For the first time this year, we’ll be at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas looking for winners on the racetrack. Oaklawn Park is not the most well known track in the US, and often plays second fiddle to the big boys this time of year like Gulfstream Park. However, with Santa Anita Park closing their doors to racing, this gives Oaklawn Park a bit more face time, for horse handicappers anyway. Santa Anita Park has been closed until further notice, which includes racing as well. For approximately a month, Santa Anita Park has been racing, but barring fans from entering the facilities. Well, that’s all over, and they won’t be back until the coronavirus threat subsides. That might not be until it’s safe for the public to access the track again.
Oaklawn Park has played it safe by doing what other tracks across the US have done by putting in preventive measures to try and avoid a COVID-19 case at the track. There was a racer at Aqueduct that tested positive for coronavirus. That quickly put a halt to racing. New York is currently the epicenter of coronavirus in the country. There was just no way they could have kept things running there. Along with the winter meet, the spring meet has been canned as well. The track has been helpful, though, as they’ve been using it for drive-thru testing, and is going to be used as a temporary hospital.
Aqueduct will be utilized as a facility for people recovering from the COVID-19 infection. It will be more of a safe haven away from others until they test negative for the virus. At least the track will be going towards something positive and not sitting idle. It’s unfortunate that the pandemic has come to this, but we hope that they won’t have to use Aqueduct as a hospital for long and we can return to regularly scheduled programming around the world soon.
While it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel right now as we watch the cases pile up, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to see it by the end of April. In the meantime, hopefully I can distract you from what’s going on in the world. While we’re at it, let’s try and find some winning ponies at Oaklawn Park on Sunday. Head below for our free Oaklawn Park picks for March 29, 2020.
Post Time: 2:35 CST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
Race 3 features a nice purse of $61,000 at Oaklawn Park on Sunday. The feature race, Race 8, comes with a $63,000 purse and Race 9 has a $62,000 purse. There is some decent money on the line Sunday in Arkansas today. In Race 3, there are three legitimate threats to win the competition. Jilted Bride, Daphne Moon, and Kansas Kis look like the horses you should be looking at to win here. However, Compelling Smile would fetch a pretty prize if you make a wager and the No. 6 horse comes in as the winner.
Compelling Smile will be making the fourth start of her career on Sunday, with her debut a major success on June 6, 2019. She got the win over Show Me the Mints by 1 ½ lengths. However, since then, she has not looked good in two starts. Compelling Smile finished 4th and 7th. Her most recent race resulted in 7th from 1 1/16 furlongs. The lone win she had was at Emerald Downs from 5 furlongs. It’s unlikely she is going to care for the extra distance in this race as well.
Jilted Bride has posted a nice resume since her first race back on September 19, 2019. She showed in that outing, and then hasn’t finished outside of the top-3 since. That includes a win on December 1 at Churchill Downs from 6 furlongs. In her most recent outing, Jilted Bride wasn’t as successful from 1 1/16 miles, but still turned in a nice performance for 3rd. That’s the worse she has gone in her career, so not bad at all for the filly. She will have her work cut out for her against Kansas Kis
Kansas Kis definitely appears like the strongest horse in this race and should be able to edge out the field for a win. In seven career races, Kansas Kis has shown in six, along with placing in four outings and a win on January 23. Kansas Kis beat out five other horses to win from 6 furlongs. She got the win by 1 ¼ lengths over French Cafe after coming really close several times in the past. In her most recent effort, she made a good run in the Busher Invitational Stakes, but couldn’t hold the lead in homestretch and ultimately lost by a nose to Water White. If she has a similar effort on Sunday, you’ll see Kansas Kis in the winner’s circle following Race 3.
Post Time: 4:10 CST
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Race 6 might not have the biggest purse of the day at just $24,000, but it could result in a tidy payout for you with several long underdogs on the board. Rollin Sevens, Topping, Deflator, Graffito, and Executive Branch are all +1000 or more in this one. That’s five chances of cashing a huge ticket. Rolling Sevens and Topping are both catching 30/1 odds, which would turn a dollar into $30.00 with a successful wager.
Rollin Sevens knows what it feels like to go to the winner’s circle, as he got there on August 5 at Assiniboia from 5 furlongs. It was an easy win for Rollin Seven by 6 lengths. He followed that up with two more decent showings on August 21 and September 8. The problem for Rollin Sevens is that he is going to see a huge increase in talent at Oaklawn Park compared to what he was dealing with at Assiniboia.
Topping will be making his first appearance following eight races at Indiana Grand Race Course. Oaklawn is a new home for Topping after he grabbed a win in eight attempts in Indiana. That was all for positive races, though. Other than the win, Topping failed to show in the rest of his races. And just like Rollin Sevens, is going to be up against some quality horses on Sunday. The No. 5 and No. 7 horses are going to be your safest wagers on Sunday at Oaklawn Park in Race 6.
Bump Bailey has not won since his debut on February 14, but has been competitive recently. He has been near the front with three showings in his last four outings. Bump Bailey was 2nd at Turfway Park on January 1 from 6 furlongs, finishing behind Declined by 3 ¼ lengths. His most recent outing, which came at Oaklawn, saw Bump Bailey finish 3rd from 6 furlongs. He was always in the race, but was never able to improve from the 2nd spot throughout the 6 furlongs. The extra gear he needed in both of his recent outings was not present.
Wicked Indeed heads into Sunday with a similar resume as Bump Bailey. He has a win in 14 races, so not the best resume, but nor does any horse in Race 6 on Sunday. The difference between Wicked Indeed and the rest of the field has been the competition level he’s dealt with. Wicked Indeed has been racing against some much stronger horses recently.
He has shown in just one out of his previous six outings, but against some good horses. That will scare money off from betting on Wicked Indeed, though I think the oddsmakers know what they’re talking about with him here. I’d consider a play on Wicked Indeed to win Race 6 in a field that should present an easier challenge for him on Sunday.