The $300,000 Oaklawn Stakes closes out the annual meet at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, just in time for the Kentucky Derby. It’s the last of 11 races on Saturday at the historic venue and is for three-year-olds over a distance of a mile and an eighth, featuring a seven horse field.
It’s a fitting end to the meet, with the top two Oaklawn trainers prominently featured. Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen has three entries, while 2020 Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox has a pair of horses in the field. The winner of the race will earn an entry into the Preakness Stakes, the second race in the Triple Crown Series.
Betting Preview: Scarred
Scarred broke his maiden at Churchill Downs on November 5th in his racing debut but didn’t win again until his last outing at Oaklawn on March 25th in an allowance optional claiming race as a big favorite. Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. was in charge in that race, but he’ll be a few hundred miles away riding Super Stock in the Kentucky Derby.
This will be the stakes racing debut for Scarred, one of Asmussen’s entries, who has a record of 2-1-0 in four races, accumulating $132,012 in earnings along the way. Scarred will be starting from the inside post position and has odds of 5/2 for the Oaklawn Stakes.
Betting Preview: Fulsome
It took Fulsome three tries to break his maiden, finally finding success in his first race as a three year old at the Fair Grounds on January 16th. The Brad Cox trained colt has one stakes race under his belt; a fourth place finish in the Black Gold Stakes on February 27th, which he followed up with an allowance race win at Keeneland which he won going away on April 10th.
He has a record of 2-1-0 in five starts with earnings of $102,714. Fulsome will be breaking from the fourth post position and has morning line odds of 3/1.
Betting Preview: Warrant
The second of Brad Cox’s entries didn’t break his maiden until February 16th at the Fair Grounds and has only raced once since, a runner up finish in an allowance optional claiming contest at Keeneland on April 3rd. Warrant outran his odds and made a late run but came up just a nose short to 11/1 underdog Joe Frazier in the seven furlong race in an eleven horse field.
With no experience as a two-year-old, Warrant has some catching up to do, but Cox has a talent for developing horses, so his 1-1-1 record in three starts and $54,700 in earnings may not be indicative of his talent. He’ll start from the fifth post position with odds of 4/1.
Betting Preview: Unanimously
The Steve Asmussen colt is coming off a third place finish in the Crescent City Derby, a Black Type stakes race, on March 20th at the Fair Grounds. Unanimously preceded that outing with an allowance win at the same track on February 6th after breaking his maiden on December 5th.
His record is 2-0-1 in four races with earnings of $73,660. He had morning line odds of 9/2 and will start from the outside in post position 7.
Free Betting Pick
Usually, it’s smart to go with Cox or Asmussen at Oaklawn if in doubt, but they are both well represented in this one. The favorite Scarred gets the nod here only because of the starting position.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Scarred
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