Dan’s Double: Options Abound on Saturday at Oaklawn Park

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Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

Dan’s Double of the week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).

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When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck!


Saturday, May 2

weekend Television schedule

Friday, May 1: 4-7 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, May 2: 1-8 p.m. ET on FS1; 8-8:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 3-6 p.m. ET on NBC; 6-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, May 3: 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 2:30-4:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Oaklawn Park, Race 12, $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap, 7:04 p.m. ET

#11 Tax: This is an absolutely phenomenal betting race and it’s so deep that you’re going to get a much larger price than you normally would on a horse like Tax. He clearly didn’t take to being off Lasix last time out in the Pegasus World Cup and it also didn’t help that he stumbled out of the gate. In that race, he went off as the 4.30-1 third choice. He’ll probably be closer to 20-1 on Saturday. How significant might the addition of Lasix be for Tax? Look at how dramatically Mr. Freeze improved when he was back on Lasix in the Gulfstream Park Mile — his 105 Equibase Speed Figure in the Pegasus jumped to a 115 when he was back on Lasix in the Gulfstream Park Mile, and that was after a really impressive Pegasus for him.

Prior to the Pegasus, Tax had run some of his best races going a mile and an eighth with his best coming in the Discovery Stakes at Aqueduct (110 Equibase Speed Figure and 101 Beyer Speed Figure). Aside from #6 Warrior’s Charge and potentially #4 Mr Freeze, it’s hard to tell where the speed is going to come from in this race. Tax is a horse who has shown a propensity for being on or near the front, which will leave him with a lot less work to do late in this race. I’d expect a huge improvement with him back on Lasix and with a bit of a freshening for trainer Danny Gargan. His trainer brings in his first-call jockey Kendrick Carmouche for the ride on Tax. Gargan also shows a really high win percentage with horses like Tax coming off a layoff of 61-180 days.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$2 win, place, show on #11 Tax ($6)

$1 exacta 4,11 with 3,4,11 ($4)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$4 win, place, show on #11 Tax ($12)

$1 exacta box: 3,4,11,14 ($12)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$10 win, place, show on #11 Tax ($30)

$1 exacta box: 3,4,11,14 ($12)

$.50 trifecta 4,11 with 3,4,11 with 3,4,8,10,11,14 ($8)

Oaklawn Park, Race 13, $500,000 Arkansas Derby - Second Division, 7:43 p.m. ET

#10 Farmington Road: This horse made up a ton of ground late in the Oaklawn Stakes. He could’ve won the race but Mr. Big News had just a bit more momentum and might’ve slowed down the surge of Farmington Road slightly when he appeared to cross in front of him inside the sixteenth pole. Despite that, Farmington Road ended up in front of Mr. Big News just a few strides after the finish line. To be fair, it could be argued that both horses were aided by a fast pace. However, the pace signed up for this race on Saturday is expected to be just as hot.

In his division of the Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford, Farmington Road was last midway down the backstretch behind a slow half-mile, which pacesetter Mr. Monomoy enjoyed completely unpressured. Even after they posted three-quarters in nearly 1:13, Farmington Road was still well out of it and making the widest move of any runner in the race. He came off the turn eight wide and was gaining every step to the finish line. What was even more encouraging — as we weigh the fact that most of these will be tested at a mile and eighth for the first time — Farmington Road again galloped out ahead of the field, including the winner as well as runner-up Enforceable. Javier Castellano was aboard for that race and has since sat in quarantine (twice) after testing positive for coronavirus to be able to ride this weekend at Oaklawn. This is one of his two big mounts. Farmington Road is the only horse in the field who’ll be making his third start at a mile and an eighth and he’s guaranteed a hot pace up front. There’s no doubt he’ll be making a big move late. The only questions are whether he can save enough ground and avoid enough traffic when he makes that move.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$5 win and place on #10 Farmington Road ($10)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$5 win, place on #10 Farmington Road ($10)

$5 exacta 10 over 5,8 ($10)

$2 exacta 5,8 over 10 ($4)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$10 win, place on #10 Farmington Road ($20)

$5 exacta 10 over 5,8 ($10)

$2 exacta 1,5,8,9 over 10 ($8)

$.50 trifecta 5,10 with 1,5,8,9,10 with 1,5,8,9,10 ($12)

Last Week’s Earnings: $207.60

2020 Earnings: $1,582.20

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