The Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday evening at Remington Park is one of the most competitive graded stakes I can remember handicapping this year.
Thirteen horses with a likely over-bet favorite marooned in the far outside post and the morning-line second choice slower than half the field is a recipe for gambling, though.
Click here for Remington Park entries and results.
Other than a true no-hoper and a trio of legitimate outsiders, any one of the 13 entered could win this race. While I think this is a solid morning line, the race is just too competitive for there not to be at least a couple instances of a horse taking more money than expected and vice versa.
It is difficult to anticipate how I will play this race other than to acknowledge it is an exciting race to play, because the big field and presence of a pair of 20-1 morning-line contenders mean there has to be at least some opportunity.
We’ll start with Hit Show, though, who is the fastest and most accomplished of the group. Speed and class are typically a great exacta, but that outside post position is a killer.
Man, Hit Show looks super tough "on paper" in the Oklahoma Derby on Sunday @RemingtonPark, but posts 12-14 are 0-for-18 at this trip since 1991 & the far outside post in fields of 11 or more are 1-for-22— Ed DeRosa (@EJXD2) September 21, 2023
In the grand scheme of life and millions of races run, 18 and 22 are definitely small sample sizes. Given the money he’ll take against some good horses, it’s enough for me to want to gamble against him.
I am most interested in Heroic Move and How Did He Do That. The former will be on the front end and should get a better set up here vs. being on the rail against eight others at Assiniboia than in post 11 of 12 at Century. The latter will be closing, and depending on what jockey Flavien Prat, another reason Hit Show will be over bet, decides to do from the outside, that could ratchet things up on the front end. The Iowa Derby as key race? Why not.
Otherwise, it is really going to be up to the board. The only horse I expect will not at all be worth his price is Red Route One, who just doesn’t have the figures to match with these.
Tossing the top two choices and bottom four choices leaves seven horses. I will be examining the win and exacta will-pays among those seven with special emphasis on Heroic Move and How Did He Do That.
The National Weather Service forecast a 20 percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms becoming partly sunny shortly after the 4:03 p.m. EDT first post. The high temperature was expected to be 84 degrees with a northeast wind to 11 mph.