There are nine racecourses to handicap on Sunday. If you like playing the board and going wild across the country, then you certainly have that opportunity for the last time this weekend. Things settle down on Monday and Tuesday when there are only three or four thoroughbred tracks available for betting. If you’re looking for million dollar racing, this was the final weekend for it before the Kentucky Derby. There will be several events with at least a million dollars on the line at Churchill Downs on May 1. That includes the 147th Kentucky Derby, which is shaping up to be a wide open affair in Louisville.
We have two racecourses covered on Sunday. The first at Aqueduct Racetrack, which we have three selections for in Queens. Oaklawn Park has nine races on the dirt for $363,000 in prize money. Head below for our free Oaklawn Park picks for April 18, 2021.
Post Time: 2:02 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 3 is a $34,000 event covering 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Six horses are scheduled to participate in this one, with Breeze Rider and Dixie Mo likely in contention in the race. Breeze Rider is 5 for 13 in her career, and has enjoyed some success. She has finished 5th, 1st, 3rd, 1st in her previous four attempts, winning on October 23 and January 1 most recently.
In the October win, Breeze Rider beat North of Eden by 2 ½ lengths in a $30,000 event. Breeze Rider came back on December 12 to show 3rd in a $30,050 event. That was a bit disappointing after the effort to win, but Breeze Rider was able to respond with a better performance on January 1. She was a 5 length winner in that race for a $17,000 purse.
Breeze Rider is back up in class, so this promises to be tougher. She was timed in March with a time of 50.20 seconds at 4 furlongs on March 20, and then 3 furlongs in 34.60 seconds on April 6. Dixie Mo will be her most difficult opponent in this contest. She has gone 4 for 13 in her career, with some good form recently.
In her last three outings, Dixie Mo has finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd. She beat Dutch Treat by 3 ¾ lengths in a $30,000 event on December 22. In her most recent attempt, Dixie Mo placed 2nd behind Seeds of Time by 3 ¾ lengths. Dixie Mo was favored over Seeds of Time in that race, but didn’t race up to her full potential. If she is interested in running on Sunday, expect Dixie Mo to have a good chance to win with good value.
Post Time: 2:22 p.m. EST
Race 4 is a 6-furlong event for a $55,000 purse on the main track. Seven horses are scheduled to run in this event. I have Paynter Party and Fra Mauro circled to win this contest. Paynter Party is a two-time winner in two events, most recently winning just ten days ago on April 8 for a $36,000 event.
Paynter Party beat Handy by ¾ lengths to get the ¾ length score. He is heading up in class to a $55,000 race on Sunday. Based on the performance earlier in the month, Paynter Party might need to show improvement to get into the winner’s circle, but shouldn’t be too far back at the wire.
Fra Mauro will likely provide Paynter Party with the biggest challenge. He is 3 for 23 in his career, and received a transfer from Churchill Downs after three of his last four outings were in Louisville. He should find easier competition at Oaklawn Park. Fra Mauro finished 6th on November 26 in a $40,500 event.
Prior to that race, Fra Mauro was 4th in another $40,500 assignment. This is for a $55,000 purse, but the competition isn’t tougher, in fact it should be easier. Note that Fra Mauro has been gelded since his most recent outing in November. He has looked great in workouts with times of 49.60 seconds at 4 furlongs in April. A win on his return to the track is realistic.
Post Time: 4:40 p.m. CST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 8 is the feature race at Oaklawn with a $106,000 allowance race. A field of 11 is expected to run in this race, which should be wide open and the top prize there for the taking. That should provide some decent value in this event at Oaklawn.
Too Pretty and Zanshoes have to be taken seriously in this event. Too Pretty is 2 for 8 in her career, finishing 1st in her most recent assignment on March 11. The filly beat Hissy Missy by ¾ lengths in a $88,000 event. In her previous five attempts, Too Pretty has gone 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 7th, 1st, with a win on April 18, 2020 and March 11.
Too Pretty beat Lovely Lou by 3 ¼ lengths in a $60,000 event in the win last year. Following the win, Too Pretty went 3rd, 7th, 1st. She moves up in class after the $88,000 score on March 11. Preceding that win, Too Pretty was frustrated in a $84,000 event. Which horse shows up? You will have to decide if you’re confident in Too Pretty interested in running.
Zanshoes could be nice value from the No. 1 post position. She has finished 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 4th in her previous five attempts. She was on a nice run in the top-3 in three straight performances, including a winning run on March 26 for a $105,000 purse. Zanshoes beat Lovely Lou by a neck in an impressive effort.
She failed to follow up in her next assignment, but you have to really like what she did on March 26, just less than a month ago. If that horse shows up to this $106,000 event, then you have to like her chances of another win in this class. With her odds where they are at 6/1, she is worth a look with the value.