By Joe Quillen
12/8/23 – Oaklawn Park Race 9
Happy Friday everybody, and let’s go virtually somewhere where we have not gone to yet. We are going to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas for the feature race for the opening day of their 2023-24 meet as we will take a look at the Advent Stakes, which is a race for 2-year-olds going 5 ½ furlongs. The weather should be fine on Friday with no rain and a temperature of around 65 degrees.
These “baby races” as some people will call them can be very difficult. If you are looking at the past performances, most if not all, have not run that often. Many of the horses in this race have run in only one or two races, which is common this time of the year with these kind of races. These races are going to be tough, and given that it is opening day in Hot Springs, things could really be interesting.
If you are betting the entire card, try to catch any trends in the track. That may help you with a race that does not have much in the way of information in your program if you bought one at the track, your local simulcast facility, or downloaded it online like I do. Once again, it is okay to skip this race if you have no opinion. But since this article is a regular thing here on Bleacher Brothers, I’ll take a shot at it.
We are going to see some interesting things here. We have many horses that will still be a bit immature here. We’re going to see a ton of horses going right for the lead. It is very possible that the 1 Spirit’s Mischief (5/1 morning line) will gun for the lead. He went for the lead in a race that was taken off the turf at Keeneland and won easily.
The 3 Market Street (20/1 ML) has been going for the lead going longer at Churchill Downs. The colt who has already run seven times has shown speed in both sprint and route races but has been tiring badly in his last four starts.
I think the 4 Molly’s Town (3/1 ML) looks like a horse that can be going for the lead, having won her first four races. Could he go right to the lead in what seems to be the fastest of the colts and geldings looking for the lead right for the start? Very possible. I like his chances here.
The 6 Sweet Soddy J (9/2 ML) may be a length or two off the leaders and could be the first to pick up the pieces here and should do just that.
The 10 Valentine Candy (2/1 ML) is the favorite in this race, and should be stalking the speed from the outside.
The 11 Bye Bye Liam (10/1 ML) could be interesting as he will be a little bit farther back, and could be there. He broke his maiden last out at 27/1, and respect any Steve Asmussen horse, especially when he’s the “other Asmussen” horse.
For this race, I think Sweet Soddy J will have a spot right behind dueling leaders, and if there is no traffic troubles with tiring horses, he will get first shot and will be my choice to win. Valentine Candy and Bye Bye Liam will be there at the end, and Molly’s Town will be the best finisher of the dueling leaders. I am calling this 6-11-10-4 in the Advent Stakes, and my play is $20 to win on the 6 and a $1 superfecta key 6 over the 4, 10 and 11, with the latter bet costing me $6.
Apparently, I technically did not give a wager on my Wednesday article (Race 9 Tampa Bay Downs). I will say this to all the readers of my articles, and for Bleacher Brothers. Follow me on Twitter @JoeQuills, and I will try to update everyone in the event that something like what happens on Wednesday’s article occurs. I will try to update you with a pick if I can catch it.
To the race itself, the 7 Bahamian Moon kicked clear late after stalking dueling leaders to win at 10/1 odds. From what I found out on the Tony Bruno Show on Wednesday, friend of the show Dean and I had an impromptu handicapping contest. His horse finished third, while my selection was off the board, but did finish ahead of a few horses and the ambulance. I’m now in the red at -$101.00 going into Thursday’s race.
RIP Sport of Kings
One of the contest sites that I liked to use was Sport of Kings. I say was because mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a mass email was sent that the site is going to shut down at the completion of a championship tournament next week. Their podcast of the same name will continue wherever you get podcasts.
Best of luck with your wagers and let’s see where we go for Saturday’s race or races!
Follow Joe on Twitter/Instagram/Threads @JoeQuills. Check out the Bleacher Brothers Show starting on Monday, December 11 from 8 to 10 pm Eastern Time.