Thursday's Best Bet: Congressman lays down the law at Oaklawn

Thursday’s eighth race at Oaklawn is an optional claiming event for 4-year-olds and up traveling 1 1/8 miles on the main track. The scheduled post time is 5:22 p.m. EDT.

Click here for Oaklawn Park entries and results

No. 5 Congressman (4-1) broke his maiden second time out at one mile for Todd Pletcher last spring. He moved to the Rodolphe Brisset barn and stormed home from off the pace in a local sprint on Jan. 6. Last time, he stretched out and was a bit flat in a mid-pack finish as the beaten favorite at one mile. He is lightly raced and still has upside, and he might bounce back in his third start of the year for a productive jockey-trainer team. 

No. 3 Smile Happy (2-1) easily won the first two dirt routes of his career in 2021, including the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). He completed the exacta in the Risen Star (G2) and Blue Grass (G1) to begin his sophomore season and went to the sidelines after an unplaced effort in the Kentucky Derby. Ken McPeek shows a profit with his first-time lasix starters, and he is a logical contender if he ready to roll in his first start in quite some time. 

No. 2 Creative Minister (3-1) had a busy and productive sophomore campaign last year for Ken McPeek. He is most known for landing the show in the Preakness, and he reportedly is training well for this. He should be heard from late under his new rider Cristian Torres. 

No. 4 Tiz Rye Time (8-1) can pick up the pieces. The competent late runner is fairly reliable underneath, and I will peg him to complete the trifecta. 


No. 5 to win

Trifecta 2-3-5/2-3-4-5/2-3-4-5

Trifecta 2-3-5/all/4

Recent Best Bet winners

March 1 – Wupkar/Gigablast/G's Squeeze trifecta ($43.80)
March 3 – Outright ($10.20), exacta ($36)
Last Wednesday – James Aloysius ($4.80), trifecta ($88)

Sunday – Ballet Dancing ($11.40)

Monday – Baton ($3.80)

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