 SIMOVICH and should assist Last Samurai in terms of trip especially if the field takes the “bunched” up appearance as suggested by the Standard (current form) Plot.

#7 RAM should offer that value and hold a similar position on the Plot in Quad II as Defeater. He has some upside from the trip on November 28th and picking up a live rider in Arrieta today. In terms of class and speed, he has not been nearly as consistent to suggest as more of an underneath type in this race.