Quills Picks Winners – Friday 1/12 – Oaklawn Park Race 8 

By Joe Quillen

Friday 1/12/24 – Oaklawn Park Race 8 


Let’s head west today as we will stop off at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas for Friday’s eighth race, which is an optional claimer going the Preakness distance of a mile and three sixteenths of a mile. Rain will be falling into the morning hours on Friday, so I would expect a sloppy to muddy track at the Arkansas oval.

The 3 Time for Trouble (15/1 morning line) won a starter allowance last month at the Fair Grounds on the slop, closing like a freight train to win the case at a mile and a sixteenth on the slop. The distance shouldn’t be an issue. He is stakes placed at a mile and three quarters at Saratoga. This gelding is also 2 for 2 on off tracks in his career.

Accidental Hero (#4, 20/1 ML) is a stayer who returns to Oaklawn Park after taking a tour of Western Canada, winning the Grade 2 BC Derby at Hastings at a mile and an eighth which seems like it was run at today’s distance because it was a three-turn race at the 5/8-mile oval. He might be a horse to put underneath in your trifectas and superfectas if you are that kind of a player.

The 5 Santos Dumont (6/1 ML) and the favorite Frosted Departure (6/5 ML) appear to be the speed in the race. Santos Dumont is back after a three month layoff, where he couldn’t hold on at Churchill in an optional claimer there. Frosted Departure could be a bad favorite here. He won last month at Oaklawn going a mile and a sixteenth. Maybe this this is a stepping stone for something bigger and better after this race, but I question if he can really go this far, as most of his races were sprint races. But I guess you don’t know what you got unless you try it, right?

My pick is on the outside, the 9 Heywoods Beach (8/1 ML). He is second race off of an eight month layoff. He’s faced much tougher, but he is also a seven year old horse now. So I expect some regression comparing to his 2022 graded stakes wins. He definitely can go this distance and more. I’ll take a chance that he is stalking and pounces in the stretch.

My play is $20 to win on the 9, and my selections are 9-5-3-4. Best of luck and catch you Saturday with another Quills Picks Winners article and selection!

QPW Update Desk

  • Joe sometimes doesn’t completely proofread his articles, just like he doesn’t proofread his stuff on Twitter. Joe mentioned the next Kentucky Derby prep race on January 20, but he didn’t mention the race. That race is the Lecomte at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans
  • We did have a winner on Thursday as the David Jacobson entry did in fact win the seventh race at Aqueduct, paying $8.30 to win and $3.50 to place. I mention the place wager because with the conditions I put in place, my $20 bet would get you $35 if you tailed my wager. Starship Defiant won the race, while Taming the Tigerfinished third, a nose behind Royal Poppy.
  • Be on the lookout for some additional articles and features coming up in the next couple of weeks. I do have some things that I am working on at the moment that I can’t wait to share.

Follow Joe on Twitter/Instagram/Threads @JoeQuills. Check out the Bleacher Brothers Show from 8 to 10 pm Eastern Time on the Tony Bruno Sports Network app!