The late Pick 4 and Pick 5 at Oaklawn Park are anchored by the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2). Oaklawn Park has provided two purse increases for the horseman and was ranked as the fifth best track for the bettors in the 2017 HANA rankings. That means that the Hot Springs, Arkansas track is a place racing fans should support.


Both the Pick 4 and Pick 5 have 21% takeout rates. That number is on the low side as far as Pick 4’s go, on the other hand it’s a bit high for the Pick 5. The Pick 5 begins with race 6 and is followed in race 7 by the Pick 4.


Race 6 is an allowance optional claimer in which there are three ways that a horse can fit in the race. The N2L opens the race up to any horse with only one career victory and the purse of $82,000 has helped draw a full field. #7 South Beach, a $1.8 million purchase as juvenile, made his career debut for Steve Asmussen as a 4-year-old a winning one last month. The son of Tapit could be a good one and the extra distance should not be a factor. #4 Chris and Dave is getting class relief against most of this field; however, I don’t like that he was dq’d for bearing out in his last victory along with his tendency to finish second.


Race 7 is another allowance optional claimer, this one has a $75,000 claiming option. #5 Ike for Bob Baffert won his career debut and will no doubt be very heavily bet. That win was in a maiden restricted to home-breds and auction sales of less than $100,000. #9 Mitole and #10 Infinity Squared are the ones to beat. Both have good maiden scores followed closely by strong allowance and/or stakes efforts.


Race 8, the Essex Handicap, is a wide-open affair. I am going to use 4 horses, but I wouldn’t argue if people liked others, too. #1 Blueridge Traveler won the Maxam Gold Cup last out for Kenny McPeek and is 20-1 morning line. #2 Hedge Fund, who was second in last year’s Illinois Derby, won his first start this year for Todd Pletcher an should improve off that effort. #7 Leofric is 4 for 5 with one second at Oaklawn Park. The place finish was on the mud last time in the Razorback (G3). #8 Dalmore came back from a long layoff to run big in a Santa Anita allowance and he has plenty of back class.


Race 9, the Azeri (G2) for older fillies and mares, has me going four deep again. There is plenty of speed to set things up for the closers. #1 Actress ran well against the best 3-year-old fillies last year and just missed by a neck in the Houston Lady Classic (G3). #4 Tiger Moth beat Actress at Sam Houston off a layoff. #6 Streamline loves Oaklawn and is in good form to win another Azeri. #7 Martini Glass almost beat Songbird last summer and has proven to be a durable competitor since then with a win in the Royal Delta (G3) at Gulfstream last time out.


Race 10 is the $900,000 Rebel (G2) and it is extremely likely that the winner will be one of the top three: #3 Solomini, #4 Magnum Moon, and #7 Sporting Chance.


You can play the Pick 5 for $96 with the chance for a bigger payout or for half the money the Pick 4 is available .

50¢ Pick 5: 4,7 with 9,10 with 1,2,7,8 with 1,4,6,7 with 3,4,7 = $96

50¢ Pick 4: 9,10 with 1,2,7,8 with 1,4,6,7 with 3,4,7 = $48

UPDATE: I hope that you played these tickets on Rebel Stakes Day. In race 8, the #7 Leofric was scratched and that reduced the price of the bets to $72 for the Pick 5 and $36 for the Pick 4. The winners in the sequence were: South Beach ($5.20), Mitole ($3.60), Hedge Fund ($7.00), Martini Glass ($8.80), and Malibu Moon ($8.00) in the Rebel. There were no big prices, yet the 50¢ Pick 5 returned $396.10 and the Pick 4 paid $115.50.

Photo of Sporting Chance courtesy of Oaklawn Park