Anthony Fontaine spent his Friday in self isolation with his past performances and replays. This is what he came up with for the split Arkansas Derby late pick 5 closing day at Oaklawn Park.
Race Ten Selections: 6-7-2-11
#6 Amen Corner has had an incredible string of bad luck in most of his races however the underlying talent is there to surprise this group. Trainer has started to make a name for himself on the Mid Atlantic circuit and this one is taking a slight drop in competition. Will take a shot at a huge number.
#7 Candy Tycoon seeks easier after having some difficulty in the Florida Derby. Lands in a filed where this talented runner should be formidable. Price may not be generous however winning tickets beat losing one’s no matter the odds. Must include in multi race wagers. #2 Ginobli another that should attract attention at the window. Horse threw in a clunker last out but willing to forgive as this one gave Nadal a tussle before that. Should be highly competitive today.
Race Eleven, The Arkansas Derby 1st Division, Selections: 1-4-8-11
#1 Charlatan had the red sea opened and an allowance level of competition at best in this division of the Arkansas Derby. The numbers on this one tower over anything running today, three-year-old or older. Runner has had two races against small fields where he dictated the race and cantered away easy like Sunday morning as Lionel Richie would say. Has not faced any sort of adversity and that is always a test that must be passed as races are not ran on paper. All things being equal this one could regress significantly and still beat this field by open lengths.
#4 Gouverneur Morris ran a disappointing race in the Florida Derby however the surface may not have played best to his running style and if by chance some other runners display some courage and hook Charlatan early this one would be the most likely upsetter. #8 Anneau d’Oro gets another chance to show he is legit. I think it can be said with confidence that the Juvenile of 2019 was the anthesis of a key race however given the dearth of competition in this spot this is a wonderful opportunity to garner some black type.
Race Twelve, The Oaklawn Handicap, Selections: 7-9-12-14
#7 Combatant comes in off a nice win in the Santa Anita Derby. Should be prominent through this contest and looks poised for another solid effort.
#9 Tacitus has gone more than a year without a visit to the winner’s circle. Horse is talented yet seems to settle for minor awards every time. This field may be the easiest he has faced in a long time and has had plenty of recovery time from the adventure to Saudi Arabia. A win is not out of the question but would not take a short price. #12 By My Standards has had two nice races at the Fair Grounds this year now tries the Oaklawn surface for the first time. Horse has talent and may be improving and should be a good handicap horse in the older division this year. Not without a shot in this spot today.
Race Thirteen, The Arkansas Derby 2nd Division, Selections: 7-5-10-4
#7 Silver Prospector seems to follow an in and out pattern, one good race followed by a sub-par effort. On that premise should be highly competitive today. Last time out had some traffic difficulty and did not show his best. Look for Santana to deliver a patient ride and pounce late in this spot.
#5 Nadal has done nothing wrong in his career so far and will be a deserving favorite. Had to run every step last out and still had enough to hold for the victory. Tough right back today. #10 Farmington Road closed well last out and would love to have some pace to close into in this spot. This one will be coming late and be formidable in the lane.
Race Fourteen Selections: 5-9-13-4
#5 Carlos Sixes loves to win races and is in very good form. Distance should not be a problem and look for a solid effort today.
#9 Take Charge d’Oro should find this level of competition to his liking and with a good trip can pose a danger late. #13 Curlin Grey should relish the distance of this contest. Horse was not disgraced last out and as long as this one can avoid traffic should be rolling late.