July 4, 2022

Oaklawn Park Circles & Squares Analysis for March 27

OptixEQ Circles and Squares
OptixEQ Circles and Squares

RACE 1:

Trainer Genaro Garcia will wheel right back with #5 RIVER REDEMPTION running under similar conditions to the claiming race on March 18th.  That race just nine days ago should not take much out of River Redemption as one that was caught WIDE early and then taken in hand running from off the pace. He is capable of getting overlooked off that running line and offers value with the ability to rebound today. As a race horse he has shown an “every other” pattern in the past and brings that upside to improve making his third start of the form cycle. In addition to the quick return, some positive intent could also be suggested as a rider change will be made to Martin Garcia – a rider that has picked up a win for Genaro Garcia aboard My Coralena back on February 27th to clear the maiden claiming condition.

#1 SAQEEL is a logical type as he will make his second start off the claim for Steve Asmussen. He made his first start off the claim at this condition on February 12th, a common race with others in today’s field. Saqeel has been rested for this return and recording a B- OptixGRADE in that event holds the advantage over the other rivals #2 JUNESANDRA (C OptixGRADE) and #3 BEACHWALKER (C+ OptixGRADE).

Saqeel should also be able to find a favorable trip tracking #6 NIP N TUCK, one that potentially could hold a mild pace advantage on the Plot. Both class and stamina will be put to the test as he steps up to race at this slightly higher $40k claiming level and stretching out in distance. In addition, this will be his first start for Cipriano Contreras, whose barn often gives horses a start first time off the claim. A Plot pace case can also be made for #4 GOOD LUCK CHARM, though he will also be tested for class as he makes his first start against winners after shipping down to Sam Houston to break his maiden on February 18th. Connections will bring him back to Oaklawn Park and will run first time in for the claiming tag, which could have some claiming intention in play.

RACE 6:

#4 SACRED OATH was given a Circles and Squares look back on March 13th (and on December 11th), showing up with the class drop back to a condition/OptixFIGRANGE (OFR) where he had been competitive in the past. The expectations of improvement with that class change and freshening off the layoff did not happen on the day as Sacred Oath broke slow (SLOG) raced WIDE and was not asked (NO_PUSH) for run from off the pace as the pacesetters ran 1-2 around the track. He was claimed out of that race by Villafranco and will wheel right back in two weeks for this event and protected in this starter allowance event. The distance change will be in play, though looking back over the career of Sacred Oath, his limited route races stack up with OptixFIG in today’s 92-86 OFR and does hold the 95 OptixFIG from this season to support him on current form. That sample of route races excludes that most recent January 8th effort where Sacred Oath was bumped up in class (97-94 OFR, $100k purse) and also bumped around in the opening furlong (TROUBLE_S) running over a very sloppy wet race track.