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Opportunity remains at Tracks still open


By NY Hot List Staff // Thursday, April 9, 2020

With most tracks across the nation closed due to coronavirus, there are benefits for the handful of them that are still open for business.

Especially in stakes races.

With limited opportunities to run in stakes races, the few that are available will generally attract larger and better fields than usual.

At Oaklawn Park on Saturday, two stakes in particular drew large, competitive fields that should be great wagering opportunities.

The $150,000 Oaklawn Mile attracted a field of 14 that includes Grade 1 winner Tom’s d’Etat, multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Money and Improbable, who was the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Two races later, the Oaklawn Stakes will bring together 13 3-year-olds with a cast that includes Hopeful Stakes winner Basin and Thousand Words from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert.

Here’s the New York Hot List analysis of both races:

Oaklawn Park  – Race 9 – the Oaklawn Mile – 5:43 p.m. ET

(3) Tom’s d’Etat has not raced since November when he posted a Grade 1 win in the Clark at Churchill Downs. He’s put in some sharp works for this and should be ready for a big effort. (2) Mr. Money is also making his 2020 debut. He was one of the better 3-year-olds last summer but didn’t fire in the Breeders’ Cup when he closed out his campaign. He could start his 4-year-old season with a solid effort. (14) Improbable also makes his 4-year-old debut and he has plenty of class, but his unruly gate habits and the outside post in a big field may work against him. (8) Bankit flopped on a sloppy track but could rebound here.

Oaklawn Park – Race 11 – Oaklawn Stakes 6:48 p.m. ET

(1) Basin had a useful enough 3-year-old debut when third in the Rebel on a sloppy track. Given It was his first start in six months, he should take a big step forward from the rail. (4) Thousand Words won his first three starts then flopped last time in the San Felipe. Look for Baffert to have him back on track here. (5) Sir Rick was much improved in his first start for trainer Diodoro and cannot be ignored here. (12) Farmington Road was hurt by a wide trip in the Risen Star and might enjoy a better journey here.